© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

The most original and versatile landscapist of the Dutch Golden Age, Van Ruisdael produced a large oeuvre of some 700 pictures, 140 drawings, and 13 etchings. This drawing belongs to a group of more than 30 sketches by the artist that are closely related in format, composition, and technique. All date from the late 1640s to the mid-1650s. The densely packed composition, close view of the main motif, and loose handling of the chalk in this study are characteristic of the group. Van Ruisdael evoked the translucency of the clouds and shadows

by dragging the soft chalk over the uneven surface of the paper, and in some shaded areas by blending the strokes into a continuous gray tone. Scattered dark accents added with a sharper chalk emphasize prominent details, such as the birds, brush, and fallen tree in the left foreground.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Jacob van Ruisdael, Dutch (Haarlem 1628/29 - 1682 Amsterdam)
Trees and a Cottage at the Edge of a Road
Work Type
c. 1648-1655
Physical Descriptions
Black chalk on light tan antique laid paper, framing line in brown ink and black chalk
15.3 x 19.7 cm (6 x 7 3/4 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: lower right, brown ink: J. Ruijsdael
  • watermark:
    Fragment of a foolscap with a seven-pointed collar; variant of Hinterding, vol. 2, p. 138, A–c (1633) and A–e (1656)
  • inscription: verso, lower right, black chalk: Collection Hippert, Bruxelles / 1919 / ...[illegible]
  • inscription: verso, upper left, black chalk: CI LXII Paysage
  • inscription: verso, upper right, black chalk: No 1...
  • inscription: verso, lower left, graphite: ...759 / Ruisdael
  • inscription: verso, lower right, black chalk: Meissner
  • collector's mark: verso, lower center, blue ink, stamp: L. 1377 (Theodore-Charles-Louis Hippert)
  • collector's mark: verso, lower right, blue ink stamp: L. 3306 (Maida and George Abrams)
  • inscription: verso, lower center, black chalk: Ruys...
  • inscription: verso, lower right, graphite: ESSSX
The "J. Ruijsdael" collector, by 1690. Théodore-Charles-Louis Hippert, Brussels (L. 1377, verso, lower center). Mr. and Mrs. C. Benedict, Berlin and Paris. Kurt Meissner, Zurich, sold; to Maida and George Abrams, Boston, 1981 (L. 3306, verso, lower right); The Maida and George Abrams Collection, 2008.251.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
The Maida and George Abrams Collection, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
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Publication History

Seymour Slive, "An Unpublished Drawing by Jacob van Ruisdael", Essays in Northern European Art Presented to Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann, pp., Davaco Publishers (Doornspijk, 1983), pp. 249-50, p. 250, repr. figs. 1 and 2

Seymour Slive, "Additions to Jacob van Ruisdael", Burlington Magazine (September 1991), vol. 133, no. 1062, pp. 598-606, p. 604 (n. 31)

William W. Robinson, Seventeenth-Century Dutch Drawings: A Selection from the Maida and George Abrams Collection, exh. cat., H. O. Zimman, Inc. (Lynn, MA, 1991), cat. no. 38, pp. 94-5, repr.

George S. Keyes, "[Review] Seventeenth-Century Dutch Drawings. A Selection from the Maida and George Abrams Collection", Master Drawings (Winter 1992), vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 443-448, p. 448

Marian Bisanz-Prakken, Die Landschaft im Jahrhundert Rembrandts, exh. cat., Albertina (Vienna, 1993), under cat. nos. 57-8, p. 102 (n. 5)

Marian Bisanz-Prakken, Drawings from the Albertina: Landscape in the Age of Rembrandt, exh. cat., Art Services International (Alexandria, Virginia, 1995), under cat. nos. 49-50, p. 106 (n. 6)

Seymour Slive, Jacob van Ruisdael: A Complete Catalogue of His Paintings, Drawings and Etchings, Yale University Press (New Haven and London, 2001), cat. no. D27, p. 514, repr., and p. 492 (n. 7), repr. p. 491, Fig. Drawings a (detail)

Seymour Slive, Jacob van Ruisdael: Master of Landscape, exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts (London, England, 2005), p. 168 (n. 5)

Annemarie Stefes, Niederländische Zeichnungen 1450-1850: Kupferstichkabinett der Hamburger Kunsthalle, ed. Andreas Stolzenburg and Hubertus Gaßner, Böhlau Verlag (Cologne, 2011), vol. 2, under cat. no. 900, p. 485

William W. Robinson and Susan Anderson, Drawings from the Age of Bruegel, Rubens, and Rembrandt: Highlights from the Collection of the Harvard Art Museums, Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2016), cat. no. 78, pp. 263-265, repr. p. 264; watermark p. 380

Exhibition History

Seventeenth-Century Dutch Drawings: A Selection from the Maida and George Abrams Collection, Rijksprentenkabinet, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 02/23/1991 - 04/18/1991; Albertina Gallery, Vienna, 05/16/1991 - 06/30/1991; Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, 01/22/1992 - 04/22/1992; Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 10/10/1992 - 12/06/1992

Drawings from the Age of Bruegel, Rubens, and Rembrandt, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 05/21/2016 - 08/14/2016

Subjects and Contexts

Dutch, Flemish, & Netherlandish Drawings

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu