Jakob Isaacksz van Ruisdael
* 1628 Haarlem
† 1682 Amsterdam
Jacob Isaaksz van Ruisdael (van Ruysdael), who counts among the most important Dutch baroque landscape painters, was born at Haarlem in either 1628 or in 1629. His father was Isaack van Ruisdael, painter and frame maker. It seems to be very likely that Jacob van Ruisdael (van Ruysdael) received lessons in art from his father and from his uncle on his father's side, the landscape painter Salomon van Ruisdael.
First independently made works by Jacob Isaaksz van Ruisdael date to 1646 and deliver proof of the unusually early artistic maturity of the young Haarlem native. The Gild of St. Luke in his hometown accepted Jacob van Ruisdael (Jacob van Ruysdael) as master as early as in 1648.
After he had gone on several journeys in the first half of the 1650s, Jacob Isaaksz van Ruisdael (van Ruysdael) settled in Amsterdam in 1656/57, where he was given civil rights in 1659. It is assumed that Jacob van Ruisdael (Jacob van Ruysdael) also studied medicine, he earned his doctor's degree in the French town of Caen on 15 October, 1676, however, this information is subject to controversy.
Most of all, however, Jacob Isaaksz van Ruisdael was active as landscape painter. While his early paintings emanate a rather mellow atmosphere, Jacob van Ruisdael (van Ruysdael) made more dramatic and powerful works as of the 1650s. Waterfalls, mountain landscapes, huge gnarled trees and landscapes with ruins are documents of this development. As of the middle of the decade he also began to make flat landscapes with towering clouds that emanate a heavy and thoughtful symbolism anticipating Romanticism. His late work is characterized by strong brightness contrast and a focus on the motif.
Next to his landscape paintings, some 13 excellent etchings by the hand of Jacob van Ruisdael (van Ruysdael) are known.
In 1682 Jacob Isaaksz van Ruisdael (van Ruysdael) died, presumably in Amsterdam. His grave is in his hometowns Haarlem.