8 Dutch Landscape Painters of the 17th century (2023)

8 Dutch Landscape Painters of the 17th century (1)

Landscape painting was one of the favorite genres in 17th-century art. It emerged from the Dutch Republic, which declared independence from Spain in 1648. The growth of capitalism and the wealth of the country in the need for a new national identity led to a revolution in painting, known as the Dutch Golden Age. Many Dutch painters were known for their realistic depictions of landscapes that were distinctly different from earlier periods. Dutch landscape painting is overall characterized by dramatic contrasts of light and shadow, cold and warm colors, calm and turbulent emotions, solid and liquid elements, and static and dynamic energy. Winter landscapes, sunsets, rural scenes with animals, seas, rivers, city landscapes, forests: all of these had a wide appeal to Dutch painters. For them, the natural landscape had such greatness and charm.

1) Jacob van Ruisdael: The Most Influential Among the Dutch Painters

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Born in Haarlem, Netherlands, in 1628, Jacob van Ruisdael is considered one of the greatest Dutch painters that focused on painting landscapes. His works are characterized by various types of landscapes, from winter and dramatic forest scenes to river landscapes and panoramic views of Haarlem. He used to depict landscapes with windmills, canals, waterfalls, rivers, hills, and castles in melancholic atmospheres.

One of the most emblematic works of 17th-century art in the Dutch Republic is Ruisdael’s Windmill at Wijk Bij Duurstede. Windmills are very prominent in Dutch Golden Age art, symbolizing Dutch prosperity. This landscape features a compact windmill in the city of Wijk Bij Duurstede that rises in the vast, melancholic sky. Ruisdael has painted out looming, heavy clouds in the sky, creating dramatic visual tension. The smoke from the chimney and the clouds that are breaking through the sunlight, filling the scene with character and emotion. This painting expresses the pride of the Ruisdael for his nation through the prominence of the windmill, a symbol of the Dutch Republic.

2) Peter Paul Rubens

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Peter Paul Rubens was one of the great international figures in 17th-century European art. The well-known Flemish artist and his extraordinary talent marked the entire Baroque era. At an early age, he traveled to Italy, where he became influenced by the works of great Renaissance painters including Titian, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo. These artistic influences and the knowledge of Renaissance classicism and ancient history shaped the style Rubens is known for. Mainly, his subjects derive from religion, history, and mythology.

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Ruben’s paintings stand out for the Venetian rich colors, the lush brush strokes, and the contrasting use of light and dark. In the last years of his life, Rubens started to paint landscapes for his own enjoyment. In the landscape painting The Rainbow Landscape, Rubens created a fertile scene. He combined brown, green, and blue tones to add depth to the painting. The glow of the rainbow in the sky that breaks through the delicately handled trees in the background seems to be a symbol of hope and calm. Also, the rainbow can be interpreted as a sign of God’s protection of mankind referring to the Old Testament.

3) Meindert Hobbema

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Meindert Hobbema was born in 1638 and spent the majority of his life in Amsterdam. He was a pupil of Jacob van Ruisdael, who had a profound impact on his artistic development. Unlike his teacher who explored dark and moody landscapes, Hobbema had another approach. His landscape paintings were sunny, bright, and peaceful. Even their depiction of trees is different.

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Ruisdael prefers bushy, solid masses, while Hobbema chooses thin trees with great detail. However, Hobbema keeps the contrasts of light and shade and the cloud formations, reflecting the landscape paintings of Ruisdael. Hobbema specialized in wooded landscapes, which are often structured around stands of woods and hedges, trees, watermills, cottage houses, and hills. His landscapes are carefully composed from his imagination. The Avenue at Middelharnis features a delicate landscape with a partly cloudy sky, tall, narrow trees, and a long road. The painting exudes calmness and tranquility, contrary to the typical turbulent and disorganized landscapes of other Dutch painters.

4) Rembrandt van Rijn: Τhe Titan of Dutch Landscape Painting

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Rembrandt is regarded as the greatest Dutch painter of all time. He lived between 1606 and 1669. Unlike many other Dutch painters in the Golden Age, he never left the Dutch Republic. The golden age of Dutch landscape painting of 17th-century art promoted a group of talented artists, including Rembrandt, who captured in their paintings the Dutch countryside. Although this Dutch painter is best known for his realistic and dramatic portraits, he also made some exceptional landscape paintings. Landscape with a Stone Bridge is one of the nine landscape paintings Rembrandt created. He chose to paint a river with small boats, solitary figures, a stone bridge, and trees in a mesmerizing atmosphere, illuminated from multiple light sources.

The way Rembrandt utilizes the proportions, the dark tones, and the contrasts of light is exceptional. There is a strong diagonal division of light and dark tones. Most of the dark tones are on the top right and most of the lights are on the bottom left. The mystical landscape is dominated by grey strokes of paint in the sky and a river that looks like a black mass. Rembrandt uses his imagination and makes an ordinary scene of the 17th century look dramatic and intense.

5) Jan van Goyen

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Born on January 13, 1596, Jan van Goyen began his training as an artist in his native city of Leiden at a very young age. He studied under six different masters and he traveled regularly throughout the Netherlands. During the Baroque period, the Dutch painter studied the countryside. He created narrative landscapes and seascapes, which characterized 17th-century art. In the 1630s Van Goyen developed a new approach to landscape painting that focused on local subjects like fishing grounds, canals, and rivers. He used a tonal color palette of neutral shades.

This painting The Square Watch-Tower features a tonal atmospheric landscape with subtle colors of blue and pink with the white sky coming in contrast to the brown land. This painting is an example of Van Goyen’s later style. We can see here how his style changed to incorporate more luminosity, brightness, and color. The low horizon, which is common for the artist’s work gives the painting a sense of expansiveness and depth.

(Video) Dutch Paintings in the Royal Collection

6) Johannes Vermeer: Master of Light in 17th-century Art

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Johannes Vermeer was one of the great Dutch painters, known for his extraordinary ability to use light and color in his paintings. He was born in 1632 in the city of Delft, where he stayed most of his life. In fact, he never traveled away from Delft after his marriage at the age of 20. Along with Rembrandt, he is considered the most important representative of the Dutch Golden Age.

Vermeer’s works were mainly female portraits, except for two urban landscapes, as well as two allegories. He drew inspiration from the daily life of Dutch society, especially the middle class of the 17th century. Vermeer’s View of Delft is probably the most memorable cityscape in 17th-century art. It is not a typical landscape with rural motifs, it rather shows an outdoor sight of the town.

When Vermeer painted this view of his hometown, he captured a feeling of serenity and silence. The perfect reflection of the buildings in the water, the deep shadow and bright clouds, and the bold silhouette of the city against the sky all underscore Vermeer’s intent on making images as realistic as possible. In his text In Search of Lost Time Marcel Proust described this painting as “the most special, more different than anything else he knew.” (Proust, 1913).

7) Aelbert Cuyp

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One of the most important landscape painters of the Dutch Golden Age, Cuyp was known for his depictions of the countryside bathed in golden light. Cuyp was interested in painting animals and birds but mostly preferred to depict peaceful atmospheric landscapes. He was deeply influenced by Jan van Goyen and Jan Both, incorporating many of their artistic elements into his paintings, like the color palette, the broken brush technique, and the Italianate landscapes.

Cuyp was particularly engaged in depicting the landscapes in the Italianate style, although he had never been to Italy. Clear, soft light illuminates a peaceful landscape with cows resting by the river, giving a sense of calmness in an idealized world of the 17th century. The cows were a symbol of Dutch prosperity that came after the independence from Spain.

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8) Dutch painter Jan Both, Pioneer of the Italianate Landscape

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Jan Both was one of the most influential Dutch painters and etchers of 17th-century art. He was the main exponent of the Italianate artistic style of Dutch landscape painting. Some of the Dutch Italianate painters stayed in Italy, while others came back to the Netherlands and kept painting Italian subjects. Jan Both was an artist who had visited Rome and spent his entire career back in the Netherlands recreating Italianate landscape paintings. Both had a great influence on many Dutch painters.

Both painted and etched landscapes of the Roman countryside with naturalistic lighting in a picturesque atmosphere. Mainly, he was inspired by the scenery of Roman ruins, peasants, forests, the golden light of the Mediterranean sun, and the Roman countryside. Italian Landscape with Draughtsman is a wonderful example of his work. In this setting of the Roman Campagna, he placed human figures surrounded by trees under the evening sky, highlighting a perfect balance between man and nature.


Who was the Dutch landscape painter in the 17th century? ›

1) Jacob van Ruisdael: The Most Influential Among the Dutch Painters. Born in Haarlem, Netherlands, in 1628, Jacob van Ruisdael is considered one of the greatest Dutch painters that focused on painting landscapes.

What is 17th century Dutch painting known as? ›

Dutch Golden Age painting is the painting of the Dutch Golden Age, a period in Dutch history roughly spanning the 17th century, during and after the later part of the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) for Dutch independence.

Who are the Dutch painters? ›

The history of Dutch painting is a rich one, yielding some of history's most significant painters including Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, Pieter Bruegel, Hieronymus Bosch, and Vincent van Gogh.

Who was the famous painter in the 17th century? ›

Rembrandt was one of the most prolific and significant artists in Europe of the 17th century.

What is the name of the famous Dutch painter? ›

Rembrandt. Of course who does not know that name? Born on July 15, 1606, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn is the greatest painter in Dutch history, and one of the greatest painters in all of the history of Europe. Like so many of the great painters, Rembrandt's life was marked by hardship and financial difficulty.

What are the characteristics of 17th century Dutch painting? ›

Looking at17th-Century Dutch Painting features much of the range of this artistic production. The appeal of these paintings can be attributed to their relatively small scale (Dutch houses tended to be tall and narrow), the naturalistic style in which they are painted, and the prosaic nature of their subject matter.

What was the importance of landscape paintings in Dutch culture? ›

Although many still life and every-day scene (called 'genre') paintings were full of symbolic meaning, landscapes were often painted for the sheer joy of it. A national pride as well as some escapism from ever-expanding city life was no doubt part of the reason for the popularity of Dutch landscape paintings.

What are the characteristics of Dutch landscape painting? ›

These paintings belong to the so-called 'tonal phase' of Dutch landscape painting, characterised by the use of a restricted palette to depict unprepossessing tracts of land, including river scenes and the dune landscape by the coast, with its sandy soil, scarce vegetation and scattered human dwellings.

Who was a famous Dutch painter from the 1600s? ›

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669)

Perhaps the greatest and most famous portrait painter of all time, Rembrandt van Rijn was a master of observation, chiaroscuro and, perhaps most importantly, brutal honesty, as seen in his most famous works, the self-portraits.

Who were the Dutch master painters? ›

Dutch Golden Age painting

Who are most famous artists of the 17th century famous painters during the Dutch Golden Age? ›

Rembrandt, Hals, Leyster

Hendrick ter Brugghen, Gerrit van Honthorst, Frans Hals, and Judith Leyster were important genre painters of the Dutch Republic. Rembrandt painted history paintings, portraits, genre paintings, landscape and is probably the most well-known of all painters of the Dutch Golden Age.

Which five were famous English painters of the 17th century? ›

Born 17th century
  • Emmanuel de Critz (1608–1665)
  • William Dobson (1610–1646)
  • John Michael Wright (1617–1694)
  • Peter Lely (1618–1680) – Principal Painter in Ordinary to Charles II (1661)
  • Oliver de Critz (1626–1651)
  • Henry Gibbs (1630/1–1713)
  • Edward Bower (fl. 1635–1667)
  • Henry Cooke (1642–1700)

What is 17th century art called? ›

The Baroque (UK: /bəˈrɒk/, US: /bəˈroʊk/; French: [baʁɔk]) is a style of architecture, music, dance, painting, sculpture, poetry, and other arts that flourished in Europe from the early 17th century until the 1750s.

Was the most renowned Dutch female painter of the 17th century? ›

Clara Peeters (1594–1657?), a pioneer of still-life painting and the only Flemish woman known to have specialized in the genre as early as the first decade of the 17th century.

What artists was one of the first Dutch still-life painters? ›

Van Aelst, who worked in Paris and Florence before settling in Amsterdam, was one of the first still-life painters to depict hunt trophies. His superb illusions of fur, feathers, and flesh set a major precedent for later French, British, and American sporting still lifes.

Who was the most famous Dutch woman artist of the 17th century? ›

A pioneer in the field of still-life painting, Clara Peeters is the only Flemish woman known to have specialized in such pictures as early as the first decade of the 17th century.

Which of the following artist is known as greatest Dutch landscape painter? ›

Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1525-1530-1569) was considered the most significant artist of Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting. He is known for his landscapes and scenes of everyday peasant workers.

What four types of paintings were common in the Dutch Republic? ›

Many people hung their best artworks in the large front rooms of their houses where they met the public or conducted business. While in the early 1600s there was a demand for Biblical scenes, by the mid-1600s the market was dominated by portraits, landscapes, still lifes, and genre works.

Who was the brilliant Dutch painter? ›

Dutch painter and printmaker Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–69) is considered one of the greatest storytellers in art, unusually gifted in rendering people in various moods and guises.

What types of paintings did Dutch artists in Holland specialize in during the 17th century? ›

In the seventeenth century, painting was divided into roughly five categories: histories, including subjects from the Bible, history, mythology and allegories; landscapes, including seascapes and a variety of marine paintings; still-lives; genre painting; portraits.

What was the primary factor that made the Dutch so influential in the 17th century? ›

Taking advantage of a favorable agricultural base, the Dutch achieved success in the fishing industry and the Baltic and North Sea carrying trade during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries before establishing a far-flung maritime empire in the seventeenth century.

What did Dutch 17th century still-life paintings symbolize? ›

Made famous by Dutch and Flemish artists of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, vanitas still-life paintings express the transience of life and the futility of materialism. This tradition also provided a justification for painting beautiful and expensive objects instead of more overtly moralizing subjects.

What are the three 3 major components of landscape painting? ›

Inform students that the three parts they have assembled are called the foreground, middle ground, and background of the painting (see glossary).

What was one type of painting especially popular with the Dutch? ›

In particular, this Golden Age of Dutch painting is famous for what has become known as "Dutch Realism" - a highly detailed, true-life form of portrait art and genre painting, which proved very popular with the country's affluent middle class.

What are the three major components of landscape painting? ›

I can stay focused on what is most important for a successful landscape painting outcome: the big composition shapes, value masses and color temperatures.

What is Dutch art known for? ›

The history of Dutch art is dominated by the Dutch Golden Age painting, mostly of about 1620 to 1680, when a very distinct style and new types of painting were developed, though still keeping close links with Flemish Baroque painting. There was a healthy artistic climate in Dutch cities during the seventeenth century.

What characteristics are the Dutch known for? ›

Dutch Demeanour
  • Appearances are important to the Dutch.
  • They are disciplined, conservative, and pay attention to the smallest details.
  • They see themselves as thrifty, hardworking, practical and well organized.
  • They place high value on cleanliness and neatness.
  • At the same time, the Dutch are very private people.

What is a key characteristic of Dutch still life painting? ›

A distinctive style termed pronkstilleven, meaning 'ostentatious still life', evolved. They feature tables laden with fruit, dead game animals, cheeses and flowers. The paintings represent objects available to wealthy people yet sometimes include an element of fantasy.

Who were the Dutch Golden Age painters? ›

Dutch Golden Age

What is the name of one of the most famous Dutch Golden Age paintings? ›

Jan Vermeer (1632—1675)

Like many other representatives of the Dutch Golden Age painting, he was fascinated by light and its subtle rendering on canvas. The most vivid example is his most famous work, Girl with a Pearl Earring.

Who were the master painters of the Dutch Golden Age? ›

Among many others, included are Frans Hals, Rembrandt, Nicolaes Maes, Jan Lievens, Judith Leyster, Gerrit Dou, Gerrit van Honthorst, Adriaen Brouwer, Jan Steen, Hendrick Avercamp, Jacob van Ruisdael, Pieter de Hooch, Johannes Vermeer and Rachel Ruysch.

Who is the greatest Dutch master? ›

Rembrandt van Rijn is generally regarded as the most important Dutch Golden Age painter. The Night Watch and The Jewish Bride are among his best known works, and exhibitioned in Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum.

Where are Dutch people from? ›

The Dutch people are from the Netherlands.

Who are the people known as Dutch? ›

The Dutch (Dutch: Nederlanders) are a Germanic ethnic group and nation native to the Netherlands. They share a common ancestry and culture and speak the Dutch language.

How popular is Dutch? ›

Dutch language
EthnicityDutch Flemings Indo
Native speakers25 million (2021) Total (L1 plus L2 speakers): 30 million (2021)
Language familyIndo-European Germanic West Germanic Weser-Rhine Germanic Low Franconian (Frankish) Dutch
Early formsFrankish Old Dutch Middle Dutch
18 more rows

What 16th Dutch painter is famous for his multitude of self-portraits? ›

Rembrandt made nearly 100 self-portraits from the 1620s until his death in 1669, including around 50 paintings as well as dozens of etchings and drawings.

What 16th Dutch painter is famous for his multitude of self-portraits group of answer choices? ›

Although few of his paintings left the Dutch Republic during his lifetime, his prints were widely circulated throughout Europe. Rembrandt's extensive self-portraits are notable in that they inform a unique visual biography of the artist.

Who was the famous 17th century Dutch painter? ›

The collection of Dutch seventeenth-century paintings in the National Gallery of Art includes works by well-known masters of the period, including Rembrandt van Rijn , Johannes Vermeer , Frans Hals , and Aelbert Cuyp .

Who was the most important painter of the 17th century? ›

Rembrandt was one of the most prolific and significant artists in Europe of the 17th century.

Who were the most important English landscape artist? ›

The great flowering of English landscape paintings came during the first half of the 19th century, primarily in the work of two masters, John Constable and J.M.W. Turner.

What influenced art in the 17th century? ›

In the early part of the 17th century, late mannerist and early Baroque tendencies continued to flourish in the court of Marie de' Medici and Louis XIII. Art from this period shows influences from both the north of Europe (Dutch and Flemish schools) and from Roman painters of the Counter-Reformation.

What art style was popular in the 1700s? ›

In Western art history, the movements most often associated with the 18th century include the Rococo and Neoclassicism, while the artists most often associated with the period are Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Jean-Antoine Watteau, and Jacques-Louis David.

What happened with art on the 17th century? ›

Artists in seventeenth-century Europe changed aesthetics towards a focus on greater realism, dynamic forms, and dramatic compositions. This Baroque style—developed in and often associated with Rome—spread to affect visual and decorative arts, architecture, and urban design across Europe.

Who are two well known Renaissance painters from the Netherlands? ›

  • Pieter Aertsen.
  • Simon Bening.
  • Hieronymus Bosch.
  • Pieter Brueghel the Elder.
  • Pieter Brueghel the Younger.
  • Joachim Beuckelaer.
  • Joos van Cleve.
  • Pieter Coecke van Aelst.


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