Although Rutgers seems to have been a textile merchant by profession, his surviving drawings show that he was also a fine topographical draughtsman. The majority of his views, which can be dated to 1680-1700, show towns in the southern part of the Vecht region where his family owned property. Views of A path along the ramparts of Utrecht and The castle of Nijenrode on the Vecht, of similar size and technique to the present drawing, are in the collection of Frits Lugt at the Fondation Custodia, Paris (Dessins de Paysagistes Hollandais du XVIIe siècle, exhib. cat., Brussels, Bibliothèque Albert 1er, and elsewhere, 1968, nos. 130-1, pls. 150-1). The Museum Mr. Simon van Gijn in Dordrecht has an album of 88 drawings by Rutgers which are divided into drawings from life, drawings made from memory and copies after other artists such as Rutgers' friend and fellow amateur artist Jacob Esselens (J.W. Niemeyer, 'Een album met Utrechtse gezichten van Abraham Rutgers', Oud Holland, LXXIX, 1964). The degree of finish and slight topographical inaccuracies of the present drawing suggest that it may have been made from memory rather than from life.
Abraham Rutgers was the grandfather of the famous collector and marchand amateur Antoni Rutgers (see lot 17).
We are grateful to Mr. de Graaf of the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie, The Hague, for his help in identifying the buildings in this view.