Abraham Johannes Ruytenschildt (Amsterdam 1778-1841 Amsterdam) Sun-drenched forest view

Abraham Johannes Ruytenschildt was active as an artist as well as a drawing teacher. He was a member of Teekengenootschap (gekleed model) onder de spreuk Zonder Wet of Spreuk (Drawing society (dressed model) by the adage Without Law or Saying). During it's existence between 1808 and 1819 drawing society Zonder Wet of Spreuk (Withour Law or Saying) counted seventeen active members (among which were artist and dealers) of which Bondgeest and Ruytenschildt were among the most prolific draughtsmen. The artists gathered mostly at the house of member Gerrit Jan Michaëlis (1775-1876) on monday evenings between the months of November and March. Inspired by their seventeenth century predecessors Cornelis Bega, Gerrit Adriaensz. Berckheyde and Adriaen van de Velde, they sketched after living models who were always dressed and never served as nude models, though often depicted barefoot. The studies drawn at Zonder Wet of Spreuk show mostly serene poses dressed in rural fashion and were often literally pasted as staffage into landscape paintings by it's members.[1][2][3]

The present sheet comes from a recently discovered corpus of ten large landscape drawings by Abraham Johannes Ruytenschildt, mostly depicting Bentheim and it's surroundings and one figure study in red chalk with annotation Zonder wet of Spreuk on verso. The drawings underscore the frienship between both draughtsmen Albertus Brondgeest and Abraham Johannes Ruytenschildt (they both were members of the Drawing Society Zonder Wet of Spreuk) as our present collection has got several drawings by both artists from similar points of view. The refined grey-bluish tones of wash used by both artist shows they shared the same source of prepared ink for their drawings. All drawings were still on the original mounts and haven't been on the market for more than half a century.

Dated drawings (1826-1833) depicting Bentheim and it's surroundings have been recorded by both draughtsmen Albertus Brondgeest and Abraham Johannes Ruytenschildt. The present drawing shows exactly the same sunlit forest view as the drawing by Albertus Brondgeest (1786-1849) in our collection and is an intimate document which shows the close friendship between the two draughtsmen. Ruytenschildt and Brondgeest apparently drew the same composition shoulder to shoulder and used the same source of grey-bluish ink for the washing of both drawings. A most intimate document on the history of a Drawing Society and friendship among traveling artists in the early nineteenth century. 


[1] R.J. te Rijdt, Figuurstudies van het Amsterdamse particuliere tekengenootschap "Zonder Wet of Spreuk" (ca. 1808-1819). Bulletin van het Rijksmuseum 38 (1990), p. 223-244.
[2] P. Knolle, 'De Amsterdamse stadstekenacademie, een 18de-eeuwse 'oefenschool' voor modeltekenaars', Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 30 (1979), p. 1-41.
[3] R.J. te Rijdt, Nederlandse figuurstudies 1700-1850. Rijksprentenkabinet Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, No. XXV 5 februari - 1 mei 1994.

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