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J. Paul Getty Museum

Dead Tree by a Stream at the Foot of a Hill gm-00014801

Dead Tree by a Stream at the Foot of a Hill gm-00014801

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Jacob van Ruisdael (Dutch, 1628/1629–1682) For Jacob van Ruisdael, decayed trees with bare, twisted branches could speak as eloquently as thriving ones. The aged tree was a long-standing theme in Dutch and Flemish landscape imagery, but in Ruisdael's hands it became a very personal expression.

Ruisdael focused this composition around a hollow tree whose bare limbs reach upward: a heroic element in the landscape. Its lifeless skeleton symbolizes the transience of human life, a favorite Ruisdael theme, and reminds viewers of the suffering and endurance required in life. Yet Ruisdael also set the dead tree amidst healthy ones, showing that both life and death have a share in nature. To balance the scene compositionally, Ruisdael contrasted the dramatic tree with a placid stream and picturesque footbridge on the left.

Ruisdael began by sketching the composition in black chalk. He then brushed in a range of tones of gray wash, creating a rich diversity of textural and light effects, especially on the right.

Subjects reflecting life's uncertainty and brevity were popular in post-Reformation Holland, where religious painting had nearly disappeared. The vanitas themes adopted by Dutch still life painters came from the same urge to record the fleeting character of nature.
Art Prints are printed on heavy matte finish German art paper using the finest Canon archival inks. Frame is black natural with a white mattboard and Acrylite glazing.

Wall Murals are printed on 42" matte finish, self-adhesive Kodak PhotoText fabric panels that combine and mount easily on a non textured wall surface. We can custom make to any size, just ask.

Stretched Canvas is stretched by hand over 1.5" thick pine bars and printed on cotton poly matte finish canvas. Each is canvas hand coated with Hahnemuhle UV/Archive coating, these are Swiss quality best in industry canvases.


All our images are digitized from the original negative , printed and assembled in Switzerland to museum standards by our master printer.

All of our products are popular and custom made by hand to order, please allow 4-6 weeks to make them and 1-2 weeks for shipment anywhere in the world.

Questions? Please email service@archivea.com

Artwork in this collection is from The J. Paul Getty Museum. Reproduction rights are reserved by the copyright owner and used under license by Archivea GmbH. .

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