As with all of Ryckaert's landscapes the influence of Paul Bril is unmistakeable. Ryckaert is thought to have studied under Bril in Rome circa 1605–10.2 The compositional device, with a near-to rocky outcrop in shade in the left foreground and sweeping panorama beyond, is quintessentially 'Bril-ian' while the handling however betrays Ryckaert's own highly distinctive brush. Ryckaert, from a family of painters, was famously one-armed (as we see in Van Dyck's famous portrait of him, fig. 1), which makes his finely detailed landscapes all the more remarkable.
1. Two further versions of the composition were sold London, Sotheby's, 11 March 1964, lot 33, and 12 December 1984, lot 50 but both seem to be of lesser quality than the others.
2. There is some debate as to whether Ryackert actually went to Italy at all. If not Bril's influence muct have reached him in Antwerp through the plethora of prints that made their way back to Flanders from Rome.
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