Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from June, 2014

Chiaroscuro Landscapes with a Forgotten Dutch Master

Italian landscape, ca. 1645


Born around 1615 in Utrecht, Netherlands, Jan Dirksz Both was a painter and etcher whose dramatic landscapes influenced Dutch painting deeply. Both spent time in Rome and Venice where he discovered several Masters, including the vibrant landscapes of Claude Lorrain. Where Lorrain used Classicism heavily in his paintings, with Roman architecture and figures, Both concentrated more on the luminous effects of light and elevated trees to a noble kind of natural architecture. Both also created atmosphere and mood with perspective in a way that not only depicts a view, but invites us to share a beautiful moment of fleeting sunlight.


In Italian landscape above, Both leaves much of the foreground in shadow, something most landscape painters would never do. Note how the light is coming from the far left, beyond the frame of the painting. Look at how it falls across the rustic path—Both creates a sliver of light where his figures stand, on horseback, possibly on a jo…