Noordmolen, Zouteveen/ Schipluiden

Reconstruction of the Noordmolen (north mill). The hump in the landscape is still visible today.

Oil, Jongkind, 1890, private collection

Noordmolen

 

In the days when Jongkind walked along the canals here, there were several mills in the Zouteveense Polder. Judging from the title, and from the similarity with the landscape and the mill site, this painting probably shows the Noordmolen. 

The mill, which used to pump the polders dry, was built around 1832, possibly earlier, but is known to have been demolished in 1884. 

In 1883, the Zouteveenschepolder was equipped with a steam-powered pumping station, right next to the Schouwmolen. The foundations of the demolished mill were used to build the house for the operator. After the construction of this pump station, the other two mills, the Noordmolen and the Middelmolen, lost their function and were broken down as well. 

 

Romantic or Impressionistic
JWe dare conclude that Jongkind must have made his sketch before 1884. and only in 1890 did he turn it into an oil painting. This is a reoccuring pattern we encounter in the works of Jongkind. 

 

Looking at this painting the 'woolly' brushstroke is striking. Many say Jongkind never truly left the Romantic tradition like the impressionists he inspired with his work, however, these loose strokes do display a true impressionistic touch. Next to the windwatermill we encounter a subject which we find back in many of Jongkinds (Dutch) landscapes: The tow barge. 

New developments as a subject

When Jongkind wandered around in these polders, the barge was a fast means of transportation between the cities in the water-rich Netherlands, and in the golden age, it gave a strong impulse to economic and social developments. During Jongkind's lifetime, the steam train and steam boats were introduced. These new developments were also given a place in his paintings although the tow barge seems to remain connected  in Jongkinds memory of Holland. 

 

Last paintings

A few months after making this painting, on 9 February 1891, Jongkind died in La Côte Saint-André, where he was also buried. At the time of his death there were three paintings on the easels, one of which had a Dutch subject...