RUYSDAEL, Salomon van
(b. ca. 1602, Naarden, d. 1670, Haarlem)

Road in the Dunes with a Passenger Coach ("After the Rain")

Oil on oak panel, 56 x 86 cm
Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest

Several members of the Ruysdael family of Haarlem figure in the history of Dutch painting, particularly landscape painting, the earliest of them, Salomon van Ruysdael, being inscribed in the Haarlem painters' guild in 1623. After the Rain, the earliest of the nine paintings by him in Budapest, contains a motif often repeated in his later paintings: a sandy road leading to a building half hidden by trees. Here and there we see breaks in the clouds which otherwise cover the sky, the air is still moist and misty after the storm, and the freshened foliage and the damp sand convey to perfection the characteristic atmosphere of the coastal countryside. In his early works, such as this, Salomon van Ruysdael used vivid greenish and yellowish colours, and it was only later that his colouring became darker and more muted.

This painting is one of Ruysdael's finest early dune landscapes. It is based on a diagonal composition of a road leading from the right foreground into the left middle distance.