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A Castle on a Hill by a River

Photo credit: The National Gallery, London

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This picture was painted by a seventeenth-century Dutch imitator of Jacob van Ruisdael and is possibly an early work by the artist’s follower Johan van Kessel. It may be based on a lost work by van Ruisdael showing Bentheim Castle, which is on the border between Germany and the Netherlands, although the viewpoint is different from any of his known paintings of this subject.

The painting has atmosphere. The sky has some life and movement, and the buildings still dominate, but the picture has long since been lost under coats of discoloured varnish and it lacks the dramatic vitality of a van Ruisdael. Details on the trees aren't delicately defined and the river is little more than a muddy path.

The National Gallery, London



probably 1650-1700


Oil on canvas


H 140 x W 176 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Wynn Ellis Bequest, 1876

Work type


The National Gallery, London

Trafalgar Square, London, Greater London WC2N 5DN England

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