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"Landscape with the City of Delft"

Phillips Konnips

Konnips' Dutch landscapes are best known for their lack of foreground detail. He developed this style partly because of his fascination with large canvases and because of his height. At 4' 7" (140cm) he could not see much of his subject from behind the canvas, even while standing on a stool, so clouds tended to predominate. The city of Delft in this painting is represented by the raised smudge at the extreme lower left. The thin bluish streak in the center is the Atlantic Ocean.

As a painter of landscapes Konnips was relatively successful. As a portraitist, less so. His huge canvas of the Bishop t'Hooft of Leiden, which had been commissioned by the Church to include the Bishop's wife and their six children, plus a rare parrot and two of the family's favorite dogs, was essentially a cloudscape with the upper portions of two hats visible below. And what he considered his masterpiece, the formal court portrait of the Burgomeister Hans Vroom of Hoofddorp, is usually listed in catalogues under the title "Storm Clouds with Wig and Eyebrows."


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