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Summer Gallery

Gallery XII showcases beautiful summer landscapes, the perfect summer breeze for the soul.

Since the second half of the 16th century, landscape painting in the Netherlands developed into a genre of its own. At the beginning, it often served as a background for a scenic representation. Gradually, however, nature becames worthy of depiction as an independant theme. The artists put great importance to the lively interaction of light and shadow in order to create the illusion of actually experienced atmosphere as if they had painted in free nature. They were particularly inspired by their travels in Italy. For this reason they are also called Italianists.

Jacopo Negretti named Palma il Vecchio
active in Venice and Bergamo

Bathing Nymphsc.1525–1528

It was Giorgione and the young Titian who introduced the subject of a female nude reclining in a landscape into Venetian painting. Palma was the first to focus primarily on the rounded forms and linear outlines of a complex group of female bodies. He was inspired by both the poses of classical sculptures and contemporaries like Giulio Romano. Here, a porcelain-like coldness has taken the place of the sensual surface texture so admired by contemporaries in Venetian painting.

Jacob van Ruisdael
active in Haarlem and Amsterdam

The Large Forestc.1655–1660

Towering oaks dominate the composition, their big stems framing a somewhat vague vista. In the foreground, a shallow brook crosses a path leading into the distance. We see a promenading couple, a traveller resting by the wayside. One of the leading landscape painters of the seventeenth century, Ruisdael’s handling and the size of his canvas imbue even humble motifs with importance and meaning. A tree-stump on the left, dead trunks and the furrowed path may function as invitations to ponder the meaning and limitations of human existence.

Adam Pynacker
active in Delft

Landscape near Tivoliaround 1648

This painting is a typical example of a Dutch painter's view of a southern landscape. Fascinated by the ancient ruins, but above all by the light peculiar to this region, many artists from the north travelled to Italy at that time. That is why they were also called Italianists. The architecture and the staffage figures were only a pretext to vividly capture the atmospheric impressions, the golden shimmering afternoon light and the mirror effects on the water.

Nicolaes Berchem
1620 – 1683
active in Haarlem and Amsterdam

Italian Landscape with aqueduct ruin dated 1675

Although there are no evidence that Berchem ever visited Italy, he is regarded as a specialist in Italianate landscapes and rural idylls. Golden yellow light falls through the arch of the aqueduct, so that the farmer's wife on horseback seems to emerge vividly from the shadows. Berchem oriented himself here on a composition by the Dutch contemporary Jan Asselijn (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum), which shows the ruins of the aqueduct near Frascati, and paid the greatest attention to the effect of light and colour.

Cornelis van Poelenburgh
active in Utrecht

Landscape near Albano with Bathing Girlsc. 1630/1640

Small-scale Italianate landscapes are characteristic for the artist's work, especially in combination with ancient ruins and staffage figures of mythological or bucolic content. Here the remains of the tomb of the Curatians and Horatians dominate the middle ground. Surprising, however, is the immediacy of the bathing women in the foreground. At that time, the naked female body was still supposed to be proof of the artist´s knowledge of ideal antique beauty. This snapshot of jumping seems all the more modern.

Lambert Sustris
1515/20–after 1568
active in Venice, Augsburg and Padua

Landscape with Antique Ruins and Bathing Womenc. 1552/53

Born in Amsterdam, the Dutchman Sustris moved to Italy at an early age and, after a stay in Rome, settled in Venice around 1545. In this landscape, which evokes harmony and a sense of well-being, he skilfully combines the Northern love of storytelling with the innovations introduced by Italian artists. The grotto on the left alludes to the Pantheon in Rome. The obelisk in the middle ground and the temple of Vespasian in the background also bear witness to his studies from nature. The softly shimmering light in which the landscape is bathed also goes back to the artist's personal experience during his stay in Italy.

Leandro da Ponte, gen. Leandro Bassano
active in Venice

Summer (July) c. 1595/1600

Leandro came from a family of artists from Bassano del Grappa who run a flourishing workshop in Venice and called themselves Bassano after their origins. The Kunsthistorisches Museum holds the largest collection of their works, which were particularly appreciated for their detailed pictorial narratives, rich colours and effective lighting, but also thanks to their poetic depiction of pastoral idylls. This painting belongs to a series of the 12 months which are among Leandro´s best works.

Thomas Gainsborough
active in Ipswich
Bath and London

Landscape in Suffolkc. 1748

Thomas Gainsborough was one of the leading painters in England in the second half of the eighteenth century. He was a celebrated specialist in portraiture, but his real love was landscapes. He found most of his inspiration in his native Suffolk, though composition and choice of motifs in his early works also document his admiration for seventeenth-century Dutch landscape painting. His open brushwork, the animation of the swirling landforms and the warm, mellow light of a summer’s day bear witness to his abiding interest in nature studies.

Paul Bril
active in Rome

Nocturnal Landscape with Harbour and Lighthouse c. 1601

Bril’s small landscapes executed on copper paved the way for Roman landscape painting in the seventeenth century. The small format did not prevent the artist from effectively contrasting light and shadow, bringing to life every-day scenes. Bril mainly worked in Rome where his patrons included the Pope and members of the city’s nobility. This composition repeats an older version, a painting on copper by his deceased brother Matthew (Rome, Galeria Doria Pamphili).

Paul Bril
active in Rome

Landscape with Ruined Tower1600

Here Paul Bril depicts a river landscape, a genre favoured by his friend and contemporary Jan Brueghel. Here, too, Bril focuses mainly on lighting effects. The shady coastline in the foreground on the left is illuminated by a single ray of sunshine breaking through the clouds. A dull, pallid light suffuses the middle ground, while the background is enlivened by bluish fog-like clouds. The composition may have been conceived as the counterpart of Nocturnal Landscape with Harbour and Lighthouse.

Joos de Momper the Younger
active in Antwerp

Large Mountain Landscapec. 1620–1630

Contemporaries regarded Momper as the most successful landscape painter of his time. Mountain landscapes were among his favourite subject matters. A wide, sun-drenched valley flanked by precipitous mountain ranges is spread out before us. Unmoved by the awe-inspiring setting, the tiny figures go about their business. Momper’s characteristic open brushwork and subtle palette, together with the painting’s format, imbue nature with sublime grandeur.

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