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In the seventeenth century, the linen bleaching fields of Haarlem were considered to be the best in Europe. Linen was an important fabric and to fetch the highest prices its natural beige colour needed to be bleached white. The flat fields and ready water supply in the rivers and canals around Haarlem were ideal for this protracted process.
Oil on oak
H 52.5 x W 67.8 cm
Bequeathed by Sir John May, 1854