Three Great Trees in a Mountainous Landscape with a River
c. 1665-70
Jacob van Ruisdael (Dutch, 1628/9-1682)
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.


  • Artist Name: Jacob van Ruisdael (Dutch, 1628/9-1682)
  • Title: Three Great Trees in a Mountainous Landscape with a River
  • Date: c. 1665-70
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 54-3/8 x 68-1/8 in. (138.1 x 173.1 cm)
  • Credit Line: The Norton Simon Foundation
  • Accession Number: F.1971.2.P
  • Copyright: © The Norton Simon Foundation

Object Information

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Edward Dawkins, Guilsborough Grange, January 1895, when submitted to Christie's for auction but later withdrawn and returned to Dawkins.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.

Exhibition of the Second Hundred Paintings by Old Masters

  • Paris, Galerie Sedelmeyer, 1895 to

Golden Gate International Exposition

  • California Palace of the Legion of Honor, 1940 to

Jacob van Ruisdael

  • The Hague, Mauritshuis, 1981-10-01 to 1982-01-03
  • Fogg Art Museum, 1982-01-12 to 1982-04-11

[on loan]

  • Princeton University Art Museum, 1971 to 1972

Reinstallation of Galleries: Art History of the 17th and 18th Century Gains Fresh Dimension

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1993-09-02 to 1995-08-13
  • Gerson, Horst, The Connoisseur, fig. 11 pp. 162-171
  • Hofstede de Groot, C., A Catalogue Raisonné of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century, nos. 673, 708, 725
  • Simon, Kurt Erich, The Burlington Magazine, p. 135
  • Rosenberg, J., Jacob van Ruisdael, no. 416 p. 98
  • Brown, Christopher, The Burlington Magazine, pp. 190-193
  • Sutton, Peter C., Art Journal, p. 150
  • Slive, Seymour, and H. R. Hoetink, Jacob van Ruisdael, no. 38 p. 19
  • Smith, J., A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish and French Painters 1842, 1842, no. 8 p. 684
  • Galerie Sedelmeyer, Paris, Exhibition of the Second Hundred Paintings by Old Masters, 1895, no. 36 p. 42
  • Gillet, Louis, Revue de l'art ancien et moderne, 1909, p. 370
  • Nathan, P., Dr. Fritz Nathan und Dr. Peter Nathan, 1972, no. 13
  • Drucker, Peter F., Adventures of a Bystander, 1978, p. 209
  • Morse, John D., Old Master Paintings in North America, 1979, p. 249
  • Ashton, Peter Shaw; Seymour Slive and Alice I. Davies, Arnoldia, 1982, pl. 10 pp. 2-31
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, 1989, p. 65
  • Walford, E. John, Jacob van Ruisdael and the Perception of Landscape, 1991, fig. 147 pp. 134, 138
  • Dyrness, William, Visual Faith: Art, Theology and Worship in Dialogue, 2001, fig. 17 p. 56
  • Slive, Seymour, Jacob van Ruisdael: A Complete Catalogue of His Paintings, Drawings and Etchings, 2001, no. 475 pp. 348-49, Appendix I
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 743 p. 334
  • Peter Molnos, Lost Heritage: Hungarian Art Collectors in the Twentieth Century, 2018, p. 220
  • Nelleke de Vries, Yvonne Bleyerveld, Quinten Pellegrom, Onderweg naar Bentheim. Twente door de ogen van Ruisdael, Hobbema en Waterloo, 2023, afb. 35 pp. 62-64, p. 66 (ill.)
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Additional Artwork by Artist

Woody Landscape with a Pool and Figures Jacob van Ruisdael c. 1660

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