Oil on oak panel. Monogrammed AV DN lower right.
Emblematic of van der Neer's art, our composition features figures in a moonlit lakeside landscape. On the outskirts of a village, whose bell tower can be made out in the background, three protagonists are chatting around a fire, while a fourth, standing on a frail wooden bridge, is fishing. The diffuse moonlight subtly reveals the relief and escarpments. Van der Neer's mastery of the glow of night creates a poetic scene. And although he wasn't successful in his own lifetime, he is undoubtedly the master of the nightscape, and posterity will do him justice. Indeed, many of his works are held in the world's most prestigious museums: Rijksmuseum, Louvre Museum, Hermitage Museum, National Gallery in London, Kunst Historisches Museum in Vienna, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Mauritshuis and Alte Pinakothek in Munich.
The work is elegantly set off by its Louis XIII period French carved and gilded wooden frame.
Dimensions: 34 x 43 cm - 48 x 57.5 cm with frame
Aert van der Neer (Amsterdam 1603/1604 - id. 1677) was a landscape painter known for his winter scenes and moonlit landscapes. Aert (Aernout) van der Neer was born in Amsterdam, and documents found after his death indicate that he spent his youth near Gorinchem in the southern Netherlands. It is not known when van der Neer left the Gorinchem area or with whom he apprenticed. However, in 1629, he is known to have returned to Amsterdam, where he is registered as a painter. In the same year, he married Lysbeth Govert, who bore him six children, including the future genre painter Eglon van der Neer (1634-1703).