Jacob van Ruisdael (1628?–1682)
View of Haarlem with Bleaching Grounds, c. 1670–75
Oil on canvas
21 7/8 x 24 3/8 in. (55.5 x 62.0 cm)
Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague
Acquired in 1827
Inv. no 155
Landscape paintings, first produced as independent subjects in Flanders during the sixteenth century, matured and flourished during the Golden Age. Here, Ruisdael creates a paean to both the sun-drenched countryside and the city’s valued linen industry. Although he alters some topographical features to suit his vision, the flat topography of the lowlands is recognizable, as are many of the buildings, including the imposing Cathedral of Saint Bavo. The painting belongs to a category known as Haerlempjes (little views of Haarlem).