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Woody Landscape with a Pool and Figures, c. 1660

Jacob van Ruisdael

Dutch, 1628/9-1682
Oil on panel
27-1/2 x 36-1/4 in. (69.9 x 92.1 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation
M.1969.33.P
© 2012 Norton Simon Art Foundation

On view

Jacob van Ruisdael is considered to be the greatest and most versatile Dutch landscape painter of the seventeenth century. He probably studied painting with his uncle Salomon van Ruysdael, becoming an accomplished landscape painter by the time he was eighteen. The figures were painted by his friend Nicolaes Berchem. Such collaboration between Dutch artists with different specialties was not uncommon.

The emphasis in a Ruisdael landscape is on the natural elements, such as the dramatic topography, sweeping sky and accurately rendered, highly detailed trees. By contrast, the human and animal figures are less significant and were usually added by figure painters.

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