Castle by a River

Jan van Goyen Dutch

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 965

This scene of fishermen casting their net in front of a moated fortress catered to a taste for picturesque and ancient architecture. Working on the smooth surface of an oak panel allowed Van Goyen to achieve a variety of painterly effects and enliven a limited color palette as he evoked crumbling masonry, rippling water, or cottony clouds. Although the artist studied medieval monuments in preparing such scenes, the castle shown here is imaginary, pieced together from both observation and fantasy.

Castle by a River, Jan van Goyen (Dutch, Leiden 1596–1656 The Hague), Oil on wood

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