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A Waterfall

Waterfalls situated in a mountainous setting were one of Ruisdael’s preferred subjects. He is thought to have encountered Scandinavian landscapes through the works of the Dutch painter and printmaker Allan van Everdingen (1621–75) who had travelled to the south-eastern coast of Norway and western Sweden in 1644. This painting exemplifies Ruisdael’s ability to create an atmosphere of rushing water and convincing sense of space; it is not at all obvious that the painting is a work of the artist’s imagination.  

The blues, whites and greys of the clouded sky create a sense of depth and perspective when contrasted with the earthy tones of the rocks, cascades and foliage. The water provides a focal point to the painting. Crashing and foaming, its onward flow draws the eye of the viewer into the landscape.  

Currently on display

Artist
Jacob van Ruisdael
Date
1670–79
Location
Gallery 11
Dimensions
98.5 x 83.4 cm
Materials
Oil on canvas
Inscription
Signed, lower centre right: JvRui?dael [JvR in monogram]
Acquisition
Bourgeois Bequest, 1811
Accession number
DPG105
Notes
Adopted in loving memory of John Elston Gardener by his wife Suzanne and children James, David and Catherine, 2000