Jan van Ravenswaay
Hilversum 1789-1869 Hilversum
A Barn Interior with Cattle in Stalls, watched by a Maid and her Children

PROVENANCE: Private collection, The Netherlands.

Signed and dated [lower left corner] in pen and brown ink J v Ravenswaay fec 1823, black chalk, pen and brown ink and watercolour, pen and brown ink framing lines

225 x 325 mm. (8 7/8 x 12 3/4 in.)


Jan van Ravenswaay was born at Hilversum, and was to spend most of his life studying and painting in his native region, near Amsterdam. He was sent at the age of fourteen to study at the drawing school of Jordanus Hoorn at Amersfoort. But after only a year he needed to return due to family circumstances, his father ran a cotton mill in Hilversum. From 1810 Van Ravenswaay received lessons from the famous painter of landscapes and cattle piece painter, Pieter Gerardus van Os, who had moved to the nearby village of s-Graveland. Van Os obviously greatly influenced the subject matter that Van Ravenswaay was to choose. He mainly painted and drew animals and landscapes. In 1818 Van Ravenswaay was admitted a member of the Felix Meritis Society, and between 1818-1835 he contributed to exhibitions of living artists in Amsterdam and The Hague. In 1824 Van Ravenswaay was admitted as a member of the Dutch Royal Academy of Art. In 1835 he went on a trip to Switzerland, many drawings survive from this trip in sketchbooks. From 1836-48 Van Ravenswaay resided in Drenthe, and in 1848 he and his family moved to t Gooi, and 2 years later he was in Arnhem, by 1856 he was back in Hilversum. Van Ravenswaays pictures were collected throughout his lifetime and the important collector Adriaan van der Hoop bought work from him on various occasions. There are around 900 drawings by Van Ravenswaay in the Ploos van Amstel Knoef Foundation collection at the Museum van Boijmans Beuningen, in Rotterdam.

Between 1820 and 1825, when number 28 and 29 were drawn, Marius van Dam has commented that Van Ravenswaay made many studies of animals, particularly cows and sheep, in various techniques. This may have been compelled by the desire to start his own collection of examples because he no longer had the disposal of Van Oss studies. A very similar drawing to ours of Stable interior, with pump, dated 1864, is in Van Amstel collection in Rotterdam. Like our drawing it is in watercolour, of a barn interior and is of a similar size, though our drawing has the added feature of figures. Others in a similar medium and subject matter are in the same collection. 1

1.Marius van Dam, op.cit, PAK 570 and 568.