Skip to main content

Jacob van Ruisdael, A Landscape with a Ruined Castle and a Church

Key facts
Full title A Landscape with a Ruined Castle and a Church
Artist Jacob van Ruisdael
Artist dates 1628/9? - 1682
Date made about 1665-70
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 109 × 146 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Wynn Ellis Bequest, 1876
Inventory number NG990
Location Room 19
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
A Landscape with a Ruined Castle and a Church
Jacob van Ruisdael

This, one of van Ruisdael’s most famous paintings, is a bigger version of his An Extensive Landscape with Ruins, also in the National Gallery’s collection. This sizeable picture was almost certainly painted on commission and was designed to hang in a very large room. Its size is matched by the sense of grandeur van Ruisdael has managed to create.

Although it is reminiscent of the countryside around Haarlem, where van Ruisdael grew up and trained as an artist, no one has been able to identify the main church or an exact location for the panorama. Most likely it was an idealised view, evoking and reflecting ideas that van Ruisdael and his customers had about how Holland should look. The productive nature of the landscape is represented by the shepherds, the corn and the windmill; a sense of history by the ruined castle. The church that dominates the horizon stood, in their eyes, for eternal certainty.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo