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Salomon van Ruysdael, 'A View of Deventer seen from the North-West', 1657

Key facts
Full title A View of Deventer seen from the North-West
Artist Salomon van Ruysdael
Artist dates 1600/3? - 1670
Date made 1657
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 51.8 × 76.5 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Presented by William Edward Brandt, Henry Augustus Brandt, Walter Augustus Brandt and Alice Mary Bleecker in memory of Rudolph Ernst Brandt, 1962
Inventory number NG6338
Location Room 19
Collection Main Collection
A View of Deventer seen from the North-West
Salomon van Ruysdael

Three small boats head up river, towards the rising sun. Their taut, curved sails are outlined against a cool, luminous sky as they lean with the wind. Moving clouds reveal a patch of intense blue that is reflected silvery grey on the translucent water below. Cattle wade up to their knees by the far bank, with a single white animal picked out in the growing light. Close to us, the corks of the drag net held by a fisherman in a rowing boat midstream bob on the water.

Van Ruysdael was one of a group of Dutch artists who, in the early seventeenth century, pioneered the painting of naturalistic scenes with vast skies; like them, he restricted his palette to a range of greens, greys and blues. They depicted what they saw but, at the same time, captured the essence of the Dutch landscape.

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