A Storm off the Dutch Coast
Ruisdael, Jacob Isaacksz. van
Europe, Netherlands, Holland
First floor: Gallery 11 Changing Displays
oil paint on canvas
85.3 x 100.4 cm
A Storm off the Dutch Coast after 1660
Jacob van Ruisdael 1628/9 - 1682
Oil on canvas
Jacob van Ruisdael was beset known for his landscapes
but he painted some magnificent seascapes late in life
of which this is an outstanding example.
His talents were noted as a young artist in Haarlem
where he was signing works, aged only eighteen
a practice not usually allowed by the painters' guild.
He also helped his father, a frame-maker, out of debt.
His painting developed out of the naturalism
pioneered by artists like his uncle Salomon van Ruysdael.
As he grew older, a mood of brooding melancholy
began to pervade his work.
The rough seas are topped with threatening clouds
and the human element is minimised.
In its mood of foreboding this work anticipates
the romantic movement of the early 19th century.
It suggests the powerlessness of man
when confronted with the forces of nature.
Presented by the National Art-Collections Fund from the E. E. Cook collection