Vintage Art Masterpieces,Vintage Prints for Sale The WaterMill with the Great Red Roof by MEINDERT HOBBEMA

The WaterMill with the Great Red Roof by MEINDERT HOBBEMA

The WaterMill with the Great Red Roof by MEINDERT HOBBEMAThe WaterMill with the Great Red Roof



THE Dutch demanded in their pictures, not the fighting but the things fought
for, not the heroic but the homely, not the battlefield but the quiet meadow
and the millpond.

It was a democratic art conceived and executed by plebeians
to satisfy the tastes of the masses; a domestic art appropriate as garniture for
small interiors; a materialistic art dealing with the agreeable aspects of every­
day things.

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Dutch painting was a mirror of Holland, the most perfect reflec­
tion of a country, perhaps, that has been thrown upon canvas-so perfect
indeed that, once the inventory had been taken, there was no further need for
art, and Hobbema, who died in 1709, was the last Dutch painter of importance.

The events of Hobbema’s life and the chronology of his paintings are in­
extricably confused. It is generally agreed, from the similarity of their styles,
that he was a pupil of Ruisdael; it has come to light that he was married at the
age of thirty and was the father of four children; that he lived in penury in
Amsterdam not far from another poor man, Rembrandt; and that he died in
destitution and filled a pauper’s grave.

Hobbema’s working life was spent in a little corner of the Dutch country­
side, which he mastered with a completeness of ohsei vation that has never
been approached except by the old Mississippi River pilots who studied every
snag and ripple from St. Louis to New Orleans.

Day after day, in all seasons
and weathers, he examined the trees and undergrowth, the clouds and atmos­
phere, the streams and stagnant water, in every complexion of light and trans­
parency. And his memory was something to put other visual memories to
shame; for his pictures, which seem so literal and closely observed, were not
painted on the spot but in his workshop by force of visual habit.

He knew the
red-roofed mill by heart; and by the trustworthy rule of trial and error finally
painted a version of it which aroused within him sentiments comparable to
those experienced in the presence of the scene itself.

Among the thousands of
Dutch landscapes of unremembered quaintness and sentimentality, the Water
Mill lives forever, affording the modern mind both a release from the ferments
and tragedies of Italian art, and a refuge from a mechanistic civilization­
not a romantic dream out of Watteau, but a sturdy world of restful production.


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