RUISDAEL, Jacob Isaackszon van
(b. ca. 1628, Haarlem, d. 1682, Amsterdam)

Landscape with Waterfall

c. 1670
Oil on canvas, 101 x 142 cm
Wallace Collection, London

This is one of Ruisdael grandest landscapes.

After Ruisdael had settled in Amsterdam about 1656-57 his compositions broaden, and a certain heaviness in the foreground disappears. The opening of the view suggests that he was impressed by Philips Koninck's panoramic views, but the fresh atmospheric effect, the brilliant glittering daylight which brightens the landscapes, the reflections, and vivid colours in the shadows are completely personal. In the late fifties Ruisdael also began to represent waterfalls in mountainous northern valleys, and in the sixties they became an important theme in his oeuvre. This motif was popularized by Allart van Everdingen after he returned to Holland in 1644 from a trip to Norway and Sweden, and Ruisdael, who never visited Scandinavia, derived his torrential falls in northern landscapes from Everdingen's art.