Jacob van Ruisdael (c. 1629 – 1682) was a prolific and versatile
Dutch artist, generally considered the pre-eminent landscape painter of
the Dutch Golden Age. During this period of great wealth and cultural
achievement when Dutch painting became highly popular, his father and
uncle were also landscape artists. His earliest works, dating from 1646,
show remarkable quality for his age. He moved from his Haarlem
birthplace to Amsterdam around 1657, where he lived until his death.
Ruisdael painted a wide variety of landscape subjects, including Dutch
countryside scenes, city panoramas, seascapes, and Scandinavian
waterfalls. The sky often takes up two thirds of the canvas. His
accurate rendering of trees was unprecedented, and he is particularly
known for his paintings of mills, such as Windmill at Wijk bij Duurstede
(pictured). Ruisdael shaped landscape painting traditions worldwide,
influencing the English Romantics, the French Barbizon School, and the
American Hudson River School, as well as generations of Dutch landscape
artists. The National Gallery, the Rijksmuseum, and the Hermitage Museum
hold the largest collections of his paintings.
Today’s selected anniversaries:
Susenyos defeated the combined armies of Yaqob and Abuna Petros
II at the Battle of Gol in Gojjam, making him Emperor of Ethiopia.
Alexander Graham Bell made his first successful bi-directional
telephone call, saying, “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you.”
An anti-Chinese uprising erupted in Lhasa, the capital of
Tibet, as about 300,000 Tibetans surrounded the Potala Palace to prevent
the 14th Dalai Lama from leaving or being removed by the Chinese
People’s Liberation Army.
Military Prime Minister of South Vietnam Nguyễn Cao Kỳ
sacked rival General Nguyễn Chánh Thi, precipitating large-scale
civil and military dissension in parts of the nation.
NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (artist’s conception
pictured) attained orbit around Mars.
Wiktionary’s word of the day:
1. Inactive, quiet, at rest.
2. (grammar) Not sounded; silent.
3. (cell biology) Non-proliferating.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
I had crossed de line of which I had so long been dreaming. I was
free; but dere was no one to welcome me to de land of freedom, I was a
stranger in a strange land, and my home after all was down in de old
cabin quarter, wid de ole folks, and my brudders and sisters. But to dis
solemn resolution I came; I was free, and dey should be free also; I
would make a home for dem in de North, and de Lord helping me, I would
bring dem all dere. Oh, how I prayed den, lying all alone on de cold,
damp ground; “Oh, dear Lord,” I said, “I haint got no friend but you.
Come to my help, Lord, for I’m in trouble!”
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