SALOMON VAN RUYSDAEL (1602-1670)
Salomon van Ruysdael was a Dutch painter who specialised in landscapes, river scenes and views of inland waters. During his later years, he also painted some still lifes. His early landscapes, distinguished by their modest subject matter and subdued palette, are characteristic of the new ‘tonal’ style of landscape painting in Haarlem, of which Ruysdael, Jan van Goyen (1596-1656) and Pieter de Molijn (1595-1661) were the principal exponents. Ruysdael’s later landscapes are brighter in colour and more monumental in approach.
Born in Naarden near Amsterdam, the son of a cabinetmaker, Salomon was originally called Salomon de Gooyer. However, he and his brother Isaack adopted the name of Ruysdael from Castle Ruijschdaal near their father’s home town, a property which may once have belonged to the family. He spelled his name Ruysdael in order to distinguish himself from his nephew, the landscape painter Jacob van Ruisdael (c.1628/29-1682).
Ruysdael’s earliest known dated painting is of 1626; by 1628, he was praised as a landscapist by the chronicler of Haarlem, Samuel van Ampzing. It is not known with whom he trained, but his earliest works show the influence of Esaias van de Velde who worked in Haarlem from 1609 to 1618. Ruysdael entered the Painters’ Guild in Haarlem in 1623, was named a vinder of the guild in 1647, a deacon in 1648 and a vinder again in 1669. He was described as a merchant in 1651 and dealt in blue dye for Haarlem’s famous bleacheries. Although he lived the majority of his life in Haarlem, he also painted views of Utrecht, Arnhem, Alkmaar and Rhenen. Ruysdael died in Haarlem in 1670.
The work of Salomon van Ruysdael is represented in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; the Kunsthalle, Hamburg; the National Gallery, London; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.