David Ryckaert III

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The toothpuller

David Rijckaert III, David Rijckaert the Younger or David Ryckaert III (2 December 1612 (baptized), Antwerp - 11 November 1661, Antwerp) was a Flemish painter known for his contribution to genre painting, in particular through his scenes of merry companies and peasants. He enjoyed the patronage of prominent patrons and was a painter to the court of the governor of the Southern Netherlands.[1]


A member of the Ryckaert (or Rijckaert) family of artists, he was the son of David Ryckaert II, the grandson of David Ryckaert I, and the nephew of Martin Ryckaert. It is believed he had a brother called Pauwels who was also a painter.[2]

The alchemist

David Ryckaert was a pupil of his father. He became master of the Guild of Saint Luke in Antwerp in 1636-37 and was the dean of the Guild in 1652-53.[3] He was the teacher of Hans la Croys, Jacob Lafosse II and Erasmus de Bie.[1][3][4] His sister Margaret married his father's pupil Gonzales Coques who became a successful painter.

David Ryckaert III worked his entire career in Antwerp. He married on 31 August 1647 with Jacoba Palmans with whom he had eight children.

His work was very well received and one of his patrons was Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria, the Governor of the Southern Netherlands from 1647 until 1656.[5]


Ryckaert began his career as a landscape painter. He changed his specialization early on to genre paintings. These show the influence of the leading Flemish genre painters Adriaen Brouwer, David Teniers the Elder, and in particular David Teniers the Younger. His work often depicts interiors with professionals, such as alchemists, quacks, cobblers or painters or inns with peasants. He also painted children at play, celebrations with music and imaginary scenes of witches and ghosts.[1][6] Many of his works are signed and dated making it easy to follow his artistic development from 1637 to 1661.

Ryckaert' s early genre paintings show a strong influence of Adriaen Brouwer.[1] An example are the two companion paintings of a Peasant woman with a cat and a Peasant with a Dog in the Hermitage Museum. The compositions reprise in subject matter and composition two paintings of Brouwer. Ryckaert changed details of the compositions and turned them into allegories of taste (the woman is feeding the cat) and touch (the man is holding the paw of the dog). The composition with the dog also includes the motif of training the dog as the man is clearly giving the dog the command 'sit'.[7]

Between about 1640 and 1650 his genre paintings underwent an important development: rather than portraying coarse peasants he started painting groups composed of worthy people, often engaged in the playing of music.[1] This change in style was possibly a reaction to the 1647 arrival in Brussels of the Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria, the governor of the Southern Netherlands. Leopold Wilhelm was no fan of Ryckaert's early coarse tavern and barn interiors, as he preferred more refined scenes. The shift in style was ultimately a success as four paintings by Ryckaert are mentioned in the Archduke's inventory of 1659.[8]

At the same time he borrowed new themes from other artists. For instance, in Alchemist in his laboratory (1648, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels) he borrowed a subject that often appeared in the work of Teniers the Younger.[9] Through the influence of Teniers, Ryckaert changed his style by putting a greater emphasis on distinct colors and decorative qualities. Additionally, he adopted the chiaroscuro method. This is particularly noticeable in his paintings of alchemists. Around 1650 Ryckaert began to paint religious and mythological subjects.[1]

The final stage in the stylistic development of Ryckaert is illustrated by his painting In the inn (Osterriethhuis, Antwerp) in which Ryckaert adapted Teniers' anecdotal way of painting to a scene of an idyllic and sentimental character.[1]


The fable of the satyr and the peasant family
  1. ^ a b c d e f g Jetty E. van der Sterre. "Rijckaert, David, III." Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 12 Apr. 2014
  2. ^ David Rijckaert II at the Netherlands Institute for Art History (in Dutch)
  3. ^ a b Biographical details at the Netherlands Institute for Art History (in Dutch)
  4. ^ B. Van Haute, 'David III Ryckaert: A Seventeenth-Century Flemish Peasant Painter of Peasant Scenes', Brepols, 1999
  5. ^ David Rijckaert (III), An outdoor scene with an elegant company attending and playing music at Sotheby's
  6. ^ "Dulle Griet“ by David Ryckaert at the Kunsthistorisches Museum
  7. ^ Ryckaert, David, III, Peasant Woman with a Cat at the Hermitage Museum
  8. ^ David Rijckaert (III), An outdoor scene with an elegant company attending and playing music at Sotheby's
  9. ^ Alchemist in his laboratory in the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels

Further reading[edit]

  • Van Haute, Bernadette. David III Ryckaert: A Seventeenth-Century Flemish Painter of Peasant Scenes. Turnhout, Brepols, 2000.

External links[edit]

Media related to David Rijckaert (III) at Wikimedia Commons