JACOB VAN RUISDAEL 1625 (?)-1682 Dutch School
NICOLAS POUSSIN 1593-1665 Classical School of France
AT this point of our survey of the field of painting France swings into the line of vision. There had been other French painters before Poussin, but the latter was the greatest up to his time, and has had so important an influence upon subsequent French art, that in our selection of prominent names he comes first.
When we compare his Et Ego in Arcadia with Ruisdael's Waterfall, we are conscious at once of a vast difference of feeling, both in the attitude of each painter's mind toward nature and in the impression produced upon our own. We experience before Ruisdael's a sense of strenuousness and sadness, very different to the serenity and idyllic sweetness of Poussin's. We are face to face, in the one case with the realities of life, in the other with the pleasant dream of a world that only exists in the imagination. Yet Poussin composed the surroundings of his figures from real landscape -- that of Italy; probably, however, not from one scene, but with a selection from many; while Ruisdael's landscape, which has such an air of stern reality, was actually bor-