Hobbima, Minderhout

, a very eminent painter, is supposed to have been born about 1611, at Antwerp; but the master from whom he received his instruction is not known. He studied entirely after nature, sketching every | scene that afforded him pleasure, and his choice was exceedingly picturesque. His grounds are always agreeably broken, and he was particularly fond of describing slopes diversified with shrubs, plants, or trees, which conducted the eye to some building, ruin, grove, or piece of water, and frequently to a delicate remote distance; every object perspectively contributing to delude our observation to that point. The forms of his trees are not unlike Ruysdael and Dekker; and in all his pictures he shews an admirable knowledge of the chiaroscuro. His colouring is extremely good, and his skies evidently shew that he made nature his principal director, by the shape and disposition of his clouds, as also by those peculiar tints, by which he expressed the rising and setting of the sun, the morning and evening. His touch is light, free, and firm; and his paintings have a very striking effect, by the happy distribution of his light and shadow. The figures which he himself designed are but indifferent, which was a defect imputable to Claude Lorraine and Caspar Poussin, as well as to Hobbima; but the latter, conscious of his inability in that respect, admitted but few figures into his designs, and those he usually placed somewhat removed from the immediate view, at a prudent distance from the front line. However, most of his pictures were supplied with figures by Ostade, Teniers, and other very famous masters, which must always give them a great additional value. The works of Hobbima are now exceedingly scarce, and industriously sought for. A very fine landscape of his, the property of the late Edward Coxe, esq. was sold a few years ago for nearly 700l. 1

1 Pilkington.