Jacob van Ruisdael

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Related to Jacob van Ruisdael: Salomon van Ruysdael

Ruisdael, Jacob van

Ruisdael or Ruysdael, Jacob van (both: yäˈkōp vän roisˈdäl), c.1628–1682, Dutch painter and etcher, the most celebrated of the Dutch landscape painters. He studied with his father Isack and perhaps with his uncle Salomon van Ruysdael, a well-known Haarlem landscapist. He first worked in Haarlem, moveing to Amsterdam in 1656. Late in life, he obtained a medical degree and practiced as a physician. Ruisdael's characteristic work shows northern nature in a somber mood. His dramatic skies are usually overcast, throwing a restless flux of light over the countryside. Gnarled, knotted oak and beech trees are rendered with extraordinary accuracy. Ruisdael's later works show great breadth of stroke, dramatizing humanity's insignificance amid the splendor of nature. Important paintings include Jewish Cemetery (c.1655, Detroit Inst. of Art) and Wheatfields (c.1670, Metropolitan Mus.). He also produced some very fine etchings. Possessed of a romantic sensibility before the advent of romanticism, Ruisdael anticipated and inspired many of the great French and English landscapists of the next two centuries. Of his pupils, Meindert Hobbema was the most outstanding. The Rijksmuseum, the National Gallery, London, and many American collections have examples of his work.


See W. Stechow, Dutch Landscape Painting of the Seventeenth Century (1968); S. Slive, Jacob van Ruisdael: A Complete Catalogue of His Paintings, Drawings, and Etchings (2002), Jacob Van Ruisdael: Master of Landscape (2005), and Jacob van Ruisdael: Windmills and Water Mills (2011).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ruisdael, Jacob van


Born in 1628 or 1629 in Haarlem; died in 1682 in Amsterdam; buried Mar. 14, 1682, in Haarlem. Dutch painter and graphic artist.

Ruisdael, who probably studied with his uncle S. van Ruysdael, was influenced by the work of P. Potter, J. van Goyen, and H. Seghers. In 1648 he became a master in the guild of Haarlem. Ruisdael’s early works are modest views of Haarlem’s environs (for example, The Small House in the Grove, 1646, Hermitage, Leningrad). From roughly 1650 to 1655, Ruisdael traveled throughout eastern Holland and western Germany. During his period abroad he painted a number of dramatic landscapes, including The Jewish Cemetery (Dresden Picture Gallery; variant in the Detroit Institute of Arts).

Ruisdael settled in Amsterdam circa 1656. In his mature period he painted urban, rural, river, and sea views (for example. The Millage of Egmond aan Zee, Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow; Windmill at Wijk, 1661, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam). He also painted Norwegian mountain landscapes (Waterfalls, Mauritshuis, The Hague) and scenes of thickets along marshes and forest streams (The Marsh, Hermitage). His Norwegian landscapes are reminiscent of the works of A. Everdingen. Precise line and palpable form are combined in these works with an exquisite rendering of aerial perspective and a play of light and shadow. Ruisdael’s colors are marked by subtle gradations of tone. The juxtaposition of ashen gray and faded green foliage, grayish brown soil, and a blue cloud-filled sky predominates.

The emotional tension in many of Ruisdael’s later works eventually took the form of subjective gloom (for example, Mountains in Norway, Hermitage).


Fekhner, E. Iu. lakob van Reisdal i ego kartiny v Gosudarstvennom Ermitazhe. Leningrad, 1958.
Rosenberg, J. Jacob van Ruisdael. Boston [1928].
Wiegand, W. Ruisdael-Studien. Hamburg, 1968. (Dissertation.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Jacob van Ruisdael, View over Amsterdam and the IJ, ca.
CUTLINE: This flower arrangement by Kathryn Costello in last year's show complements the painting "View of the IJ on a Stormy Day" by Jacob van Ruisdael.
Jacob Van Ruisdael: Master of Landscape February 25th to June 4th
His experience of the French countryside was informed by his memory of the works of Jacob van Ruisdael, Aelbert Cuyp, and other 17th-century Dutch landscapists.
Among the color plates are two paintings by Emanuel De Witte (Interior of a Church and Interior of the Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam) and four paintings by Jacob van Ruisdael (Wheatfields, Landscape with Blasted Tree by a Cottage, and two renditions of The Jewish Cemetery).
He enlisted the help of artists as diverse as Fuseli, Joseph Wright of Derby, Francis Wheatley and Sir Joshua Reynolds for a series of huge canvases of Shakespearean scenes, mainly classical in composition and reminiscent of masters such as Poussin, Jacob van Ruisdael or even Rubens.
Loosely defined as such, the genre includes a wide range of pictures, from the foundational Small Landscapes published in 1559 by Hieronymus Cock, through the multiple print series of the 1610s of the local land around Haarlem, to the dunes and hovels of Jan van Goyen and the gnarled trees of Jacob van Ruisdael. Gibson's brief is to sort out the ways in which these lowland pictur es meant for their viewers: a daunting task, given the plurality of debate about the historicist way to view pictures of the local scene.
The five stolen paintings are Rubens' Portrait of Dominican Monk and Venus Supplicating Jupiter; Wilem Van Der Velde's The Calm Sea; The Adoration of the Shepherd by Adrien Van Ostade and The Corn Field by Jacob Van Ruisdael. Two of the masterpieces, including one by Rubens, were stolen in 1986 and later recovered.
Thus, the pastoral landscapes of Jacob van Ruisdael become his bucolic childhood home, the harbor scenes by Turner conjure up the busy wharves of Pittsburgh, where he made his fortune, and the satins and laces that adorn the gowns of Joshua Reynolds' English aristocratic ladies reflect his love of such finery, acquired when he worked in a millinery shop early in his career.
The copy of a wintry scene by Dutch artist Jacob Van Ruisdael had originally been a perfect version.
Military and maritime power coincided with a flowering of intellectual and artistic genius that included not only Rene Descartes, Benedict de Spinoza and Joost van den Vondel (whose plays influenced Milton's Paradise Lost), but also the painters Frans Hals, Rembrandt, Jacob van Ruisdael and Vermeer.
Paintings by David Bailly, Pieter Claesz, and Simon Verelst demonstrate the development of still life, and the works of Maerten de Cock and Jacob van Ruisdael present dramatic shifts in approach to landscape.