Artist Spotlight: Jacob van Ruisdael

Earth Month is finally drawing to a close, as do our highlights this month of artists whose works showcased all aspects of the planet – air, water, fire and this week we will put the spotlight an artist whose works show the earth. Our artist spotlight this week shines on Jacob van Ruisdael, a Dutch painter who was an incredibly prolific and versatile painter during the Dutch Golden Age.

Born in 1629, Ruisdael was born into a family of painters – all landscape artists. So you could say that his path in life was set pretty early in life. Not much is known about his early life and upbringing, including who his teacher was. It’s often assumed that he studied with family members, but this is not known. By 1657 Jacob had moved to Amsterdam and his style began to shift from that of his earlier works. His paintings before his move could be characterized by simple motifs and a laborious study of natural elements. Whereas after his move, his works took on a more heroic character with elements becoming larger and more prominent. Ruisdael did little travelling during his career but that did not stop his paintings from showcasing landscapes he likely never encountered. 

Throughout his career Ruisdael was committed to showing all the different aspects of the earth in a variety of styles. Which makes him the perfect artist to finish off this Earth Month with. I hope you enjoyed getting to see and experience our gorgeous planet through the eyes of these artists this month!

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