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The view probably depicts Steinfurt Castle in Burgsteinfurt, Westphalia, which Ruisdael is thought to have visited during his travels on the Dutch-German border in 1650–1651. Castles recur frequently in Ruisdael’s work and appealed to Dutch artists not just as recognisable local landmarks, with an aesthetic attraction, but also for their associations with impregnability and the vicissitudes of history (cf.
oil on canvas
H 72.5 x W 90.4 cm
acquired by Sir Richard Wallace, c.1872–1874; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897