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Paulus van Liender

(1731 Utrecht – 1797 Haarlem)

Two Picturesque Woodland Scenes. Two watercolours over a preliminary drawing in graphite. Each approx. 31.6 x 28.5 cm. 

The appeal of these large-format landscapes, which were designed as companion pieces, stems from their atmospheric density and precise, concentrated execution. The prints date to the latter part of the artist’s career. Liender’s delicate watercolour technique creates a mild, idyllic chiaroscuro effect which, in aesthetic terms, is fully in harmony with the spirit of the age of gallantry. The landscape is flooded with light and radiates a delightful facility, while the skilfully arranged staf­fage figures lend additional atmosphere to the scene. Typical of the artist, and a frequently used stylistic feature, are the decoratively curved tree trunks with their widely spreading branches which hark back to earlier models, par­ticularly to the Dutch 17th century Italianates such as Jan Hackaert and Adam Pijnacker.

Paulus van Liender was trained by Jacob and Cornelis Pronk in Amsterdam. From 1774 to his death he worked in Haarlem, where he settled as a timber merchant. In his early years van Liender excelled as a topographical draughtsman in the tra­dition of Jan de Beijer, although the landscape drawings of his late period secured him greater renown.

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