This small panel painting is a rare pure dune landscape. These tall dunes around Haarlem were a sandy and rolling terrain that was unusually varied for Holland. A traveler in a red jacket appears in many of the artist's paintings but forms an unusually central accent here, caught in dramatic light and emphasizing the difficulty of the terrain. As in the drawings in his 1646 sketchbook, Ruisdael here explores the Haarlem-area topography in the same way locals were encouraged to do by publications and prints.
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