GOYEN, Jan van
(b. 1596, Leiden, d. 1656, Den Haag)

Beach at Scheveningen

Oil on canvas, 92,1 x 108 cm
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

In 1646 van Goyen made numerous drawings of Scheveningen, a fishing town on the North Sea coast, which he then used for paintings. His lively beach painting still offers the impression of spontaneous transcription, but he dramatized his drawings by raising the dunes and accentuating the cloud pattern. Most astounding is the apparent veracity of light filtered through packed clouds. Van Goyen's rather monochrome drawings could only approximate such a life-like atmosphere, and he must have created it in the studio from a remembered, mental image. Such painting, from the mind, was considered at least as important as drawing from life.

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