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Publication Date

2010

Abstract

In this article it is argued that cultural values should be included in policy making on the Dutch countryside. Since the seventeenth century the Dutch landscape had been a valued subject for art painters. This inheritance provides our rural areas a unique cultural value. The focus of this article is the region surrounding The Hague, where painters from the so-called Hague School had brought a large number of sites to their canvases. This group of painters was mainly active in the second half of the nineteenth century. For this study, various sites have been located that had been painted by members of The Hague School. For these sites, the ancient paintings will be presented, as well as the views of the current situation. From comparing the scenery on the painting with current situation it follows that much of the nineteenth century rural landscapes of The Hague nowadays have been eroded by urbanisation. During the last few decades a lot of these sites have disappeared. However, some of the located sites have not changed much since the moment they have been painted, and a few are still virtually identical to the scenes in the old paintings. It follows that protecting this specific cultural aspect of the Dutch countryside is an urgent matter that should be put on the agenda of landuse policy-making as soon as possible.

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