Dutch Landscape Drawings - Room 302
This room presents "The Aesthetics of Naturalism" and "Black Chalk".
The Aesthetics of Naturalism
Although the naturalists related to reality and imitated its appearance, their works were also to a high degree created in a dialogue with the discussions and aesthetic ideals prevalent in their own time. The most significant of these ideals found expression in the concept schilderachtig, meaning painterly. The concept nurtures the idea that some aspects of reality are better suited as a motif for art than others, being characteristic of nature due to their particular appearance. This section of the exhibition examines more closely some of the naturalists’ aesthetic ideals and the way these ideals directed their relationship to the local landscape.
Black chalk was the preferred drawing implement of the naturalists. As its tone can be graduated, chalk enabled artists to create a coherent effect of light in their landscapes by sketching the changeability of the light and the atmosphere of the air, thus intensifying the persuasive power of the drawings. The artists exploited this possibility to the full, and it is characteristic of their way of drawing that the chalk is employed to describe the play of light on surfaces, rather than establishing clearly defined lines and contours.