We are grateful to Mr. Willem van der Watering for proposing the attribution on the basis of photographs. Van den Heuvel was active in Utrecht in the first half of the 17th Century, and previously his oeuvre has been confused with that of Pieter de Bloot (Rotterdam 1601-1698) and Maerten Stoop (Rotterdam c. 1620-1647 Utrecht). Like these artists he specialised in rural genre scenes, but van den Heuvel typically incorporates numerous animated figures into his tightly conceived compositions. The present work is a fine example, with the crowd of onlookers enthralled by the mountebank as he sells them his various potions.
Other works by the artist include a signed panel, A service in a village church, in the Museum Catharijneconvent, Utrecht (Inv. no. RMSS s28); and another, formerly attributed to Pieter de Bloot, but now recognised as by van den Heuvel, Villagers merrymaking by a country inn, which was with David Koetser (exhibited at TEFAF, Maastricht in 2003).