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Oak and Thicket at a Pool (Woodland Pond) Jacob van Ruisdael

Artist

Jacob van Ruisdael Haarlem, 1628/1629 – Amsterdam, 1682

Date 1646–1649
Object type painting
Medium, technique oil on oak
Dimensions

66 x 48.9 cm
with frame: 81 x 67 x 10.5 cm

Inventory number 263
Collection Old Master Paintings
On view Museum of Fine Arts, First Floor, European Art 1600–1700 and British Painting 1600–1800, Gallery X

This small-size panel, datable between 1646 and 1649, is an early picture by the greatest exponent of Dutch landscape painting. Its chief motif is a gnarled oak tree, which, in spite of its naturalism, gives the anthropomorphic impression of a petrified human figure pathetically stretching his arms skywards. The ominously gathering clouds and the dramatic illumination intensify the romantic atmosphere, and emphasise the idea of transience also suggested by the motif of the bare tree. Ruisdael linked the realistic depiction of the Dutch landscape with a visual representation of the symbols and metaphors used in contemporary poetry, and with his inspired” landscapes he exerted a great influence on both the 17th and the 19th century painters.”

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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