A masterpiece by 17th-century Dutch landscape artist Jacob van Ruisdael has a new home in the U.S.
The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, has acquired an exemplary painting by a paramount Dutch landscape artist, and simply one of the finest landscape painters in history: Jacob van Ruisdael. The Kimbell purchased the painting from Oxford University through a private treaty sale brokered by Christie’s, London. The sale price was not reported.
At 3 1/2 by nearly 5 feet, the painting is a large and impressive achievement from a central figure in the history of Dutch landscape painting, and its acquisition is a significant coup for the Kimbell.
“‘Edge of a Forest With a Grainfield’ epitomizes Ruisdael’s mastery of landscape painting, uniting an unprecedented observation of nature with a sympathetic feeling for the bounteous glory of the Dutch countryside,” said museum director Eric M. Lee in the museum’s release. “It is an imposing complement to the Kimbell’s ‘Rough Sea at a Jetty,’ one of his most important seascapes. Whether depicting the sea or the land, these paintings attest to Ruisdael’s profound love of nature in all its forms.”
The release goes on to cite leading Ruisdael scholar Seymour Slive, professor emeritus at Harvard University, who calls the painting “a world-class masterpiece,” further describing it as “an unusually large, signed, and almost miraculously well-preserved masterwork by the greatest and most versatile — by far — 17th-century Dutch landscapist. A special feature of the painting is the large, mirror-smooth lily pond that virtually extends across its foreground. Comparable [stretches of water] are found in the artist’s forest [paintings] in Berlin and at the Hermitage. The fact that this landscape holds its own when juxtaposed to these stellar achievements by Ruisdael speaks volumes for its superior quality.”
“Edge of a Forest With a Grainfield” will be on view in the Kimbell’s Kahn Building starting in April 2014. Admission to the museum’s permanent collection galleries is always free. To learn more, visit the Kimbell Art Museum online.


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