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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.
Oil on oak
H 30.3 x W 48.4 cm
Bequeathed by Lord Colborne, 1854