Three Great Trees in a Mountainous Landscape with a River

Jacob van Ruisdael (Dutch, 1628/9-1682)
c. 1665-70
Oil on canvas 
54-3/8 x 68-1/8 in. (138.1 x 173.1 cm) 
Credit Line:
The Norton Simon Foundation 
Accession Number:
© The Norton Simon Foundation 
On View

Born in Haarlem, Ruisdael was the son of a frame-maker and art dealer. In the 1660s, and at the height of his powers, Ruisdael was creating landscapes of unprecedented force and majesty. In this painting, nature is vividly rendered, rich in color, brilliantly illuminated and vast. The handling of the sky and light is refined and diffuse; combined with a warm palette that creates a calm mood.

For all its richly observed detail, the landscape is an image of nature in general: beautiful, bountiful, varied and expansive. In capturing the mutable elements of nature, Ruisdael has preserved them, perhaps so that we might contemplate the Creator in the creation.


Lady Cooper, London, 1842.
Edward Dawkins, Guilsborough Grange, January 1895, when submitted to Christie's for auction but later withdrawn and returned to Dawkins.
[C. Sedelmeyer, Paris, in 1895).
Maurice Kann, Paris (sale, 9 June 1911, Paris Galerie Georges Petit, lot 59, ill., to;)
Fischof [Fishoff?].
Leo Collins [a.k.a. Cohen] Vienna and Paris, c. 1910-20s.
[C. Sedelmeyer, Paris, 1925].
Baron Marczell von Nemes, Munich (sale, Amsterdam, 13 November 1928, no. 62, presumably bought in; (Frederik Muller, Munich, 16 June 1931, lot 60, ill., as Landscape with Three Oaks, to;)
Gustav Oberlaender (1867-1936) Go-Al-Do Manor, Reading, Pennsylvania, bequeathed to his daughter;
Mrs. Harold M. Leinbach (sale, Parke-Bernet, New York, 26 May 1939, lot 236, ill.).
John Bass, New York, by 1940 (Parke-Bernet, New York, 25 January 1945, lot 22, ill).
Drs. Fritz and Peter Nathan, Zurich, to;
The Norton Simon Foundation.

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