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Jacob van Ruisdael - The mill of Wijk

by Alexandra Tuschka

A mill rises majestically in the right edge of the picture. A man steps out of the mill entrance and leans against the railing. In the background, a village ducks anxiously into the flat surroundings. The boat seems frozen on the water, the three ladies on their way in rigid unity with their surroundings. Even the soft cloud formation moves only slowly from one side to the other. Time - seems to stand still in this picture.

The painter's preference for showing flat landscapes in combination with dominant cloud formations is also expressed here. Ruisdael had traveled to many places in his life, but remained in Amsterdam for the last 15 years of his life. If the early works are characterized by a heroic and idealizing view of the world, in the later ouevre the pictorial space opens up increasingly in depth. The pictures can now also show gloomy moods. Here, too, one thinks one sees only the "calm before the storm" before one. The clouds are already getting darker - is a storm already on the horizon?

Jacob van Ruisdael - The mill of Wijk

Oil on canvas, 1670, 83 x 101 cm, Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam


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