The dune landscape suggests Wijnants's native Haarlem countryside. However, the distant hills and warm light hint at southern climes, and reflect the influence of artists who had – unlike Wijnants himself – visited Italy. In the foreground is his favourite motif of a fallen tree-trunk. This is primarily a pictorial device to lead the viewer's eye into the middle distance. But, together with the prominent dock plant, symbol of eternal life, it may also symbolize the perpetual cycle of nature.
Wijnants's paintings sold cheaply and he also ran an inn to try to supplement his income. The figures in his paintings are usually the work of a collaborator, in this case probably Jan Lingelbach.
Where to see this painting?
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Argyle Street, Glasgow, Scotland, G3 8AG
If you are planning a visit to see this painting, check with the collection first. Paintings can be moved at short notice.
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