Dutch wind-mill: The last one in the row at Kortenhoef

Oil on canvas: 48 x 36 cm                 1880 ca.
The surrounding countryside of the small village of Kortenhoef was, with its’s polders, lakes and windmills, a favorite place for Paul Gabriël (1828-1903) to paint. Although belonging to The Hague School, Gabriël chose not only for a rural environment but also a more colourful palette than his friends, as he did in this small painting of a windmill. Windmills in the 19th century stood by the dozens in the flat and windy countryside in the west of Holland. Row upon row were built along the canals and natural waterways, to profit from the prevailing strong westerly winds. We recognize this one as the last in a row, because Gabriël himself pointed it out and named it in other paintings. Obviously, a preferred spot. It is already autumn with the leaves starting to turn. Gabriël used his softer pastel colours light blue and pink for the sky, creating a beautiful and calm day. The mill stands well outlined against the sky. A near perfect reflection in the water, gives height to the composition. Although small it is a very complete and strong work.