54
54
Jacob Isaacksz. van Ruisdael
LOW WATERFALL IN A HILLY LANDSCAPE WITH A THATCHED COTTAGE
Estimate
1,000,0001,500,000
LOT SOLD. 910,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
54
Jacob Isaacksz. van Ruisdael
LOW WATERFALL IN A HILLY LANDSCAPE WITH A THATCHED COTTAGE
Estimate
1,000,0001,500,000
LOT SOLD. 910,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The Weldon Collection

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New York

Jacob Isaacksz. van Ruisdael
HAARLEM 1628/9 - 1682 AMSTERDAM
LOW WATERFALL IN A HILLY LANDSCAPE WITH A THATCHED COTTAGE
signed on a rock lower right:  JVRuisdael (JVR in ligature)
oil on canvas
18 1/8  by 21 1/4  in.; 46 by 54.1 cm.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

A(?). Juriaans;
His sale, Amsterdam, Van der Schley, Roos and De Vries, 28 August 1817, lot 56, to A. de Lelie, for Dfl 950;
W.A. Verbrugge;
His sale, The Hague, W.J. Huijgens, 27 September 1831, lot 47, to W. Hagens, for Dfl 915; 
Imported into England by the dealer Chaplin, 1836;
Stuart Hodgson, London;
Edward H. Lawrence, London;
With Charles Sedelmeyer, Paris, in or before 1898;
Rodolphe Kann, Paris, by 1898;
From whom purchased as part of his collection by the Duveen Bros., Paris, August 1907; 
With Thos. Agnew & Sons, London, 1926;
With D.A. Hoogendijk, Amsterdam 1928;
With J.H. Borghouts, Utrecht;
J.C.H. Heldring, Oosterbeek, by 1955;
By whose estate sold, London, Sotheby's, 27 March 1963, lot 15, to Agnews, for £3,600;
Col. S.J.L. Hardie, Ballathie, Perthshire, Scotland;
By whose estate sold, London, Sotheby's, 3 December 1969, lot 72, to L. Koetser, for £14,000;
With Leonard Koetser, by 1970;
Private collection, Kent, U.K. (1970-1992);
David Koetser, 1993.

Exhibited

Arnhem, Gemeentemuseum, Collectie J.C.H. Heldring, 6 April – 1 June 1958, no. 25;
Utrecht, Centraal Museum, Collectie J.C.H. Heldring, 25 May – 24 July 1960, no. 30;
London, Leonard Koetser, Ltd., Spring Exhibition of Flemish, Dutch and Italian Old Masters, 7 April – 31 May 1970, no. 9;
Birmingham 1995, no. 17;
New Orleans 1997, no. 44;
Baltimore 1999, no. 43.

Literature

J. Smith, A Catalogue Raisonné ..., vol. 6, 1835, p. 76, cat. no. 246;
J. Smith Supplement to the Catalogue Raisonné ..., 1842, p. 692, cat. no. 33;
C. Sedelmeyer, Catalogue of 300 Paintings by Old Masters of the Dutch, Flemish, Italian, French and English Schools being some of the principal pictures which have at various times formed part of the Sedelmeyer Gallery, Paris 1898, p. 210, cat. no. 188, reproduced;
Catalogue of the Mr Rodolphe Kann CollectionPictures, vol.1, Paris 1907, pp. xi and 79, cat. no. 78, reproduced;
C. Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonné ..., vol 4, London 1912, cat. no. 270;
W.R. Valentiner, Zeiten der Kunst und der Religion, Berlin 1919, p. 351-352;
J. Rosenberg, Jacob van Ruisdael, Berlin 1928, p. 83, cat. no. 192;
D. Hannema, Catalogue of the Collection of J.C.H. Heldring, 1955, pp. 44-45, cat. no. 25, reproduced pl. 34;
S. Slive, Jacob van Ruisdael:  A Complete Catalogue of His Paintings, Drawings and Etchings, New Haven and London 2001, pp. 159-160, cat. no. 145, reproduced. 

Catalogue Note

In the Low Waterfall in a Hilly Landscape with a Thatched Cottage Ruisdael takes a rugged wooded landscape and creates a beautiful and evocative painting that goes beyond the mere depiction of the world around him.  Drawing the composition together is the bubbling waterfall of the title, a motif that evidently delighted him, for he painted more than 150 landscapes with waterfalls, torrents and rushing streams between the mid-1650s and the end of his life; they represent the largest single category of his extant paintings.1   What is perhaps most surprising is that none of these paintings depict the characteristic flat Dutch landscape but instead show rougher, more northern settings.

Although only one painting among the group is dated, it is possible to establish a loose chronological framework for these pictures.  The earliest are clearly based on the works of his contemporary Allart van Everdingen (1621-1675), the Alkmaar artist, who traveled to Norway and Sweden in 1644-1645 and returned to the Netherlands to paint what he had seen there.  These early works are generally vertical in format and depict the rugged Scandinavian landscape, with its rocky streams and spindly trees.  In the later 1660s and 1670s Ruisdael favors a gentler landscape, not so distinctly Nordic in feeling, perhaps inspired by what he had seen on his journey through the region along the Dutch-German border that he made with Nicolaes Berchem around 1650.  In those paintings, as in the present work, the trees are deciduous, the waterfalls less steep and the format more often horizontal.  The present work has been variously dated, but Minty’s suggested date of about 1670 seems convincing.2  

Ruisdael depicts the scene from a relatively low view point, with the rocky stream filling the foreground, and the clump of trees rising in the middle distance serving as the central point of the composition.  Above is a deep blue sky, which despite the many dark clouds, does not actually seem to be threatening a storm.  This peaceful mood is enhanced by the presence of the mother and child under the thatched roof and the shepherd with his flock on the hill at the upper right.3  The artist has created a marvelous sense of transparency in the composition, so that we seem to look through the closer elements toward the hills in the far distance.  He paints the main elements in broad, smooth strokes and then enlivens the details with short, irregular brushwork so that the white foam on the stream truly seems to bubble up from the surface.  Similarly, he uses a personal shorthand to create the irregular leaves of the central trees, layering different shades of green and brown on top of each other to create sense of foliage without actually outlining a specific leaf form.  He creates a mood of calm majesty that is characteristic of this very fertile period in his artistic life. 

1.  See Slive, under Literature, pp. 154-155, for a discussion of these cascade paintings.
2.  N.T. Minty in New Orleans 1997 and Baltimore 1999 (see Literature).
3.  With regard to the interpretation the picture as the Rest on the Flight into Egypt, Slive (op. cit., pp. 159-160), swiftly dismissed that and most modern scholars would agree. 

The Weldon Collection

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