Grain Field by Jacob van Ruisdal

Grain Field by Jacob van Ruisdal

Jacob van Ruysdal, an outstanding Dutch master of landscape genre, captured on the canvas an amazing image of his native land. Plain spaces, depicted as a living being, seem to be animated by the all-powerful force of nature.

The composition of the painting is built on a central perspective, supported by the road in the foreground, dividing the composition into two parts. With her slightly winding movement, she draws the viewer’s gaze toward the buildings, looking through the trees.

The low horizon allows the cloudy sky, which occupies two thirds of the canvas, to unfold in its entire width. In some places, the sun’s rays manage to break through the clouds, spilling gold across the fields, reflecting different shades in the light and shadow.

Three lonely figures, distinguishable on the road, a woman with a child and a traveler walking towards them, seem to be lost in the majestic picture of nature, as if demonstrating that life is subject not to human but to the highest laws.

The dry branches and tree trunks in the foreground seem to reflect the concept of vanitas, the frailty of earthly existence. The state of rest dominating in the composition is disturbed by a slight trepidation and a barely noticeable melancholic anxiety, reflecting the romantic drama of the artist’s temperament.

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