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Jacob van Ruisdael, 1628/29-1682, The Cornfield. Oil on canvas. Photo © National Museums NI.

BELFAST.- A stunning collection of paintings from the 1600s, known as the “Golden Age” of Dutch landscape painting, went on display in the Ulster Museum.

The Masterpieces of Dutch Landscape exhibition includes four masterworks on loan from the National Gallery of Ireland. The loan was proposed by the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin to celebrate the Ulster Museum’s acquisition of The Cornfield from the Beit Foundation in lieu of tax.

The National Gallery of Ireland and the Ulster Museum both now have major works by Jacob van Ruisdael: The Castle at Bentheim and The Cornfield. Jacob van Ruisdael is widely considered the foremost landscape painter of the Dutch Golden Age. The two paintings were originally in the Sir Alfred Beit Collection. This special exhibition offers the rare chance to reunite these two masterpieces after more than thirty years.

Other artists featured in the exhibition include Hendrick Avercamp, Ludolf Bakhuizen and Salomon van Ruisdael (Jacob’s uncle). These are being shown with some of the 17th century Dutch and Flemish paintings from the Ulster Museum collection.

Dutch landscape painters are famous for their depictions of the luminous skies and low horizons of the Dutch countryside,” says Anne Stewart, Senior Curator of Art for National Museums NI, “but they also painted the world around them with great attention to detail of everyday activity and human experience. The paintings on display are some of the finest examples of Dutch landscape painting.”

Anne Stewart added: “This exhibition offers a unique chance to bring together again two exquisite Ruisdael masterpieces of Dutch landscape painting, and we are most grateful to the National Gallery of Ireland for this loan.”

Dr Brendan Rooney, Head Curator from the National Gallery of Ireland, says: “We are delighted to collaborate once again with our colleagues in Belfast, and to avail of the opportunity to show these exemplary paintings from the Dutch Golden Age in the company of works from the collection of the Ulster Museum.”

The Masterpieces of Dutch Landscape exhibition will be on display until 26 January 2020. Admission is free.

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Jacob van Ruisdael, 1628/29-1682, The Castle of Bentheim, 1653. Oil on canvas. Photo © National Gallery of Ireland.