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Planted solidly on the earth, it is an incarnation of force; it seems as if it had grown up quite naturally from the soil, forming an integral part of the surroundings.It is in perfect harmony with the natural scenery around, built of native brick or thatched with reed as it is.Among the products of the technical ingenuity of man, windmills in their primitive shape and appearance will appeal even more purely and directly to our feelings than the later discoveries of technical skill, such as radar-controlled or automatic-pilot aeroplanes.One should therefore be conscious of owing the windmills a debt of gratitude of more than a couple of centuries.A painting reveals to us in particular how the artist was impressed by the windmill as part of a landscape or a townscape.If we have not yet recognized this quite so clearly in reality, the painting will confront us directly with the essential fascination exerted by a windmill on its surroundings.These two words, wind and water, have a very special fascination for the true-born Dutchman.
van Tienhoven, founder and first chairman of 'De Hollandsche Molen'.Just as in a well-painted portrait, it shows us the true character of that which the painter put on the canvas - its deeper meaning.Just let us have a look, for instance, at the Frozen Canal near Dordrecht, by Leickert, one of the painters of the Romantic School of the middle of the last century.We hope they may help to deepen the fascination which windmills exert on the spectator, and to add to the pleasure of seeing them in their own natural surroundings.'The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and wither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.' In the Dutch landscape the windmill is symbolic of the gravity of the Dutch character.
Anyone looking at such a print of Amsterdam or Leiden will be surprised to see the large number of windmills on the ramparts, which, when viewed from the environs, must have entirely dominated the silhouette of the town.