Jeroen Giltay, after seeing the drawing, confirms the attribution but observes that the brown wash and the figures in the foreground may by a later hand. The drawing is comparable to three similar views of Haarlem of comparable technique and format in the Bredius Museum, The Hague, J. Giltay, De tekeningen van Jacob van Ruisdael, Catalogus van Tekeningen van Jacob van Ruisdael, in Oud Holland, The Hague, 1980, XCIV, pp. 161 and 194, nos. 49-51, where the figures were also added by a later hand. A further view of Haarlem comparable in technique and format, but with more detailed applied wash, is in the Rijksprentenkabinet, Amsterdam (Giltay, op.cit., p. 189, no. 6). Like one of the Bredius drawings (Giltay, op.cit., no. 51), it was drawn from almost the same angle, but from a slightly lower viewpoint, causing the horizon to be lower than that in the present lot. S. Slive, Notes on three drawings by Jacob van Ruisdael, in Album Amicorum J.G. van Gelder, The Hague, 1973, p. 275, fig. 4, connected the latter drawing to a picture of the early 1670s in an English private collection. All five drawings may be compared to Ruisdael's pictures with distant views of Haarlem in the Mauritshuis, The Hague, and the Kunsthaus, Zurich (S. Slive, H.R. Hoetink, Jacob van Ruisdael 1628/29-1682, exhib. cat., The Hague/Cambridge, Mass., 1981-2, nos. 44-5). A view of Amsterdam from the roof of the Nieuwe Kerk, in the Rijksprentenkabinet, Amsterdam (Giltay, op.cit., pp. 161-2, and 188-9, no. 3, illustrated p. 164) shows a comparable handling, and is again of similar format. It is a study for Ruisdael's picture in an English private Collection (Slive and Hoetink, op.cit., no. 46), which is dated to the 1670s. The drawings are however probably all to be dated to the late 1640s.
In depicting Haarlem from the dunes Ruisdael followed a fashion amongst a number of his contemporaries, including Anthonie Waterloo, cf. lot 99 sold in these Rooms, 14 November 1994, but also 18th Century artists like Cornelis van Noorde (cf. lot 222, sold in these Rooms, 13 November 1995).