Landscape near Muiderberg by Jacob van Ruisdael

This work depicts the ruins of the church at Muiderberg, a small village six miles east of Amsterdam.


Oil on canvas
66 x 75 cm
Acquired in:
Bequeathed by:
Ernest Edward Cook through The Art Fund

The passage of time, a recurring theme in the artist's painting, is illustrated by the rushing stream and the prominent dead tree trunk in the foreground. He evokes the unceasing struggle for survival in nature against indomitable forces and the eternal cycle of life and death, depicting an isolated church with a grove of gnarled trees before it. Rarely content in depicting identifiable sites, the artist here portrays an existing building in an imaginary setting and invests with a deep symbolic meaning. The painting was part of the Ernest Edward Cook's collection who bequeathed the entire contents of his house to the Art Fund. The bequest comprised of over 150 paintings, tapestries, furniture, silver and porcelain and was distributed to nearly 100 UK galleries.


Part of the E E Cook collection, grandson of Thomas Cook of Thomas Cook Travel Agency. Died in 1955 and bequeathed the entire contents of his house at Bath to the National Art Collections Fund.

Venue details

Ashmolean Museum Beaumont Street, OXFORD Oxfordshire OX1 2PH 01865 278000

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