Peace and space
It comes from afar exudes peace and space. All the lines in this painting lead to a single point on the horizon, which creates enormous depth. The peace is emphasized by the emptiness of the landscape: a few ducks by the water’s edge, a fisherman and a man walking away with a fishing rod in his hand.
The modern era
And yet, this painting is not just about the depiction of the idyllic atmosphere of a Dutch polder landscape. In the distance, with a heavy plume of smoke, a steam train rumbles towards us. The modern era is suddenly a forceful presence in this timeless landscape. Gabriël is not the only painter fascinated by this new, rapid form of transport. William Turner, Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh also depict the steam train in the landscape or at the station.
Strictly ordered composition
Gabriël is considered one of the Hague School painters. These artists were also called the Dutch impressionists. He is known mainly for his polder landscapes with a windmill, a canal, a few fishermen and high skies. The strictly ordered composition, almost according to mathematical rules, is characteristic for his landscapes, as in this painting.