Born between 1600 and 1603 in Naarden, the painter was originally named Salomon de Gooyer (Goyer). Together with his brother Isaack, he later took the name Ruysdael after Ruisdael Palace (Ruischendaal) in the vicinity of their hometown. Shortly after the death of his father, Jacob Jansz., in 1616, Salomon moved to Haarlem with his brother. He joined the Guild of St Luke there under his real name in 1623. The earliest date on one of his paintings is documented to be from the year 1626. Only two years later he was praised as a landscape painter by Samuel van Ampzing, the Haarlem city chronicler. Van Ruysdael repeatedly assumed offices in the Guild of St Luke: he was 'vinder' (chairman) in 1647 and 1669 and dean in 1648. Documents from 1651 attest to his activity as a dealer in a dyestuff used in the whitening of textiles. As 'wijkmeester', from 1659 to 1666 Van Ruysdael was the supervisor of his district. On 25 December 1660 his wife, Maycken Willems Buysse, with whom he had at least four children, was buried in Haarlem's St Bavokerk. In 1669 Van Ruysdael was identified as a member of the Anabaptist "Vereenigde Vlaamsche, Hoogduitsche en Friesche Gemeente". Although as a Mennonite he was not allowed to carry weapons, he nevertheless joined the Haarlem militia. His paintings document travels throughout Holland, presenting views or important buildings of such cities as Leiden, Utrecht, Alkmaar, Dordrecht and Amersfoort. On 3 November 1670 Salomon van Ruysdael, like his wife, was buried in St Bavokerk. His estate, which included several houses, indicates that the painter enjoyed considerable financial success. His son Jacob Salomonsz. van Ruysdael and his nephew Jacob Isaacksz. van Ruisdael also became painters. Although he painted a few still lifes in his later years, Van Ruysdael is primarily known as a landscapist. Together with Jan van Goyen and Pieter de Molijn, he numbers among the founders of tonal landscape painting in Holland. Beginning in the 1630s he produced river landscapes that exude an atmospheric calm. In the increasingly classical, idealised features of the later landscapes, the influence of his famous nephew Jacob van Ruisdael is apparent.