In an earlier post I was musing about the degree of realism in Dutch seventeenth-century landscape paintings.
I have just been visiting family in Holland. At my mother-in-law’s place in the Alblasserwaard polder I was struck by how picturesque the landscape still occasionally is.
The village where she lives also has lots of ugly modern developments, but here and there the classic Dutch landscape does shine through.
And it is a cliché, but the flatness of the landscape does make the sky seem bigger, and the cloudscapes more prominent (sadly not shown in my amateur snaps).
The older farms in the village tend to sit on little hilllocks, the age-old precaution against flooding. These days they have river dykes, sluices and pumps, but the water is still present everywhere you look.
The combination of a low horizon, a dominant sky, an abundance of water and a pattern of small neat fields creates a particular, perhaps unique kind of beauty.