Old Master Paintings
Jan van Goyen was a tireless observer and faithful interpreter of the Dutch countryside. At the end of the 1630s his interest turned towards riverscapes and seascapes. The first example of his small-size pictures tackling this theme, composed in upright format, is his Calm Sea dated 1638 (London, National Gallery), which was followed by no fewer than twenty similar compositions. The Budapest version, the pleasing effect of which is created by its stronger illumination and lighter colours can be dated to the middle of the following decade. Although the painter populated the foreground with the figures of characteristic, hard-working fishermen, the protagonist “of the picture is the cloud-filled sky painted with great artistry”.
This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.