Jacob van Ruisdael
1628 (Haarlem) - 1682 (Amsterdam)
by Jan Melkert
Jacob was the sun of a merchant in art, who was also a painter. Jacob grew up in a very stimulating environment for beginning painters. His uncle Salomon was also a painter of landscapes. And Haarlem was at that time, certainly in the beginning of the 17th century, an important city. Presumably he received lessons in painting from his father and uncle. His earliest works date from around 1645/1646. These works show an influence from Cornelis Vroom. Jacob specialized, like his uncle, in landscapes. At first he painted the neighbourhood of Haarlem, such as view of woods and dunes. He painted with eye for details. Trees and leaves are minutely painted. He painted in a realistic way. You could say he painted what he saw. He observed the striking of the light. One of his most famous paintings is the BLEKERIJEN VAN HAARLEM. These views on Haarlem even got a nickname, namely: HAARLEMPJES VAN RUISDAEL. A kind of specialization within a specialization. He made some journeys to Germany and made sketches of the landscapes he observed there. Around 1656 he moved to Amsterdam. Here he stayed until his death in 1682. In Amsterdam he had apprentices such as Hobbema. Here also he extended his repertoire. There is a problem in reconstructing the chronology of his works, for he did not always date his paintings. In fact he can be seen as a precursor of the 19th century romantic painters. Typical for his landscapes with views on cities like Dordrecht are the full clouds in the air. Almost half of these paintings consist of air clouds . He also painted wonderful winter landscapes.
BLEKERIJEN VAN HAARLEM
Souce: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bestand:Isaacsz-vav-ruisdael_haarlem.jpg | Click on the picture to go to its source.
HAARLEMPJES VAN RUISDAEL
Source: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bestand:View_of_Haarlem_with_Bleaching_Grounds_c1665_Ruisdael.jpg | Click on the picture to go to its source.