Hobbema, Meindert

Hobbema, Meindert mīnˈdərt hôbˈəmä [key], 1638–1709, Dutch landscape painter. In landscape art Hobbema was second only to his contemporary Jacob van Ruisdael, with whom he may have studied. Most of his life was spent in a poor district of Amsterdam, where he died a pauper. Hobbema was little appreciated in his day but he is now recognized as the last of the great 17th-century Dutch masters of landscape. He painted most of his surviving work before 1668, when he took a clerical position with the city; thereafter he produced very few paintings. While lacking Ruisdael's scope and imagination, Hobbema equals him in draftsmanship, bold execution, and color. His works are full of life and luminosity and loving observation of nature. He painted chiefly woodland scenes, country villages, water mills, and other rustic subjects, his great mastery of detail never detracting from the general effect of his large and vigorous compositions. Much of his work is in England where it greatly influenced the later English landscapists. Among his well-known works are Avenue at Middelharnis (1689; National Gall., London); The Mill (Louvre); Water Mill (Rijksmus.); and Entrance to a Village (Metropolitan Mus.). The National Gallery, London, has the best collection of his work.

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