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Landscape with a Wheatfield
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Jacob van Ruisdael
Dutch, late 1650s - early 1660s
Oil on canvas
15 3/4 x 18 in.
83.PA.278

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Tended by a single, small harvester, a rolling field of golden grain sways gently under a dramatic sky of billowing clouds. In the center, a solitary figure approaches along a winding path. A farmhouse and the steeple of a church can be seen in the far distance.

In a poetic, yet convincing manner, Jacob van Ruisdael captured the changing effects of light passing through clouds and the play of sunlight and shadow across the earth. He contrasts the uncut wheat in the field and the newly bound sheaves on the right, the broad expanse of blue sky above and the low, yellow fields below. Dwarfed by their surroundings, the small figures convey the insignificance of humanity in the face of nature.

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