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Landscape with a Church by a Torrent

Landscape with a Church by a Torrent

c. 1670

Jacob van Ruisdael

(Dutch, 1628/29-1682)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 100.3 x 83.8 x 10.8 cm (39 1/2 x 33 x 4 1/4 in.); Unframed: 71 x 55.2 cm (27 15/16 x 21 3/4 in.)

Bequest of Jane Taft Ingalls 1962.256

Description

It is not known if Ruisdael considered his paintings to be social or moral commentary, for no documents from his lifetime indicate how the artist or his patrons interpreted the works. But in this painting dangerous rapids block access to the chapel, and severed logs litter the middleground, hinting at life’s transience and the challenge to reach salvation.

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