Salomon van Ruysdael
- Salomon van Ruysdael
- Winter landscape with figures skating and sleigh-riding outside a town, with the Utrecht Dom and Huis Groenewoude at right
- signed and dated lower right: SVR (in ligature) 165(8?)
- oil on panel
- 29 5/8 by 41 3/4 in.; 75.3 by 106 cm.
His sale, Amsterdam, Van der Schley, 18 July 1786, lot 289, to Yver;
Private collection, Germany;
Frau Eichhorn or Eichhorst [?], Wiesbaden;1
With Karl Haberstock, Berlin (acquired from the above for RM 5,400, February 1934);2
With D. A. Hoogendijk, Amsterdam (acquired from the above for RM 8,800, February 1934), (still in 1938 according to RKD );3
With(?) Kunsthandel J. Goudstikker NV, January – February 1936 (possibly in the exhibition on loan from Hoogendijk, or shared ownership?);
A.H. van Heek, Enschede, The Netherlands;4
By whom (anonymously) sold, Amsterdam, Sotheby’s Mak van Waay, 14 March 1983, lot 24, 880,000 NLG;
With Noortman & Brod, New York;
From whom acquired in 1984 by the present collector.
Amsterdam, D.A. Hoogendijk & Co., Schilderijen uit het bezit van D.A. Hoogendijk & Co., 27 October - 12 November 1934, no. 10;
Amsterdam, Kunsthandel J. Goudstikker, Salomon van Ruysdael, January - February, 1936, no. 47 (marked for sale);
Almelo, Kunstkring de Waag, Oude Kunst uit Twents particulier bezit, 1953, no. 42, (coll. A.H. van Heek, ‘t Stroot, Boekelo);
Rotterdam, Museum Boymans, Kunstschatten uit Nederlandse verzamelingen, 19 June - 25 September 1955, no. 110, (coll. Mrs and Mrs A.H. van Heek, Enschede);
Dordrecht, Dordrechts Museum, Nederlandse landschappen uit de zeventiende eeuw, July - August 1963, no. 107 (coll. A.H van Heek, Enschede).
W. Stechow, Dutch Landscape Painting of the Seventeenth Century, London 1966, pp. 8, 99, 190, note 29; reproduced fig. 6;
W. Stechow, Salomon van Ruysdael, Berlin 1975, pp. 70-71, cat. no. 13, reproduced fig. 48;
Weltkunst, 15 December 1983, advertisement, p. 3533;
P. Sutton, Masters of 17th-Century Dutch Landscape Painting, exhibition catalogue, Amsterdam, Boston and Philadelphia 1987, p. 475, under cat. no. 95;
A. Jensen Adams, in Landscape and Power, (W.J.T. Mitchell, ed.), Chicago 1994, pp. 35, 67, note 5;
H. Kessler, Karl Haberstock, Umstrittener Kunsthändler und Mäzen, Munich 2008, pp. 267 and 279, reproduced fig. 1799.
In this painting, Ruysdael depicts a crisp, clear day with townspeople enjoying all manner of winter activity on a frozen river. Several horse-drawn sleighs are filled with passengers, while skaters propel themselves along on the ice. In the center foreground, a man sits in a prikslee, a small sledge designed for one rider who pushed it along with short poles. Others gather by a tent at right for refreshment or watch the action from above. While Ruysdael’s palette in the three earlier winter landscapes was more monochromatic, reflecting the influence of artists such as Esaias van de Velde and Pieter van Santvoort, in these later ice scenes he introduced more color such as, here, the bright blue of the sky streaked with bands of pink which are reflected in the ice.6
Ruysdael’s townscapes, though usually not topographically accurate, often incorporated recognizable buildings or monuments from a given city. Here, at right, we see two identifiable structures from the city of Utrecht – the Cathedral tower (known as the Dom) and Huis Groenewoude, a large stone building located on the Oudegracht that was demolished in the 18th century. A drawing of circa 1660, formerly ascribed to Constantijn Huygens, depicts the same building from the front (fig. 1). The two-towered church seen in the distance, though reminiscent of St. Walburgis in Arnhem, is probably fanciful. Of these types of late winter landscapes by Ruysdael, integrating actual topographical details in an otherwise imaginary scene, Wolfgang Stechow refers to the present painting as “easily the finest of that group, still composed in the diagonal pattern of earlier river landscapes and with a judicious balance of atmospheric subtlety and vivid local colours.” 7
1. See Karl Haberstock’s stock book; H. Kessler, Karl Haberstock Umstrittner Kunsthändler und Mäzen, under Literature, p. 267.
2. Ibid, p. 267.
3. Ibid, p. 279.
4. 1882 – 1972 married to WN van Hoorn (1899-1982).
5. See A. van Suchtelen, in Holland Frozen in Time, exhibition catalogue, The Hague 2001, under cat. no. 25.
6. P. Sutton, in Masters of 17th-Century Dutch Landscape Painting, exhibition catalogue, Amsterdam 1987, p. 475.
7. See W. Stechow, 1966, under Literature, p. 99.