Lot 66
  • 66

JACOB ISAACKSZ. VAN RUISDAEL | River landscape with an angler, the Grote Kerk of Naarden beyond

200,000 - 300,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Jacob Isaacksz. van Ruisdael
  • River landscape with an angler, the Grote Kerk of Naarden beyond
  • signed in monogram lower left: VR (in ligature)
  • oil on canvas


Horutener collection, Rouen, by 1781, the year of the death of the engraver Jacques
Bacheley (see note below);
Private collection, Switzerland;
With Kornfeld, Bern, 1992;
With Gebr. Douwes, Amsterdam & London, until 1994;
Private collection, Boston, acquired from the above, until at least 2001;
Private collection, Netherlands;
With Noortman Master Paintings, Maastricht, 2007;
Private collection, Netherlands.


J. Smith, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish and
French painters, 9 vols., London 1829-42, vol. 6, cat. no. 95, p. 32;
C. Hofstede de Groot, Beschreibendes und kritisches Verzeichnis der Werke der
hervorragendsten holländischen Maler des XVII. Jahrhunderts, 10 vols., Esslingen &
Paris 1907-28, vol. 4, cat. no. 192b;
S. Slive, "Additions to Jacob van Ruisdael: II", in The Burlington Magazine, vol. 137, 1995, pp. 456-457, reproduced;
S. Slive, Jacob van Ruisdael: A Complete Catalogue of his Paintings, Drawings and
Etchings, New Haven & London 2001, cat. no. 521, p. 381, reproduced in
color (as on panel).

Catalogue Note

The great Ruisdael scholar Seymour Slive dated this expressive and romantic landscape to circa 1650. The thickly painted passages and the concentration of trees in the center of the composition more specifically recall Ruisdael’s works from the late 1640s. This lovely painting thus ranks among Ruisdael’s most refined early small landscapes. Slightly earlier than this picture - circa 1647 - and at the very beginning of his career, Ruisdael explored the countryside in the environs of Naarden making sketches, several of which are preserved.1  Painted depictions of the town include his well-known panoramic view, now at the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid (inv. no. 354). In the present picture, the church spire peaking through the trees at right identifies the view as a landscape on the outskirts of Naarden, birthplace of his fater Isaack and uncle Salomon van Ruysdael. Before this important early work resurfaced in 1992, it was known only from a 1781 print, in reverse, by Jacques Bacheley (fig. 1).2  Authors prior to the painting's rediscovery, including the London connoisseur and dealer John Smith, and Cornelis Hofstede de Groot, all  based their descriptions on the print. It appears that Ruisdael found reason to keep the painting in his possession for some time, as his pupil Meindert Hobbema (1638 - 1709), who entered the studio around 1658, made a larger free copy of it in about 1660 (fig. 2).

In each of it's stylistic elements, the painting is a stark reminder of how, from his earliest moments as an independent master, Ruisdael revolutionized the landscape genre. Despite it's diminutive scale, Ruisdael is able to combine the powerful features of Haarlem landscape painting, such as the finely delineated and richly textured foliage, reminiscent of Cornelis Vroom (1590-92 - 1661), with other sensitive atmospheric effects, notably the billowing clouds above. He does this with an unprecedented sense of poetry, foretelling his mature compositions that were to have such a tremendous impact on the later Romantic school of landscape painting, notably that of John Constable (1776 - 1837). Here, Ruisdael already represents nature as a metaphor of powerful emotions. The sunlight which pierces through just behind the towering treetop in the center enlivens the otherwise serious mood set forth by the partially overcast sky.

1. Two are panoramic views on Naarden. One is preserved at the RKD, The Hague, and the other is in the Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt. See S. Slive, Jacob van Ruisdael. Master of Landscape, exhibition catalogue,  Los Angeles (Los
Angeles County Museum); Philadelphia (Philadelphia Museum of Art) 2005/06, p. 48.
2. At that time the subject was called: “Vue des environs d'Utrecht”. The print is lettered in the lower margin with its title, dedication and production details: "Ruisdaal Pinxit." and "Bacheley sculp." and "Dédiée à Monsieur le Cornier de Cideville Ancien Conseiller au Parlemens de Normandie / Membre de l'Académie Royale des Sciences, Belles-Lettres et Arts de Rouen / Par son très humble et très obéissant Serviteur Bacheley" and "Tirée du Cabinet de M. Horutener Nég.t à Rouen" and "A Paris Chez Chereau Graveur rue St Jacques prés les Mathurins".