View of Haarlem from the Northwest, with the Bleaching Fields in the Foreground, Jacob Isaacksz van Ruisdael, c. 1650 - c. 1682
Foreigners experience the flat Dutch landscape as having a straight, low horizon extending under a vast sky with billowing cumulus clouds. This is how Ruisdael painted the Haarlem skyline in the distance, recognizable by the high roof of St Bavo’s. Lengths of cloth bleaching in the sun lie at the foot of the dunes in the foreground. The Haarlem linen industry relied on the pure dune water.