Jacob van Ruisdael
(Haarlem 1628/29-1682 Amsterdam)
Jacob van Ruisdael
(Haarlem 1628/29-1682 Amsterdam)
Jacob van Ruisdael
(Haarlem 1628/29-1682 Amsterdam)
2 More
Jacob van Ruisdael(Haarlem 1628/29-1682 Amsterdam)

A wooded river landscape with shepherds and their flock

Jacob van Ruisdael
(Haarlem 1628/29-1682 Amsterdam)
A wooded river landscape with shepherds and their flock
signed 'Ruisdael' (lower left)
oil on canvas
19 7/8 x 23 7/8 in. (50.6 x 60.8 cm.)
Pieter van Winter (1745-1807), Amsterdam, and by descent to his daughter,
Anna Louisa (1793-1877), who married in 1815 Willem van Loon (1790-1847), Amsterdam; sold en bloc in 1877/78 by her heirs, with 80 paintings from the van Loon collection to the Rothschilds.
Baron Lionel de Rothschild (1808-1879), Gunnersbury, Middlesex, and by descent to his son,
Sir Nathaniel, later 1st Baron Rothschild (1840-1915), and by inheritance to his brother,
Baron Leopold de Rothschild (1845-1917), and by descent to his son,
Lionel de Rothschild (1882-1942), and acquired from his executors by the following in 1946,
with Thomas Agnew & Sons, London.
R.P. Silcock.
Charles Russell; (†) Sotheby's, London, 7 December 1960, lot 2 (£8,500 to the following).
with Thomas Agnew & Sons, London.
Private collection, Yorkshire, after 1962, until 1992.
Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 15 April 1992, lot 24 (£198,000).
with Noortman, London and Maastricht.
Anonymous sale [The Property of a Gentleman]; Sotheby's, London, 6 July 2000, lot 59 (£388,500), where acquired by the late Betty Lady Grantchester. 
J. Smith, A Catalogue Raisonné of the works of the most eminent Dutch, Flemish, and French painters, London, 1835, VI, p. 91, no. 289.
C. Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonné of the most eminent Dutch painters of the seventeenth century, London, 1912, IV, p. 129, no. 405 (and possibly no. 567).
S. Slive, Jacob van Ruisdael: A Complete Catalogue of his Paintings, Drawings and Etchings, New Haven and London, 2001, pp. 272-3, no. 342, illustrated.
S. Avery-Quash, ed., ‘The Travel Notebooks of Sir Charles Eastlake’, Walpole Society, LXXIII, 2011, p. 550.
Amsterdam, Oudemannenhuis, Historische Tentoonstelling, 1876, no. 170.
Sheffield, Graves Art Gallery, Local Heritage, 18 April-17 May 1970, no. 71 (with incorrect provenance).

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Lot Essay

Jacob van Ruisdael’s reputation as the most talented and versatile of the Dutch landscape painters of the Golden Age has remained undiminished since his lifetime. Dating to circa 1660, this painting, which has highly distinguished provenance, is a fine example of his early mature style and is one of a significant group of works which he executed in collaboration with Adriaen van de Velde (who painted the figures and sheep).
Ruisdael’s earliest woodland landscapes, which date to the second half of the 1640s, assimilate influences from Cornelis Vroom’s work, especially in their delicate and meticulous treatment of foliage. By the following decade, with works like the Great Oak of 1652 (Los Angeles, LACMA), Ruisdael had begun to fully assert his mastery of the genre. In the present painting, he has employed a favourite compositional device, by depicting a dense grove of trees at the left, with a strong diagonal line descending toward an open vista at the left. The composition is punctuated in the centre by glimmers of sunlight breaking between the tree trunks in the middle ground. The light, feathery treatment of the foliage and grasses, combined with the fluid, painterly execution of the towering sky and billowing clouds are characteristic stylistic traits of Ruisdael’s artistic maturity and demonstrate his acute powers of observation.
Ruisdael collaborated with Adriaen van de Velde (1636-1672) on a number of significant occasions. For example, van de Velde supplied the staffage and fauna for Ruisdael’s great Stage Hunt in a wood with a marsh (Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen); for the Extensive landscape with a ruined castle and a village church (London, National Gallery); and for his Waterfall in a hilly landscape (St Petersburg, State Hermitage Museum). The scale and treatment of van de Velde’s figures and sheep in the present painting are similar to those in Ruisdael’s Hilly landscape with a high road (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum), likewise dated to the 1660s.
This painting is first recorded in the collection of Pieter van Winter, an Amsterdam merchant, who took over his father’s business dealing in dyes and indigo after 1768. A passionate collector throughout his life, van Winter purchased works by many of the leading painters of the Dutch Golden Age. His collection passed to his daughters, Lucretia Johanna van Winter and Anna Louisa van Loon. After Anna’s death, the collection was sold en bloc in 1878 to the Rothschild family, comprising, amongst many others, Rembrandt’s magnificent portraits of Marten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum; and Paris, Louvre), Gabriel Metsu’s Portrait of a woman, probably Lucia Wijbrants in Minneapolis (Institute of Arts), Adriaen van de Velde’s Cattle and sheep in a river landscape (Boston, Museum of Fine Arts) and Wouwerman’s The cavalry camp (New York, Frick Collection), as well as a superb pair of still lifes by Jan van Huysum (Los Angeles, J.P. Getty Museum).

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