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The Damrak in Amsterdam

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This view of the Damrak in Amsterdam is one of the rare cityscapes of the portrait painter Jacob van Ruisdael. The painter set up house in Amsterdam in 1656 and while there always lived in the immediate vicinity of the Dam, including houses in Kalverstraat and on the Rokin. The subject of the painting was, in fact, nothing more than his daily living environment.
In the foreground we see the north side of the Dam, with Amsterdammers spread in groups. Here and there, merchandise is on display. Behind the Dam, you can see Damrak, that is bordered on the left and the right by houses. Cargo ships are moored at the quay. To the right behind the building is the tower of the Oude Kerk [Old Church]. To the middle of the Damrak you can see the Papenbrug; sails are hanging to dry over the railings. In the middle of the quay, two men are working with the pier wheel and axle. The house to the left of the Dam is called ‘the Bishop’ and to the right is the inn ‘Under the Sail’. Some doubt exists as to whether the figures on the painting are from Ruisdael’s hand or if they were added by a figure painter. Such a collaboration between two specialists frequently occurred and this could also be the case here.

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Title The Damrak in Amsterdam
Material and technique Oil on canvas
Object type
Painting > Painting > Two-dimensional object > Art object
Location This object is in storage
Dimensions Width Error: 67,8 is not a valid BCD value cm
Height Error: 53,7 is not a valid BCD value cm
Artists Schilder: Jacob Isaacksz. van Ruisdael
Accession number 1744 (OK)
Credits Aankoop / Purchase: 1866
Department Old Masters
Acquisition date 1866
Creation date in circa 1675
Age artist Between 42 and 52 years old
Geographical origin Northern Netherlands > The Netherlands > Western Europe > Europe

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All about the artist

Jacob Isaacksz. van Ruisdael

Haarlem 1628/1629 - Amsterdam 1682

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