Knotty Old Tree in the Dunes with a Fence

Claes van Beresteynabout 1650–1670

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

This drawing depicts a swampy, overgrown dune with gnarled oak tree that dominates the entire sheet. Surrounding the base of the oak is a broken fence and thick bramble that creeps across the immediate foreground. Drawn in dark brown ink with a lightness and dryness of touch that is perfectly fitted to the teeming spikiness of the bramble and the oak's foliage, Knotty Old Tree in the Dunes with a Fence features a claustrophobically dense vegetation. The tree's majestic presence is enhanced by the soaring birds, who are dwarfed by its monumental scale.


  • Title: Knotty Old Tree in the Dunes with a Fence
  • Creator: Claes van Beresteyn
  • Date Created: about 1650–1670
  • Location Created: Netherlands
  • Physical Dimensions: 14.8 × 12.8 cm (5 13/16 × 5 1/16 in.)
  • Type: Drawing
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Pen and brown ink on paper
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 2019.5
  • Culture: Dutch
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Purchased with funds provided by the Disegno Group
  • Creator Display Name: Claes van Beresteyn (Dutch, 1629 - 1684)
  • Classification: Drawings (Visual Works)

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