Johan de Lagoor (Haarlem, Netherlands, ca. 1625 – ca. 1660)
Landscape with Four Trees
Oil on canvas, 90 x 124 cm
Signed at the bottom left, on the felled tree trunk: "J D Lagoor"
Johan de Lagoor (or Jan Lagoor) is a little-known artist today, although he painted landscapes of superlative quality. He spent his career in Haarlem, where he is recorded as active between 1645 and 1653, and in Amsterdam from 1657 to 1660. His work has often been mistaken for that of better-known artists of his generation who, like Lagoor, specialised in painting naturalistic landscapes in which the composition and limited palette gave these nature scenes a unique coherence and beauty. Among the painters closest to Lagoor, we might mention Cornelis Vroom (ca. 1591–1661), to whom he may have been apprenticed, and Jacob van Ruisdael (ca. 1628/1629–1682).
In Landscape with Four Trees, the golden tinge of the light and the interest in the rhythmic patterns of nature—visible in the trees grouped on the left of the composition, the geometric outlines of the fields and the dramatic cloud formations—remind of us Ruisdael, although the tone of Lagoor's work is somewhat less dramatic. The preference for panoramic views and his ability to offer a majestic vision of nature are also typical of Lagoor's approach to landscape painting. [Alejandro Vergara]