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A River near a Town, by Moonlight

Photo credit: The National Gallery, London

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Aert van der Neer was one of the most successful specialists in moonlit landscapes, and this is one of many he painted. The moon here has appeared only briefly, breaking through a tiny gap in a cloudy sky. The cool light creates a contrast between the deep darkness in the shadowy outlines of the town and the highlights on the rooftops and gable ends. It reflects dully off the surface of the river and washes over the fields and farmsteads on the opposite bank.

The National Gallery, London



about 1645


Oil on oak


H 30.3 x W 48.4 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bequeathed by Lord Colborne, 1854

Work type


The National Gallery, London

Trafalgar Square, London, Greater London WC2N 5DN England

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