JACOB VAN RUISDAEL (HAARLEM 1628/29-1682 AMSTERDAM)
JACOB VAN RUISDAEL (HAARLEM 1628/29-1682 AMSTERDAM)
JACOB VAN RUISDAEL (HAARLEM 1628/29-1682 AMSTERDAM)
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PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF THEODORE COHN
JACOB VAN RUISDAEL (HAARLEM 1628/29-1682 AMSTERDAM)

A wooded landscape with cottages and a figure and dogs on a dirt path

Details
JACOB VAN RUISDAEL (HAARLEM 1628/29-1682 AMSTERDAM)
A wooded landscape with cottages and a figure and dogs on a dirt path
signed 'JvRuisdael' ('JvR' linked, lower right)
oil on panel
20 1/8 x 26 5/8 in. (51 x 67.8 cm.)
Provenance
with Newhouse Galleries, New York, where acquired by the father of the present owner in the 1930s.

Brought to you by

Francois de Poortere
Francois de Poortere International Director, Head of Department

Lot Essay

Perhaps more than anything else, Jacob van Ruisdael’s reputation as the greatest of all Dutch landscapes rests on his depictions of woods and forests, works that Seymour Slive suggests confirm ‘his creative urge was highly independent’ (S. Slive, Jacob van Ruisdael: A Complete Catalogue of His Paintings, Drawings and Etchings, New Haven and London, 2001, p. 249). Though his earliest examples of forest scenes date to the second half of the 1640s and assimilate developments by Cornelis Vroom, by the early 1650s he increasingly asserted his unique approach to the local topography. Gone are the opaque, cramped compositions; in their stead, Ruisdael introduced sharp light accents that help to differentiate the various elements of his complex arrangements.

As here, the forest landscapes of the early 1650s typically feature a diagonal arrangement of a dense grove of trees flanked by a dirt path which in turn opens onto a distant, light-filled vista. Despite its execution on a smaller scale, the present painting can be compared with Ruisdael’s Great oak, which is dated 1652 and is today in the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Both paintings retain the familiar repoussoir of a fallen tree trunk, already found in Ruisdael’s paintings of the 1640s, but their heightened, almost heroic appeal is emphasized by the stately oaks that stand out in the center of both compositions.

This unpublished painting avoided the attention of all modern commentators, having remained in the same family’s possession since the 1930s. We are grateful to Peter C. Sutton and Frits Duparc for independently endorsing the attribution to Ruisdael and for suggesting a date of circa 1652 on the basis of images.
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