Jacob van Ruisdael (Dutch, Haarlem 1628/29–1682 Amsterdam)
Black chalk; brush and gray wash; gouache; framing lines in pen and brown ink.
8 1/4 x 7 1/2 in. (21.0 x 19.1 cm)
Fletcher Fund, 1995
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.
Signature: [in black chalk at lower right]: JvR [interlaced].
Inscription: [on verso at lower left in pencil]: J.d.V. / SR xoo.
Marking: verso lower left collectors' mark of A. Sträter
Gerard Leembruggen (Dutch); August Sträter (1810–1897); Anton W. Mensing (died 1937); Ernst Goldschmidt
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," February 8, 1999–May 3, 1999.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," October 4, 2005–January 9, 2006.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," September 17, 2007–January 6, 2008.
Carmen C. Bambach, Suzanne Boorsch, Nadine Orenstein, Carolyn Logan, Perrin Stein "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1995-1996." in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 54, no. 2, Autumn 1996, (entry by Carolyn Logan), p. 29, ill.