Jacob van Ruisdael

1628/9? - 1682

Jacob van Ruisdael was one of the most famous landscape painters of 17th-century Holland, and the foremost exponent of the classical phase of Dutch landscape painting. He was able to create a poetic and sometimes brooding or tragic mood in his landscapes. This can be seen especially in his mature works, such as 'A Pool Surrounded by Trees' in the Collection.

Ruisdael was born in Haarlem, the son of a little known painter, Isaack Jacobsz. van Ruisdael, who was also a dealer and frame-maker. He probably trained with his uncle Salomon van Ruysdael, and in 1648 became a member of the Haarlem painters' guild. Around 1650 he travelled to the hilly area around Bentheim across the German border.

From the late 1650s he also painted waterfalls based on the work of Allart van Everdingen, who had travelled in Scandinavia. By 1657 Ruisdael had settled in Amsterdam and in his later years is said to have also practised as a physician there. He was buried in Haarlem.