So Neer, and yet so far

A river scene by Aert van der Neer (1603/4-1677), at Penrhyn Castle, Gwynedd. ©NTPL/John Hammond

I shall be away until 30 June, visiting relatives in the Netherlands.

Of course Holland isn’t quite as picturesque any more as in the painting by van der Neer shown above. Mind you, it probably never was: the picture’s subtle composition, dividing the view into thirds both horizontally and vertically, is clearly the artist’s invention.

In the mean time, Janet Blyberg is showing pictures from her recent tour of Dutch country houses and palaces. And for a remarkable visual record of contemporary Holland you can visit Thomas Schlijper’s photo blog – life as lived now seen through the eyes of an Old Master.

7 Responses to “So Neer, and yet so far”

  1. Barbara Says:

    Missing you already.

  2. littleaugury Says:

    safe travels Emile.

  3. columnist Says:

    Have a good break!

  4. style court Says:

    We’ll miss you. Enjoy your visit.

  5. Toby Worthington Says:

    I loved reading about a landscape that was ‘divided into thirds both vertically
    and horizontally’.
    Spoken like a true connoisseur of such things.
    Looking forward to your return from holiday.

  6. Janet Says:

    Oh, here’s wishing you happy travels. I have a feeling you will find more of the picturesque than you think. I look forward to hearing about it all…

  7. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    I am back. Thank you all for your kind wishes.

    Vis-a-vis the above ‘old master’ view of Holland, I actually glimpsed (from a train) a bit of meadow near Leiden that looked a bit like it, where they had semi-flooded some fields and turned them into a mini nature reserve. There were even some cows posing picturesquely between the reeds, but no wenches and swains.

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