Maerten Ryckaert (Antwerp 1587-1631)
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Maerten Ryckaert (Antwerp 1587-1631)

An extensive Italianate landscape with goatherds, a shepherd and their flocks

Details
Maerten Ryckaert (Antwerp 1587-1631)
An extensive Italianate landscape with goatherds, a shepherd and their flocks
signed and dated 'M.RYKAERT 1625' (lower centre)
oil on canvas
38 5/8 x 54¾ in. (98.1 x 139 cm.)
Provenance
Anon. Sale, Christie's, Monaco, 7 December 1987, lot 7.
with Douwes, Amsterdam, from whom acquired by the anonymous vendor, below.
Anon. Sale [The Property of a European Private Collector], Sotheby's, London, 8 July 1999, lot 5 (£62,000 to the present collector).
Special notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis

Lot Essay

This picture shows clearly the influence on Ryckaert of the work of Paul Bril. Ryckaert himself travelled to Italy in 1605-10, and his early works show the influence of Bril's oeuvre at that point, although there is no evidence that the two fellow countrymen actually ever met (let alone that he was taught by him, as has been suggested). Following his return to Antwerp, Ryckaert continued to paint landscapes heavily influenced by Bril; interestingly, however, his style reflected the changes in Bril's, so that, for example, the present work echoes Bril's work of the 1620s (one might consider, for instance, the Landscape with Christ on the Road to Emmaus and its pendant in the Pitti Palace, Florence), when influenced by the Carracci and their pupils, rather than his more mannerist early work. That Ryckaert was familiar with such works at first hand, rather than through the medium of engravings, is suggested by their similarity of palette to his works, and is borne out by the presence of paintings by Bril in contemporary lists of Antwerp collections.

The motif of the wayside shrine derives from a drawing by Bril dated 1604 (Paris, Musée du Louvre, Cabinet des Dessins), whilst the three goatherds and their flocks recur in a painting in a private collection, Brussels, given to Willem van Nieulandt (a pupil of Bril's and contemporary of Ryckaert's in Rome), although the staffage at least is more probably by Ryckaert.
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