• NameMarten Rijckaert
  • Activity/Titlepainter, draughtsman
  • Sexmale
  • Variant namesstavningsvariant: Marten Ryckaert
  • Nationality/DatesFlemish, born before 1587-12-08, dead 1631-10, active 1607 - 1631
  • PlacesPlace of birth: Antwerpen, Belgien
    Place of death: Antwerpen, Belgien
    Place of activity: Antwerpen, Belgien
BiographyLandscape painter and draughtsman. A member
of an extended Antwerp family of artists, Marten was
the son of the painter and picture dealer David Rijckaert
I. He was registered as a master in the Antwerp
Guild of St. Luke in 1607, admitted as a master’s son
(“meestersonnen”). His training is undocumented;
two of his paintings are dated as early as “1602” when
he was only thirteen years of age. It has been suggested
that, in addition to working in his father’s studio,
Marten may have been taught by Antwerp landscape
painter Tobias Verhaecht, who ran an important studio.
Soon after becoming a master, he apparently
travelled to Italy and Rome, where he came under the
influence of his compatriot, the landscape painter
Paul Bril, who had settled there by 1582. Rijckaert
was active in Italy until c. 1611/1612, when he
returned to his native city. From 1621 until 1628 he is
documented as an active member of the painters’
Guild; in 1620 he became a member of the local
chamber of rhetoric, De Violieren. A pupil was registered
with the Guild in 1631, the year of his decease.
A portrait of Rijckaert, accompanied by the inscription,
“Martinus Rychart, Uninamus, Pictor Ruralium
Prospectuum Antverpiae”, was etched by Jacob Neefs
for Anthony van Dyck’s Iconography.
Influenced by the landscapes of Joos de Momper II,
Paul Bril and Jan Brueghel I, Rijckaert specialized in
cabinet-sized mountain landscapes, sweeping
panoramic views of wooded slopes and river valleys,
often with striking jagged rock formations with sharp
outlines, waterfalls, sometimes with scattered Italianizing
classical ruins, and with small-scale Biblical
staffage, which look back to an earlier, 16th century,
Mannerist tradition of Pieter Bruegel I and Lucas van
Valckenborch. Rijckaert’s was a traditional arrangement
with a high and steeply rising horizon, the
planes separated by a standard three-colour scheme
(brown-green-blue) and fantastical mountain massifs,
but with Italianate landscape details betraying the
influence of Bril. From his presumed teacher, Verhaecht,
he adopted a preference for fantastical rock
formations with waterfalls and the cool, pale green
employed in his landscapes. Rijckaert’s oeuvre is ill
defined and his rare surviving paintings, occasionally
signed by the artist’s monogram and dated mostly
between 1616 and 1626, have often been mistaken for
those of his better known contemporaries, Bril,
Willem van Nieulandt and Anton Mirou.