Landscapes and cityscapes
The early landscape paintings of the 16th century gave way to more realistic and natural impressions in the 17th century. Drawings were made on site and alterations in perspective were made such as a lower horizon, which helped emphasise the impressive cloud formations of the region. Subjects included rivers and meadows, winter landscapes, the dunes of the western coastline and the Dutch seas, a theme that reflected the importance of trade and the glories of the Dutch navy. Cityscapes also became common with a focus on churches in particular.
Still life painting also became popular in this period giving the artists a chance to demonstrate skills in painting textures and surfaces. Examples of artists who practiced still life painting include: Ferdinand Bol, Albert Cuyp, Gerard Dou, Willem Drost, Carel Fabritius, Govert Flinck, Jan van Goyen, Frans Hals, Pieter de Hooch, Pieter Pieterszoon Lastman, Judith Leyster, Jan Lievens, Nicolaes Maes, Maria van Oosterwyck, Adriaen van Ostade, Paulus Potter, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, Rachel Ruysch, Pieter Saenredam, Jan Steen and Johannes Vermeer.