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Jacob van Ruisdael

Mountain landscape with old oak tree

Mountain landscape with old oak tree

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About the original:

Ruisdael's pioneering work was his expansion of the landscape genre to include something more than an objective recording of the surroundings. He was trained in the classical style, but added elements of fantasy and drama, and helped lay the foundations for the romantic landscape tradition that reached its peak in the first half of the 19th century.

The motif circle includes sea and urban landscapes, often with wide views and a low horizon, in addition to denser forest landscapes with centrally located clusters of trees, ruins, mills and waterfalls. Representations of trees, preferably massive oak trees, such as in the motif we have here, are an example of Ruisdael's more monumental landscape motifs. It includes a diversity in the form of sea, sky, trees, mountains and a field. But the main motif is the old, weather-beaten and bruised oak. The picture is not dated, but this type of motif occurs most frequently later in the artist's career.

Van Ruisdael also painted so-called "Norwegian landscapes", which were very popular in Dutch 17th-century landscape painting, partly thanks to Allart van Everdingen, who visited Norway. JC Dahl later copied works by Jacob van Ruisdael while he was a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and the National Museum owns two of his Ruisdael copies.

Text: Vibeke Waallann Hansen

From "Highlights. Art from Antiquity to 1945", The National Museum 2014, ISBN 978-82-8154-084-2

Dating: 1660s

Other titles: Bergige Landschaft mit einer grossen Eiche vor einem Kornfeld (TYS)

Mountainous Landscape with a Blasted Oak Tree (ENG)

Designation: Painting

Material and technique: Oil on canvas

Technique: Oil

Material: Canvas

Dimensions: 55.2 x 69.5 cm

Subject: Visual arts

Classification: 532 - Visual arts

Type of motif: Landscape

Acquisition: Purchased 2013

Inventory no.: NMK.2013.0346

Part of exhibition: The dance of life. The collection from antiquity to 1950, 2011 - 2019

Registration level: Single object

Owner and collection: The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Visual Art Collections

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Jacob van Ruisdael

Jacob van Ruysdael was a Dutch painter who lived in the 17th century. He was the nephew of Salomon van Ruysdael and was educated by his uncle and Cornelius Vroom, who were both landscape painters. Jacob van Ruysdael initially worked in their style and painted small scenes of nature with strong natural experiences. After he moved to Amsterdam in 1659, he became more free in his style and choice of motifs. He was influenced by Allart Everdingen's Nordic landscapes and searched for a stronger effect and more emphasis on the atmosphere in his landscapes. He liked to combine different motifs from different places in the same picture. Ruysdael was best known for his simple, realistic pictures, such as the Mill at Wijk. He was also a skilled eraser. One of his works, Landscape, is represented in the National Museum/National Gallery in Oslo.