Jacob Van Ruisdael Netherlands
6-1629 Haarlem, NED – 3-10-1682 Amsterdam, NEDBack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Jacob van Ruisdael is the most famous of four Ruysdael family members who created landscape paintings. Salomon van Ruysdael, whose works also are in the collections of some world-famous museums, was his uncle. Jacob has long been confused with his cousin, confusingly called Jacob van Ruysdael.
During his early phase, the Haarlem years, starting in 1646, Jacob van Ruisdael predominantly painted Dutch countryside scenes, of, for a teenager, remarkable quality. In 1650 he traveled to the German border and started painting monumental scenes. In his final stage, while living and working in Amsterdam, he added city panoramas and seascapes to his regular repertoire, in which the sky often took up two thirds of the canvas. Waterfalls feature 160 times in his oeuvre.
Around 1657 he moved to Amsterdam, most likely because its prosperity offered him a bigger audience. Jacob van Ruisdael lived and worked in Amsterdam for the rest of his life. In 1668 his name appears there as a witness to the marriage of Meindert Hobbema, his only registered pupil, whose works have also been confused with his own.
Some have inferred from his two famous paintings of a Jewish cemetery that Jacob van Ruisdael was Jewish, but there is no evidence to support this.
He was strongly influenced by other contemporary Haarlem landscapists however, most notably Cornelis Vroom, who created atmospheric, detailed landscapes, Nicolaes Berchem, a friend with whom he travelled, Allaert van Everdingen, who created Nordic landscapes with waterfalls, and Roelant Roghman, who created popular dramatic castle themes on hillsides.
Indisputable proof of Jacob van Ruisdael's extraordinary creative power is offered by his Scandinavian waterfall paintings. He never went to Scandinavia, but fellow Haarlem painter van Everdingen had. He soon outstripped van Everdingen's finest efforts, in the end producing 160 works featuring waterfalls, of which Waterfall in a Mountainous Landscape with a Ruined Castle, c. 1665-1670, is seen as his grandest.
Unsurprisingly, a typical Dutch landscape with windmill is his most famous work. Its enduring popularity is evidenced by card sales in the Rijksmuseum, with the Windmill ranking third after Rembrandt’s Nightwatch and Vermeer’s View of Delft.
The art of Jacob van Ruisdael, while it shows little of the scientific knowledge of later landscapists, is sensitive and poetic in sentiment, and direct and skilful in technique.
Among the many artists influenced by Jacob van Ruisdael are, besides his pupil Hobbema, the English painters Gainsborough, Turner, and Constable. Gainsborough drew, in black chalk and gray wash, a replica of a Ruisdael in the 1740s -now both in the Louvre in Paris.
Art Movement: Dutch Golden Age
Influences: Cornelis Vroom, Allaert van Everdingen
Traveled: Germany, France
Influenced: Meindert Hobbema, Thomas Gainsborough, J. M. W. Turner, John Constable, Vincent van Gogh