Jacob van Ruisdael

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Jacob van Ruisdael
1628 or 1629-1682.
Ruined Cottage
ca. 1655
Black chalk and gray wash.
7 7/8 x 10 3/4 inches (200 x 275 mm)
Thaw Collection.
2017.229

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Signed with the artist's monogram in point of brush and black ink wash at lower right, "JVR" (ligated).

Provenance: 
Sybrand I Feitama, Amsterdam, or his son, Isaac Feitama, Amsterdam; the latter's son, Sybrand II Feitama, Amsterdam, 1709; his sale, Amsterdam, de Bosch, 16 October 1758, Album L, lot 44 (to Hoet for 25 fl.); Gerard Hoet the Younger, The Hague, 1758; his sale, The Hague, Franken and Thol, 25-28 August 1760, Album M, lot 801(to Ijver for 25 fl.); Johan Goll van Franckenstein the Elder, Amsterdam, ca. 1760; his son, Johan Goll van Franckenstein the Younger, Amsterdam (no mark; see Lugt 2987), 1785; his son, Pieter Hendrik Goll van Franckenstein, Amsterdam, 1821; his sale, Amsterdam, de Vries, 1 July 1833, Album S, lot 9 (to Hulswit for 90 fl.); Hendrik van Cranenburgh, Amsterdam; his sale, Amsterdam, Roos, 26 October 1858, Album B, lot 30 (bought for 61 fl.); Emile Galichon, Paris (no mark; see Lugt 1058-59); his sale, Paris Hôtel Drouot, 10-14 May 1875, lot 143 (to Galichon for 415 fr.); Louis Galichon, Paris (Lugt 1060), 1875; his sale, Paris, Danlos, 4-9 March 1895, lot 146 (bought for 520 fr.); J.P. Heseltine, London (Lugt 1507); his sale, London, Sotheby's, 27-29 May 1935, lot 193 (to Reitlinger for £7.00); H.S. Reitlinger, London (Lugt S. 2274a), 1935; his sale, London, Sotheby's, 22-23 June 1954, lot 699; Curtis O. Baer, New Rochelle, ca. 1954; his daughter, Yvette Baer, Atlanta, 1976; Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw, New York.
Bibliography: 

The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY, "Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection", 2017. Exh. cat., no. 346, repr.
The Thaw Collection : Master Drawings and Oil Sketches : Acquisitions since 1994. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 2002, no. 9, repr.

Notes: 

Ruisdael and other artists of his generation were fascinated with ruins--not just of major structures but also of more humble ones like this cottage, which appears to have fallen down as a result of sheer neglect. His short stabs with the brush to create the chaotic grasses in the foreground resonate with the cottage's return to the wild. This drawing likely served as a preparatory study for a painting that is now lost but known through many copies. The three figures were probably added later by another hand. -- Exhibition Label, from "Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection"

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