36
36

THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN

Maerten Ryckaert
AN ALPINE LANDSCAPE WITH AN IRON FOUNDRY AND BLAST FURNACE
Estimate
60,00080,000
LOT SOLD. 75,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
36

THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN

Maerten Ryckaert
AN ALPINE LANDSCAPE WITH AN IRON FOUNDRY AND BLAST FURNACE
Estimate
60,00080,000
LOT SOLD. 75,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Masters Evening Sale

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London

Maerten Ryckaert
ANTWERP 1587 - 1633
AN ALPINE LANDSCAPE WITH AN IRON FOUNDRY AND BLAST FURNACE

Provenance

Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 7 July 1989, lot 42, for £45,000, where acquired by the father of the present owner;

Thence by inheritance.

Catalogue Note

This, and the three other variants of the theme by Ryckaert, are considered the oldest paintings of a blast furnace and foundry in Europe. It is an early work by the artist clearly manifesting the influence of Lucas van Valckenborch (b. 1560), to whom other variants of the composition have previously been wrongly attributed. The composition in particular is indebted to Lucas who favoured as a structure one side of the composition dominated by near-to risen ground on which the principle subject plays out in front of a large tree, with a distant landscape extending to the opposite side. It is comparable to many such of Lucas’ landscapes, particularly the Landscape with a pig farmer in the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp.1 Other examples of Ryckaert’s composition were sold London, Christie’s, 9 July 2014, lot 122 (£212,500) and London, Sotheby’s, 8 April 1987, lot 34 (£36,000).

The painting depicts the ‘Walloon’ method of iron production, named after the region of modern-day Belgium. The two stage method involves first the production of pig iron in a blast furnace followed by refinement in a finery forge. Devised in the 15th century, the method had spread Europe-wide by the early 17th century and was key in the international arms race in the 15th century for the production of both stronger weapons and stronger armour. Here we see a furnace with a wide, flat opening, perhaps six metres high, made of hewn stone and accessed at the top by a staircase affixed to the side.

We are grateful to Prof. Alexander Wied for endorsing the attribution to Marten Ryckaert on the basis of digital photographs.

1. A. Wied, Lucas und Marten van Valckenborch, Freren 1990, p. 141, cat. no. 23, reproduced.

Old Masters Evening Sale

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London