RUISDAEL, Jacob Isaackszon van
(b. ca. 1628, Haarlem, d. 1682, Amsterdam)
Two Watermills and an Open Sluice near Singraven1650-52
Oil on canvas, 87 x 112 cm
National Gallery, London
Jacob van Ruisdael is considered one of the greatest landscape painters in the history of art. Coming from a prestigious family of artists, he was trained by his father Isaack van Ruisdael and his uncle Salomon van Ruysdael. He belonged to the second generation of realistic landscape painters in 17th-century Holland, a generation which gave their landscapes great expressive force and a profound naturalism. He was a prolific artist who painted a wide variety of landscapes: the plains of the Dutch countryside, the dunes, seascapes, marshes, ponds, woods and hills. Some are in a proto-Romantic style in which the trees, hills, castles, churches, windmills and other elements acquire a heroic dimension.