A Wooded Landscape with Travelers on a Path through a Hamlet
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Meindert Hobbema, painter; and Abraham Storck, painter
Dutch, about 1665
Oil on canvas
38 3/8 x 51 1/2 in.

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A close look at this wooded landscape reveals two paths--one bathed in sunlight on the left, and one elevated and overcast in shadow on the right--occupied by a wide assortment of figures. Playful dogs, lumbering farm animals, and travelers on foot and horseback all crowd the meandering roads, lined with rosy brick cottages and gray wood barns. Powerful oak trees dominate the composition, casting the foreground into shadow, while a sun-drenched clearing in the distance draws the viewer into the scene.

In addition to the winding roads and animated figures, artist Meindert Hobbema, used thick applications of paint in combination with thin delineating brushstrokes to create a sense of energy and motion throughout the landscape. The lively, inventive view of nature and brooding palette of deep browns and grays in this painting are characteristic of Hobbema's landscapes; however, few of them are as cleverly organized and grandly executed as this wooded view.