Landscape with a Mill
Sébastien Bourdon, French, Landscape with a Mill, ca. 1653- 1657, Oil on canvas; 86 x 105.1 cm (33 7/8 x 41 3/8 inches), Mary B. Jackson Fund 51.506
Bourdon’s body of work included Italian genre themes, religious subjects and portraits, and classical landscapes, executed as commissions won in Rome, Paris, and Stockholm. Rhythmic construction and luminosity characterize Landscape with a Mill, painted after his return to Paris from Stockholm in the early 1650s. Bourdon’s fine draftsmanship animates a succession of shaded and silvery-lit trees that lead the eye through the imagined terrain, alternating with reflective ponds and masses of clouds. The traveler who crouches to drink from a stream is barely noticeable amid the brilliantly ordered passages of foliage, waterfalls, mountains and sky.