Pieter Jansz. van Ruyven (Delft 1651-1719 Delft) Dune landscape with willow trees, a heron, frog, avocet and ducks

Pieter Jansz. van Ruijven was the son of well to do parents, the wood merchant Jan Harmensz. van Ruijven and Christina Willemsd. Delff, granddaughter to Jacob Willemsz. Delff and Michiel Jansz. Van Mierevelt. He also was a distant cousin of Pieter Claesz. Van Ruijven, the famous patron of Johannes Vermeer.[1][2]

Pieter was a pupil of Jacob Jordaens, as can be clearly seen from the until recently only known existing drawing by van Ruyven, present in the coll. Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rennes, The woman taken into Adultery.[3]

He painted the triumphal arches for King Willem III and Mary Stuart on their visit to the The Hague in 1691 and important commissions for Royal Palace het Loo as well. Being a versatile artist he painted patriciers potraits, ceiling paintings, dessus-de-portes and wallpaintings. His earliest portraits depict the mayor of Delft Franco van Bleijswijck and his wife Anna van Hogenhouck (1673) followd by his self-portrait dated 1679, preserved in the coll. Museum de Fundatie, Zwolle.[4]

Many of Pieter’s paintings are after designs and commissioned by the French architect Daniël Marot (1644-1732). Also should be mentioned the ceiling paintings depicting the four continents for the town house of Pieter de la Court van der Voort. The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam preserves a landscape with a rooster, chickens and a duck, which seems inspired by Melchior d’Hondecoeter and Jan Baptist Weenix.[5]

Until now, the Rennes drawing was assumed to be the only known drawing by van Ruijven. The recent discovery of the present fully signed and dated drawing is a spectacular and very fine addition to the very small oeuvre by van Ruijven (van der Feltz mentions a total of only twelve known works by the artist). The composition of our drawing strongly influenced by artists like Margaretha de Heer and Jean de la Chambre.

Pieter Jansz. Van Ruyven appears a skillful draughtsman, especially regarding drawing animals. The duck in the lower left corner observes a heron inspecting a frog which gives our drawing a most frolic interaction. The rendering of the reed plumes recalls the style of Abraham Rutgers and comtemporaries.





[1] A.C.A.W. van der Feltz, 'Pieter Jansz. van Ruyven', Antiek 15 (1980-1981). p. 125-132.

[2] Vermeer and the Delft School. The Metropolitan Museum of Art , New York City, 2001-03-08 - 2001-05-27, p. 178, afb. 188.

[3] The woman taken into adultery. Pen and brown ink, black and red chalk, brush and grey-brown ink, 29 x 35 cm. Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rennes, Rennes, inv./cat.nr 79.

[4] Self-potrait (dated 1679). Oil on canvas, 59 x 50 cm. Museum de Fundatie, Zwolle. Inv. Nr. 0000002226

[5] Een haan, een kip en ander pluimvee, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. Inv. Nr. SK-A-1315

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