Landscape with Ruins (recto); Head of a Woman and Animals (verso)

Jan van de Veldeabout 1615–1616

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

The drawing depicts crumbling stone buildings overgrown with vegetation. Two large structures - the ruins of a fortress or castle and joined by a decaying arched bridge over a river - frame the view. More buildings, bathed in sunlight, are visible in the center distance, beyond the arch of the bridge. Two men on horseback, viewed from behind, leave the scene at lower left. Richly rendered in black ink, the design is complex and varied, belying its small size. The play of dark and light, foreground and background, verticality and horizontality, manmade and natural decay are delightful in their contrast. The rhythmic meandering of lines, dots, and dashes combine to create a fantastical depiction. The verso of the sheet features a head of a woman and animals, more summarily drawn.


  • Title: Landscape with Ruins (recto); Head of a Woman and Animals (verso)
  • Creator: Jan van de Velde
  • Date Created: about 1615–1616
  • Location Created: Netherlands
  • Physical Dimensions: 12.4 × 18.4 cm (4 7/8 × 7 1/4 in.)
  • Type: Drawing
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Pen and black ink with gray wash (recto); Black chalk with gray wash (verso) on laid paper
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 2020.14
  • Culture: Dutch
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Creator Display Name: Jan van de Velde (Dutch, 1593 - 1641)
  • Classification: Drawings (Visual Works)

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