Thursday, May 28, 2009

On Hobbema's Painting


(the Hobbema painting is owned by the Getty Museum now)

About Hobbema's Landscape

(Meindert Hobbema, 1638-1709)

In Hobbema's "A Wooded Landscape with Travelers
on a Path through a Hamlet," clouds, trees,
and shadows overwhelm travelers and buildings.
Even a patch of sunlight, mid-painting, might
be ominous, a precursor to thunderstorm. Villages,
hamlets, and no-account small towns live on
the edge of being devoured, one way or another.
They are beside nature's point--are one tornado,
flood, avalanche, or economic downturn away from
obliteration. I'm sure Hobbema had something else
in mind with these pigments, the tracks left by
his brush-strokes, but I do like how he knew
foliage, clouds, and shadow lord over a mere
hamlet made of brick and milled wood.

Copyright 2009 Hans Ostrom
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