JACOB VAN RUISDAEL,Vintage Art Masterpieces,Vintage Prints for Sale The WheatField by JACOB VAN RUISDAEL {Dutch School}

The WheatField by JACOB VAN RUISDAEL {Dutch School}

THE WHEATFIELD

The WheatField

by JACOB VAN RUISDAEL {Dutch School}

 

DUTCH landscape painting is a reflection of tranquillity; it does not employ
nature as a vehicle to express the spiritual strife of man, and creates no vast
scheme of relationships in which the accidents of light and shade are system­
atically flouted-it is a pleasure to the eye and as relaxing as a quiet polder.

The Dutch loved their country-c-they had fought too hard for their possessions
not to prize them-and while the love of nature and material possessions will
not, of itself, produce art, the honesty and enthusiasm of their best men re­
sulted in an effectiveness of presentation that is unquestionably creative.

 

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Ruisdael, the most celebrated of the landscape school, has survived a
long list of nature painters who, in their own day, appeared to be more orig­
inal and important.

This lonely, unlucky Dutchman, born in Haarlem, knew
what he was about-as Constable, who copied him, expressed it, “He under­
stood what he was painting.”

The wonder is that he had the time or the heart
for the tireless observation that went into his pictures. He signed his paintings
and etchings at the age of seventeen; at twenty was admitted to-the painters’
guild of Haarlem, and some years afterward, was duly licensed to practice
at Amsterdam.

From the character of his late sea pieces and dark mountain tor­
rents, he must have traveled in Norway-but that is conjecture. He was little
appreciated by his countrymen and died in the poorhouse.

Ruisdael’s landscapes are grave and somber. The Wheat Field, one of the
best, is less dour in mood and lighter in tone, but compared with modern land­
scapes, devoid of positive colors. It never occurred to him to paint the earth
In bright attire-he was a gloomy soul.

But The Wheat Field has in abun­
dance the understanding of nature Constable admired; the varied shapes and
contrasts in the cloud formations, and precise knowledge of the growth of trees
and the terrain of the fields.

Ruisdael did not paint directly from nature, but
from sketches and studies; nor did he, like his fellow Dutchmen, undertake
to give a transcription of a particular locality. He took his sketches home to
his hovel and from them, by the most careful planning-in his last years, by
a formula-painted a landscape faithful to the general topography of Holland,
but expressing the substantial plainness, the size and expanse, of his imag­
inary world-and the unobtrusive loneliness that pursued him.

His English fol­lowers added freshness and sparkle to his designs, but none could match the old
Dutchman in his ability to deliver the poetry of nature in homespun garments.

 

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