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Goyen, Jan van

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Jan van Goyen PAINTINGS and Biography

 Goyen Paintings
Jan van Goyen
1596 - 1656
Jan van Goyen was a Dutch artist and a leading exponent of realism in 17th-century Dutch landscape painting, and a master of its so-called tonal phase. Born in Leiden Jan van Goyen was also active in Haarlem before settling in The Hague in 1632. van Goyen began his training at the age of ten, frequently changing his teachers of whom only Esaias van de Velde had an influence on the composition of his early river landscape paintings and their diffused atmospheric qualities. Van Goyen developed a much-imitated model of a tonal landscape in which the sky is a dominant element. The subjects of van Goyen paintings are simple: a village by the river, a farmyard, sand dunes, shipping in a calm. They are enlivened by small figures engaged in daily activities. The human figure becomes almost insignificant in his panoramic view paintings of cities, such as the ‘Landscape with View of Leiden’ (1643, Alte Pinakothek, Munich), in which the sky and clouds are the major elements. In addition to painting, van Goyen made his living from property and art dealing, as well as the tulip trade. Van Goyen 's business took him to different parts of the country and to Germany. Van Goyen sketched a lot while travelling and used drawings as a basis for his paintings, frequently reworking the same composition and reusing motifs. The realism of some of his constructed landscape paintings is, therefore, superficial. He produced some 1200 paintings and 800 drawings. Despite van Goyen 's prolific and successful artistic career his speculation in tulips left him bankrupt. Among the imitators of van Goyen 's style was Salomon van Ruysdael, who followed it closely in the 1630s, as well as Jan Steen and numerous minor artists.

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