Meindert Hobbema Biography
Dutch landscape painter. He worked in his native Amsterdam, where he was the friend and only documented pupil of Jacob van Ruisdael. Some of his pictures are very like Ruisdael's, but his range was more limited and he lacked the latter's power to capture the majesty of nature. He painted a narrow range of favorite subjects--particularly water-mills and trees around a pool--over and over again. In 1668 he became a wine gauger with the Amsterdam customs and excise, and thereafter seems to have painted only in his spare time. His most famous work, however, The Avenue at Middelharnis (National Gallery, London), dates from 1689. Hobbema has been a popular artist in England (his influence is clear in Gainsborough's early landscapes) and he is outstandingly well represented in English collections.