Jacob van Ruisdael is considered by historians and critics alike to be the greatest Dutch landscape painter. His work often depicts quiet, pleasant, pastoral scenes of flowing water, trees, and cloudy skies of the Dutch countryside. A River Landscape with a Waterfall is characteristic of his oeuvre—a turbulent waterfall cascading into a pond surrounded by magnificent trees. The churning water and large broken tree limbs in the foreground suggest the ever-changing nature of life. Painted circa 1660, the work’s most recent provenance is of great interest.
Jacob van Ruisdael, A River Landscape with a Waterfall (Un paisaje de río con una cascada), c. 1660. Oil on canvas. Gift of Dr. Meryl H. and Mrs. Jeanne Haber.
In the 1930s, the painting was housed in the home-gallery of Jewish Dutch art dealer Jacques Goudstikker. In May 1940, as the Nazis invaded the Netherlands, Goudstikker and his family embarked on a journey to escape by boat to England. While they fled, the gallery was looted by the Nazis.
To hear the full story and how van Ruisdael’s A River Landscape with a Waterfall came to the PhxArt Collection, watch the video below, featuring collector Dr. Meryl H. Haber.