Dune Landscape with Oak Tree

Jacob van Ruisdael Dutch

Not on view

The image of the oak tree is one for which Ruisdael is justly well known. In this highly finished drawing, which must have had an independent status since the artist monogrammed it, the majestic tree takes center stage atop a dune around which a small stream trickles. The footbridge crossing the gulley and the thatch hut nestled in the trees introduce a human element, whereas the high dunes in the background enhance the heroic character of this intimate view of nature imparted by its composition. With simply a light sketch in chalk elaborated with semi-opaque gray washes, Ruisdael created a sense of atmosphere and deeply receding space that belie the size of the paper on which the drawing is made.

Dune Landscape with Oak Tree, Jacob van Ruisdael (Dutch, Haarlem 1628/29–1682 Amsterdam), Black chalk, brush and gray wash, and gouache; framing lines in pen and brown ink

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