barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham

Jan van Goyen (1596-1656)

Cottages in a Landscape with a Well

Probably Leiden, Holland, 1631

Oil on wood

42.5 x 54.5 cm


Peasants work at a picturesque well, with its elaborate system for drawing up water, next to thatched huts and an ancient tree. 

The work was known as A Landscape in the Dunes, but it is more correctly simply a cottage scene with a low horizon.  At this stage, early in his career, Van Goyen employed the convention of a brown foreground in his landscapes.  In a nearly monochromatic composition, dominated by muted tones of green, the brown area was interpreted as sand.


Purchased 1959 (No.59.4)