The Wallace Collection

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A Hilly Landscape
  • Jan Wijnants (1631 - 1684)
  • A Hilly Landscape
  • Netherlands
  • early 1660s
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 56.5 x 50 cm
  • Signature: 'J Wijnants.'
  • P249
  • East Galleries III
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • Two sportsmen are seen from behind in the centre foreground. The man on the left carries a verrejager, a pole used for both jumping ditches and as a weapon, while his companion on the right shoulders a fowling piece.
    The composition, with its characteristic sandy bank on the right, balanced on the left by the repoussoir motif of a gnarled tree, recalls similar works by Wouwermans. The juxtaposition of the withered oak with a tree in leaf in the mid-distance is comparable to vanitas motifs in the work of Ruisdael, and in Dutch emblematic prints of the period. In a print by Visscher, for example, the moral choices facing humanity are suggested by the contrast between a dead and a living tree, accompanied by the text ‘choosing causes anxiety’. The figures appear to be by Adriaen Van de Velde, whilst their costumes suggest a date in the early 1660s.