Who is Meindert Hobbema?

By Gwylym Owen

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Meindert Hobbema (bapt. October 31, 1638 – December 7, 1709), was a Dutch Golden Age painter of landscapes, specializing in views of woodland, although his most well-known painting, The Avenue at Middelharnis (1689, National Gallery, London), shows a every other type of scene.

Hobbema was a pupil of Jacob van Ruisdael, the pre-eminent landscape painter of the Dutch Golden Age, and in his mature period produced paintings developing one aspect of his master’s more varied output, specializing in “sunny tree-plant scenes opened by roads and glistening ponds, fairly flat landscapes later scattered tree groups, and water mills”, including exceeding 30 of the last in paintings.

The majority of his times works come from the 1660s; after he married and took a job as an exciseman in 1668 he painted less, and after 1689 apparently not at all. He was not very competently known in his lifetime or for approximately a century after his death, but became steadily more popular from the last decades of the 18th century until the 20th century.

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