Beachscape with Dunes
Jacob van Ruisdael (Haarlem 1628 - Amsterdam 1682)
This coastal view exemplifies Jacob van Ruisdael’s exceptional ability to create a striking composition out of an ostensibly simple and uneventful subject. Figures saunter around the tufty sand dunes and rutted roads of the seventeenth-century Dutch coastline; the only action performed with any real sense of purpose is the gentleman being carried out to a waiting rowboat on the shoulders of two men. The mundanity of these goings-on is countered by the grandeur of the cloudy sky which dominates the picture. The low horizon line and the sweep of billowing clouds create an impression of space and movement on a vast scale.
Oil painting on canvas, Beachscape with Dunes by Jacob van Ruisdael (Haarlem 1628 - Amsterdam 1682), 1670s. A view along the Dutch coast with high dunes to the left and a road along which an officer, two ladies and their page are walking. Figures on the beach and two men carrying a passenger in the sea towards a rowing boat moored in the middle distance; rainy sky.
Polesden Lacey, The McEwan Collection (National Trust)
Marks and inscriptions
JvRuisdael (JvR in monogram, signed bottom left)
Makers and roles
Jacob van Ruisdael (Haarlem 1628 - Amsterdam 1682), artist