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Jacob van Ruisdael, A Rocky Hill with Three Cottages, a Stream at its Foot

Key facts
Full title A Rocky Hill with Three Cottages, a Stream at its Foot
Artist Jacob van Ruisdael
Artist dates 1628/9? - 1682
Date made probably 1650-60
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 55 × 66 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number NG2564
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
A Rocky Hill with Three Cottages, a Stream at its Foot
Jacob van Ruisdael

This painting, for some time thought to be by an unknown artist, is now considered to be by Jacob van Ruisdael, the leading Dutch landscape painter of the seventeenth century. The rocky hillside lit with patches of sunlight from the broken, scudding clouds overhead is typical of van Ruisdael’s work.

The trees outlined against the sky and tossing in the wind create a dramatic sense of movement, which gives a sense of endurance to the two figures, a man and a child hand in hand. They are dwarfed by nature but steadfastly climb the steep path to the cottage hidden in the woods.

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