About this artwork

In the nineteenth century, Bougival emerged as a favourite spot for artists. It was located along the Seine just west of Paris, and like many other hamlets along the river, it was gradually being transformed into one of the city’s suburbs. Maris visited Bougival in 1871 while he was living in Paris. He had recently abandoned figure painting and instead showed an interest in landscape. This painting shows Maris’s absorption of a number of different influences, particularly the work of Daubigny in his broad strokes of the brush and arrangement of the scene. The lone figure in a rowing boat and the dilapidated old watermill look back to a past way of life. Maris deliberately rejected the encroachment of modern city life on the village. This small sketch was undoubtedly painted outside.

  • title: The Watermill, Bougival
  • accession number: NG 1471
  • artist: Jacob MarisDutch (1837 - 1899)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Rivers
  • date created: Dated 1871
  • measurements: 15.20 x 21.00 cm (framed: 34.50 x 40.00 x 9.00cm)
  • credit line: Bequest of Dr John Kirkhope 1920
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Jacob Maris

Jacob Maris

Born in The Hague, Maris trained in Antwerp and Paris, where he was greatly influenced by the art of the Barbizon painters. Much of his early work consisted of domestic scenes of figures. When Jacob returned to his native town in the summer of 1871, he had turned his back on figurative painting to concentrate on landscapes. These he tackled with his distinctive bold style. Maris’s masterful ability to capture light and atmosphere is evident in the numerous paintings he made of the same scene in slightly varying conditions. He became one of the most important members of an influential group of painters collectively known as the 'Hague School'. Despite teaching only three formal pupils (including his brother Willem), Maris’s paintings exerted an enormous influence on a number of artists.