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The Excise House in Alkmaar

Artist: Jacob van Ruisdael
(Haarlem, 1628/1629 – Amsterdam, 1682)

Date: mid-1650s
Medium: black chalk, grey wash on paper
Dimensions: 203 × 300 mm
Classification: drawing
Inventory Number: 1605
Department: Prints and Drawings

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The Excise House in Alkmaar

In the 1650s Jacob van Ruisdael travelled around the Dutch-German border region, and also visited Alkmaar. This black chalk drawing is a souvenir of his journey. The artist has depicted the wooden bridge and the tower of the customs office from below in order to achieve a monumental effect. The steep roofs of the houses on the left and the sailing boats with their vertical and inclined masts remain subordinate in the background.