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JACOB ISAACSZ. VAN RUISDAEL (HAARLEM 1628/29-1682 AMSTERDAM)
JACOB ISAACSZ. VAN RUISDAEL (HAARLEM 1628/29-1682 AMSTERDAM)
JACOB ISAACSZ. VAN RUISDAEL (HAARLEM 1628/29-1682 AMSTERDAM)
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JACOB ISAACSZ. VAN RUISDAEL (HAARLEM 1628/29-1682 AMSTERDAM)
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PROPERTY OF HEIRS OF FRANZ KOENIGS (LOTS 26-33)
JACOB ISAACSZ. VAN RUISDAEL (HAARLEM 1628/29-1682 AMSTERDAM)

Winter landscape with travellers on a frozen river passing a broken bridge

Details
JACOB ISAACSZ. VAN RUISDAEL (HAARLEM 1628/29-1682 AMSTERDAM)
Winter landscape with travellers on a frozen river passing a broken bridge
signed with monogram ‘JvR’ (lower right)
oil on canvas
14 1/8 x 12 5/8 in. (35.8 x 32 cm.)
Provenance
Ludvig Henrik Carl Herman, Count of Holstein-Holsteinborg (1815-1892), Holsteinborg, Själand, Denmark.
with Kleykamp, The Hague, 1927.
Anonymous sale; Frederik Muller & Cie., Amsterdam, 20 June 1928, lot 50.
with J. Goudstikker, Amsterdam, 1928.
with J. Goudstikker, Amsterdam, 1932, from whom acquired in 1939 through Nicolaas Beets by the following,
Franz Wilhelm Koenigs (1881-1941), Haarlem, and by descent to the present owners.
Literature
C. Hofstede de Groot, A catalogue raisonné of the works of the most eminent Dutch painters of the seventeenth century, London, 1912, IV, p. 309, no. 996.
J. Rosenberg, Jacob van Ruisdael, Berlin, 1928, no. 613.
S. Slive, Jacob van Ruisdael: A Complete Catalogue of His Paintings, Drawings, and Etchings, New Haven and London, 2001, p. 475, no. 675, illustrated, and p. 471, under no. 668, with incorrect details for post 1945 provenance.
Exhibited
Copenhagen, Kunstverein, Kunstforeningen: Kobenhavn, October 1891, no. 193.
Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, Catalogus van de tentoonstelling van oude kunst door de Vereeniging van Handelaaren in Oude Kust in Nederland, 1929, no. 122.
Amsterdam, Goudstikker, Winterlandschappen in de zeventiende eeuw, October-November 1932, no. 75.

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Clementine Sinclair
Clementine Sinclair Old Masters

Lot Essay

This depiction of a frozen, desolate landscape under a menacing sky is one of the most richly atmospheric winter scenes in Jacob van Ruisdael’s oeuvre. Jacob van Ruisdael’s winter landscapes occupy a distinctive position in his oeuvre. With only around thirty such paintings known, they are also among the rarest of all his subjects. Though none of Ruisdael’s winter landscapes is dated, it is generally believed he only began to paint such scenes following his move to Amsterdam in 1655. The thriving metropolis, which must have presented a sharp contrast to the long-term industrial decline of his native Haarlem, unleashed a wellspring of creativity in the young artist that saw him expand his repertoire of landscape genres and motifs. Each of Ruisdael’s winter landscapes appears to have been conceived as a stand-alone image rather than forming part of a series of the Four Seasons or the Twelve Months.
Ruisdael’s winter landscapes tend to favour small, vertically oriented canvases. Their small-scale format imbued these works with a degree of intimacy that sets them apart from much of Ruisdael’s production. Seymour Slive has suggested the present painting dates to the 1660s on account of the striking contrast between the bright white snow and the ominous, cloud-filled sky as well as the painting’s open, atmospheric spatial effects, both seemingly hallmarks of his approach to winter landscapes in the period (loc. cit.). A comparable tendency can be seen in Ruisdael’s Winter landscape with a town and a house partially supported by a masonry bridge (Jacob Slive, op. cit., p. 471, no. 668, private collection). The similarities in scale between these two paintings led both Cornelis Hofstede de Groot (loc. cit.) and Jakob Rosenberg (loc. cit.) to suggest the two paintings were pendants. However, Slive has more recently rejected this notion on account of the differences in their spatial compositions and the scale of their figures.

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