Jacob Isaaksz van Ruisdael


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Author: Jacob Isaaksz van Ruisdael
Landscape, Drawings, Black chalk, brush and grey wash, 17.8x25.2 cm
Origin: Holland, 1660s

Of all the surviving drawings by the famous Dutch landscape painter Jacob van Ruysdael, only a few were intended as preparatory sketches for specific paintings or prints. Most of the works are simply independent sketches and studies, like this picture of watermills. The relatively large, carefully executed sheet was probably intended as a finished work in its own right, intended for sale. Ruysdael's drawings, unlike his paintings - in which truth is nearly always combined with invention - were usually precise depictions of particular locations or motifs. This landscape is rich in tones and transitions of light and dark, which gives it a vivid painterly feel. The black chalk sketch is complemented by the transparent grey wash, which the artist used skilfully to create the effect of diffused light, the cloudy sky and the reflection of the mills in the water.

Source of entry: Provenance: before 1797

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