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Jan Both

Utrecht c.1615-1652 Utrecht

Both was born in Utrecht between 1610 awl 1618- probably about 1615. He was first apprenticed to his father, the glass painter Dirck Both and afterwards, together with his brother Andries, to Abraham Bloemaert in Utrecht. He went with his brother, via France, to Rome and was there probably from 1635, He was in Rome certainly in 1638, 1639 and 1641 and in that year returned to Utrecht where be is recorded in 1644, 1648, 1649 and 1650. He died there in 1652. His landscapes, of which very few are dated, are almost exclusively in an Italianate style. He had many followers, pupils and imitators and was enormously influential in the development of landscape painting in Holland.
Both was undoubtedly the most gifted Dutch painter of Italianate landscapes and this view is a line example of his accomplishment. His indebtednes to Claude is evident in the warm golden light and his clear control of the composition consisting of multiple roads and plains. But, to these elements Both weds beautifully his own inherently Northern traits, most notably his love of the specific over the general in nature. He lovingly depicts every detail of the scene and the mood is one of peaceful abundance. The sense of prevailing order is shaped by the all-embracing sunlight and the refined composition into which the rural travelers are so skillfully blended.

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