Landscape with Windmills near Haarlem, after Jacob van Ruisdael
Constable had always greatly admired Ruisdael (whom he called Ruysdael in the manner of the time); together with Richard Wilson and Claude, he considered him one of the greatest landscape painters. He made frequent copies ('memoranda') of his works throughout his life, four appearing in his posthumous sale. DPG657 is a copy of the DPG168 Jacob van Ruisdael Landscape with Windmills near Haarlem, made after the latter, apparently on Constable's advice, had been lent to the RA schools for copying by the students in 1830. It differs in showing a boy walking besides a man with a red coat on horseback in the right foreground. These figures were first recorded in the Ruisdael in 1835 and it is a reasonable assumption that they were there when Constable made his copy in 1831. In 1997 the boy, horse and rider were discovered to be additions and were removed. Bourgeois was not above 'improving' landscapes he had acquired. The distant church was once identified as the Groote Kerk, Haarlem.