View of the IJ on a Stormy Day (1660) by Jacob van Ruisdael

View of the Ij on a Stormy Day - Jacob van Ruisdael - 1660

Artwork Information

TitleView of the Ij on a Stormy Day
ArtistJacob van Ruisdael
Art MovementBaroque
Current LocationWorcester Art Museum (WAM), Worcester, MA, UK

About View of the Ij on a Stormy Day

“View of the Ij on a Stormy Day,” created in 1660 by Jacob van Ruisdael, epitomizes the Baroque art movement’s dynamic expression and grandeur. Van Ruisdael has masterfully encapsulated the tempestuous maritime scene in this work, which is categorized within the marina genre. The artwork is part of the collection at the Worcester Art Museum (WAM), located in Worcester, Massachusetts, United Kingdom.

The artwork presents a dramatic interpretation of nature’s forces, with a focus on the interplay of light and shadow. The skies are animated with tumultuous clouds that dominate the upper half of the canvas, painted in an array of grays and whites, suggesting the brooding intensity of a storm. Below, the churning waters of the Ij (a body of water in the Netherlands) convey the peril and turmoil of a stormy sea.

Small ships and boats struggle against the tempest, their sails billowing in the gusty winds. The dynamic composition captures the essence of the maritime experience during the 17th century, reflecting the relationship between humanity and the raw power of nature. Attention is drawn to the fine details of the boats and the frothy waves, which lend a sense of immediacy and danger to the scene. The contrasting elements of the dark, threatening sky and the small, vulnerable vessels at sea contribute to the overall dramatic impact of the artwork, resonating with themes commonly explored during the Baroque period.

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