Jan van Ravenswaay
Hilversum 1789-1869 Hilversum
A wooded Farmyard Scene with a Herdsman in the distance, Children and a Dog in the foreground

PROVENANCE: Private collection, The Netherlands.

Signed and dated [lower right corner] in pen and grey ink J v Ravenswaay fec 1822, black chalk, pen and brown ink and brown and grey wash, pen and brown ink framing lines

264 x 376 mm. (10 3/8 x 14 3/4in.)


Jan van Ravenswaay was born at Hilversum, where his father ran a cotton mill, 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. 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.

The signature of our drawing, in pen and grey ink, is typical of the period and appears on another drawing in the Van Amstel collection, of Figure beside a House by a Road, dated 1823.2 Another drawing, also from the same collection, is possibly another view of our drawing. The technique of our drawing is typical of Van Ravenswaay and was one he used especially between 1825 and 1835 in his landscapes, where he used light brown ink over light grey washes in his pen and ink drawings. In the 17th centuries this was used by Jan Both and Jan Hackaert, in the 19th centuries by Jan Hulswit, and Barend Cornelis Koekkoek, who may have picked up the technique when he visited the area of t Gooi, where Van Ravenswaay was working, in 1726. Our drawing is one of the best drawings by Van Ravenswaay to have been on the market in recent years.

1.Marius van Dam, Miscellanea delineate, Dutch drawings 1780-1860 from the Ploos van Amstel Knoef collection in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, 2007, Rotterdam, pp 49-63.

2.Marius van Dam, op.cit, PAK 189.