"Bread Field (Wheat Fields) – Jacob van Reusdal
Description of the picture:
Bread Field – Jacob van Reusdal. Around 1670. Oil on canvas. 100×130.2
Jacob van Reusdal, an outstanding Dutch master of landscape genres, captured on his canvas the breathtaking image of his native land. The plain expanses, depicted as a living creature, seem to be animated by the all-subjugating force of nature.
The composition of the picture is built on a central perspective, supported by the road in the foreground, dividing the composition into two parts. With her slightly zigzag movement, she draws the viewer’s gaze to the buildings, through the trees peering in the background. A small horizon allows the cloudy sky, which occupies two-thirds of the canvas, to expand to its full breadth. Somewhere the sun’s rays manage to break through the clouds, spilling gold in the fields, reflected in various colors in light and shadow.
Three lonely figures distinguishable on the road – a lady with a child and a traveler walking towards them – seem lost in the majestic picture of nature, as if showing that life obeys not human, but higher laws. The dry branches and tree trunks in the foreground seem to reflect the concept of vanitas ("vanity") – the mortality of earthly existence. The dormant state dominating the composition is disturbed by a slight trepidation and a slightly noticeable melancholy apprehension, reflecting the romantic dramatic nature of the artist’s character."