Jacob van Ruisdael's early work, like this delicate landscape of the 1640s, is often influenced by the style of his uncle, Salomon van Ruysdael, who may have been one of his teachers. This river landscape is characteristic of Salomon's compositions.

In the late 18th and 19th centuries this picture had a companion piece, 'A Cornfield', the present location of which is unknown. A drawing related to the composition of the National Gallery's painting is known and a variant survives in Detroit (Institute of Arts).

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
1628/9? - 1682
Full title
A Cottage and a Hayrick by a River
Date made
about 1646-50
Medium and support
Oil on oak
Dimensions
26 x 33.4 cm
Inscription summary
Signed
Acquisition credit
Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number
NG2565
Location in Gallery