Wheat Fields (1670) by Jacob van Ruisdael

Wheat Fields - Jacob van Ruisdael - 1670

Artwork Information

TitleWheat Fields
ArtistJacob van Ruisdael
Dimensions100 x 130.2 cm
Art MovementBaroque
Current LocationMetropolitan Museum of Art (Met), New York City, NY, US

About Wheat Fields

The artwork titled “Wheat Fields,” created by Jacob van Ruisdael in 1670, is a fine example of the Baroque period. Executed on canvas with oil paints, it measures 100 cm by 130.2 cm and falls under the genre of landscape. This piece is part of the collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, New York, United States.

The artwork depicts an expansive view of wheat fields under a dynamic, cloud-filled sky. The composition is balanced between the land and sky, with the sky taking up a large portion of the canvas, suggesting the grandeur and power of nature. The fields are shown in muted, earthen tones and are rendered with meticulous attention to detail. A pathway curves through the fields, drawing the viewer’s eye into the depths of the painting. Several figures are seen along the path, likely farmers or travelers, giving the landscape a sense of scale and human presence.

Van Ruisdael’s masterful use of light and shadow is evident in the contrast between the brightly lit clouds and the darker, more foreboding ones. It creates a dynamic and somewhat dramatic atmosphere, typical of the Baroque period’s aesthetic sensibilities. The trees to the right of the artwork, with their detailed foliage and twisted shapes, add texture and a hint of liveliness against the vastness of the sky and fields. This landscape is not only a representation of the Dutch countryside but also a manifestation of the sublime in nature, an aspect that Baroque artists often sought to capture.

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