Jan van Goyen

Snowball Fight

Snowball Fight
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Jan van Goyen
Genre Painting, Drawings, Brush and brown and grey wash, 14.6x25.7 cm
Origin: Holland, 1625

Painter, draughtsman and etcher, Jan van Goyen was famed for his landscapes. This piece is one of a group of early drawings, in technique, style and subject evidence of just how much the artist was influenced by his tutor Esaias van de Velde. The careful execution, well thought out composition, the presence of the date and the artist’s signature are all evidence that the drawing was created as a finished work in its right, and was intended for sale.

A village street runs along the diagonal into the distance, and in the foreground are the local inhabitants, caught up in their snowball fight. Using only simple artistic means, the master creates an entertaining little scene in which the figures use broad gestures and have vivid facial expressions. The subject is treated with the realism typical of Dutch 17th-century genre painting.

Source of entry: Department of Preservation of Works of Art and Antiquities, Petrograd, 1921

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