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ID number:  BIRBI-2018.2
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Ruysdael, Salomon van (c.1600/3-1670)
Title / Object name:  A Cavalry travelling through a Wooded Landscape
Object type:  Oil on canvas
Culture:  Dutch
Date made:  1653
Materials:  Oil on canvas
Measurements:  88.8 x 122.8cm
Provenance:  The Viscounts Dungannon since the late 18th century; by family descent
BIRBI-2018.2.jpg

Salomon van Ruysdael emerged in the 1620s, alongside Molijn and van Goyen, as the leading landscapists of their generation, ushering in the remarkable 'tonal' landscapes that are the hallmark of early Dutch realism. Ruysdael was the uncle & likely master in Haarlem of his more famous nephew, Jacob, whose youthful painting in the Barber dates from the same time (c.1650-55), and also shows a small pool surrounded by numerous large trees. Jacob's work is indicative of the direction Dutch landscape would follow in its 'classical' phase, as also exemplified in the paintings of Aelbert Cuyp. The Barber is fortunate to possess in addition a particularly handsome example of Cuyp's work, Huntsmen Halted, which also has been dated to the early 1650s.

Ruysdael's painting is a particularly fine example of his mature style and, at least in the context of UK public collections, a rather rare example of a scene without a large body of water as the main focus of the composition. Indeed, the military figures offer an engaging narrative element to the picture, as well as setting off the richly detailed canopy of trees - which is undoubtedly in all senses the high point of this painting. His work has been surprisingly neglected by scholarship in recent years, for all his popularity on the art market, with the only monograph now some 40 years' old (and itself a revision of a publication from the 1930s).

Inscriptions / Translations:  Signed in ligature and dated lower centre: SVR VYSDAEL / 1653

Notes:  Allocated under the Acceptance in Lieu scheme, from the Estate of Charles Edwin Hill-Trevor, 4th Baron Trevor of Brynkinalt, 6 December 2018

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