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Herman Saftleven, Rhine landscape with many boats, 1649.

Herman Saftleven, Rhine landscape with many boats, 1649.

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Herman Saftleven

This huge landscape (93 x 120,5 cm) from 1649 is a masterpiece in the oeuvre of the Dutch landscape painter Herman Saftleven (1609-1685), who lived in times when industrial hemp was cultivated in various regions in the Netherlands. A ship is loaded with plant material, presumably hemp, and bales are being carried to the riverbank and loaded onto the cart. On the other side of the river, workers seem to be inserting hemp fibres in between the joints of the hull (a process known as caulking) to make the ship watertight. The sails of the boats on the water are definitely made from hemp textiles. Besides being an impressive atmospheric landscape, this painting is a fascinating documentary record of the industrial uses of hemp in the past.

Many of the images on the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum website are available for reproduction. Please contact us for more information.

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