The painting is a characteristic example of the new type of large-scale 'Italianate' landscape introduced by Both in Holland in the 1640s. The view is not that of a flat Dutch landscape, even one with hills shown in the distance, but a prospect from the side of a rocky hill with a sunlit plain in the background. The light falls brightly from the right and in the shadowed foreground a prominent tree is silhouetted against the sky. The effect is one that Both would have seen in the early landscapes of Claude, like 'Landscape with a Goatherd and Goats' in the National Gallery.
Jan Both had spent the years between 1635-41 in Rome where he worked with Claude, Poussin and others. Almost all his works show Italian scenery, ocasionally with religious or mythological subjects.
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A Rocky Landscape with an Ox-cart Print
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