In addition to its painterly quality, this painting impresses by its great pleasure in story telling: A gallant couple is strolling around at the riverside of a Flemish city. Several precisely observed scenes give an vivid idea of life in a Flemish 17th century city. Every single group – the gallant couple with the young girl selling flowers, the booth on the right or the dockers in the background – is shown with great attention to detail and tells its own story. A painting with great visual appeal!
Overall the painting is in good condition, consistent with age. Craquelure is scattered across the work. Inspection under UV light reveals several little retouching primarily in the fine lines of craquelure at the booth and at the gallant man. The canvas shows pressure marks along the underlying stretcher bars. The frame shows usual signs of age and wear and minor losses at the carved ornaments. The corners are slightly open.
Jan Michiel Ruyten (1813-1881)
His artistic training Ruyten received in his home town Antwerp. Already in his early years as an artist he exhibited in Antwerp, Brussels and Ghent. In 1840 he became a member of the Antwerp academy. During a longer stay in the Netherlands, he became acquainted with the work of Andreas Schelfhout. Inspired by this, Ruyten started to paint harbour- and riverscenes as well as winterscenes.(rac)