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View of a River Town with a Bridge

Accession Number
2008/2.199.5

Title
View of a River Town with a Bridge

Artist(s)
Jan Josephsz van Goyen

Object Creation Date
17th century

Medium & Support
black chalk, gray wash on paper

Dimensions
11 7/16 in. x 13 3/8 in. ( 29 cm x 34 cm )

Credit Line
Gift from the Joseph F. McCrindle Collection

Label copy
*Gallery Rotation Winter 2011 (January 2011)
Jan van Goyen
The Netherlands, 1596–1656
View of a River Town with a Bridge
17th century
Black chalk and grey wash on paper
Gift from the Joseph F. McCrindle Collection, 2008/2.199.5
Van Goyen was the master of the tonal landscape and his characteristic views of rivers were fairly small in scale and employed little color. He often carried sketchbooks that allowed him to quickly capture a view, such as this cursory depiction of a river town and bridge. The artist, however, seems to have developed this small work beyond the rapid sketch; the grey wash may have been added later to augment the contrasts of shadowed and light areas.
Gallery Rotation Winter 2011:
Jan van Goyen
The Netherlands, 1596–1656
View of a River Town with a Bridge
17th century
Black chalk and grey wash on paper
Gift from the Joseph F. McCrindle Collection, 2008/2.199.5
Van Goyen was the master of the tonal landscape and his characteristic views of rivers were fairly small in scale and employed little color. He often carried sketchbooks that allowed him to quickly capture a view, such as this cursory depiction of a river town and bridge. The artist, however, seems to have developed this small work beyond the rapid sketch; the grey wash may have been added later to augment the contrasts of shadowed and light areas.

Subject matter
Jan van Goyen avidly sketched his surroundings in his native Holland. As one of the leading landscape painters of the seventeenth-century, his drawing was as essential part of his practice in developing subjects and compositions for his paintings. Many of his sketches, often in small sketchbooks that would fit easily into a pocket, are rapid notational indications of a scene that capture only its essential outlines. This drawing is more fully developed than such sketches, but less elaborated than van Goyen's detailed drawings for paintings. He probably made the drawing on site, working swiftly and masterfully with black chalk, and later returned to the drawing to add touches of wash to create the shadows in the water and along the riverbanks.

Physical Description
This small sketch presents a view along a waterway that passes beneath a double-arched bridge. The triangular sail of a small boat is visible just before the bridge, moored to the quai next to some sheds. A tall church with a central steeple rises on the right bank in the foreground, and two other tall buildings punctuate the middle ground and distance. The chimneys and rooflines of humbler dwellings appear on the left bank. Despite the urban setting, only a few figures may be glimpsed, including a man crossing the bridge on horseback.

Primary Object Classification
Drawing

Primary Object Type
landscape

Collection Area
Western

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
bridges (built works)
churches (buildings)
drawings (visual works)
landscapes (representations)
rivers
studies (visual works)

6 Related Resources

Christian Churches
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Religious Buildings
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Transportation
(Part of 5 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved

On display