Lot 54
  • 54

Salomon van Ruysdael

800,000 - 1,200,000 USD
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  • 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


Hendrik Rottermondt;
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.


Utrecht, Centraal Museum, Tentoonstelling van eenige onder voorbehoud van nadere goedkeuring aangekochte belangrijke utrechtsche schilderijen, aangevuld met een aantal fraaie werken van utrechtsche meesters of anderszins op utrecht betrekking hebbende uit de verzameling van den kunsthandel D.A. Hoogendijk & co. te Amsterdam, June - July 1934;
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, Salomon van Ruysdael. Eine Einführung in seine Kunst, Berlin 1938, p. 70, cat. no. 13, reproduced fig. 36 (as with D.A. Hoogendijk, Amsterdam);
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.


The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920, simonparkes@msn.com, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's. This work is in beautiful condition. The panel is cradled. If it is made from more than a single piece of wood, none of the original joins have broken. The painting is clean, retouched and varnished. As one would expect, there are a few isolated spots of retouching in the sky addressing slight weakness that has developed in the thinner pigment over time. There is the odd retouch in the foreground and architecture on the right side. The only restoration of any note is in the tent on the far right, where a thin scratch measuring 2 ½ inches has been retouched. The work should be hung as is.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."

Catalogue Note

Ruysdael’s winter landscapes are some of his most beautiful and evocative works, and relatively rare in his oeuvre.  He painted three in 1627, at the beginning of his career, and would not return to the subject again until after 1650.  From the last two decades of his life, about twenty winter landscapes are known, including a number of impressive compositions incorporating townscapes, such as the present work.5

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.