Jacob van Ruisdael

Jacob Isaackszoon van Ruisdael (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈjaːkɔp fɑn ˈrœyzˌdaːl] (listen); c. 1629 – 10 March 1682) was a Dutch painter, draughtsman, and etcher. He is generally considered the pre-eminent landscape painter of the Dutch Golden Age, a period of great wealth and cultural achievement when Dutch painting became highly popular.

Jacob van Ruisdael
Born
Jacob Isaackszoon van Ruisdael

1628 or 1629
Died(1682-03-10)10 March 1682
Amsterdam, Dutch Republic
NationalityDutch
Known forLandscape painting
Notable work
The Jewish Cemetery, Windmill at Wijk bij Duurstede, View of Haarlem with Bleaching Fields, The Ray of Light, A Wooded Marsh
MovementDutch Golden Age
Patron(s)Cornelis de Graeff (1599–1664)

Prolific and versatile, Van Ruisdael depicted a wide variety of landscape subjects. From 1646 he painted Dutch countryside scenes of remarkable quality for a young man. After a trip to Germany in 1650, his landscapes took on a more heroic character. In his late work, conducted when he lived and worked in Amsterdam, he added city panoramas and seascapes to his regular repertoire. In these, the sky often took up two-thirds of the canvas. In total he produced more than 150 Scandinavian views featuring waterfalls.

Van Ruisdael's only registered pupil was Meindert Hobbema, one of several artists who painted figures in his landscapes. Hobbema's work has at times been confused with Van Ruisdael's. There is difficulty in attributing Van Ruisdael's work, which has not been helped by the fact that three members of his family were also landscape painters, some of whom spelled their name "Ruysdael": his father Isaack van Ruisdael, his well-known uncle Salomon van Ruysdael, and his cousin, confusingly called Jacob van Ruysdael.

Van Ruisdael's work was in demand in the Dutch Republic during his lifetime. Today it is spread across private and institutional collections around the world; the National Gallery in London, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg hold the largest collections. Van Ruisdael shaped landscape painting traditions worldwide, from the English Romantics to the Barbizon school in France, and the Hudson River School in the US, and influenced generations of Dutch landscape artists.