Jacob van Ruisdael (1628-1682)
Considered by some to be the greatest Dutch landscapist. His most significant work is The Jewish Graveyard, a dark and imaginative piece. Within the frame, Ruisdael shows thunderclouds rolling over a dark medieval ruin. The area is deserted, and a rapidly moving stream runs in between the graves. These elements create a palpable mood of deep melancholy. The message seems to be that of timelessness, of the inevitable victory that nature has over all humanity. This work was completed in 1655 so it brilliantly foreshadows the later Romantic movement.