Mountain Landscape with Saint Paul the Hermit, Oak Oil on panel (32 cm by 21 cm-37 cm by 26 cm with the frame)
The composition is divided into two planes, left a scene from the life of St. Paul the Hermit, he figured old and dressed in a rough tunic made of woven palm leaves. A bird sitting on a branch above him refuels daily.
On the right a landscape with a blue cast to the valley or business life (animals and characters) we see all the detail in the execution dear to Nordic masters.
This precious oak panel is typical of productions of Martin Ryckaert, Antwerp painter (1587-1631). He probably first studied with his father and later was a pupil of Tobias Verhaecht who was also the teacher of Peter Paul Rubens for a brief period. Martin became a member of the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke in 1607.
It is believed that he traveled to Italy between 1607 and 1610, although no documentary evidence of this trip have been found. It is likely that during this stay, he practiced drawing from nature.
He spent the rest of his professional career in his hometown and collects many paintings of his contemporaries in his house in the "Meyerstraat" in Antwerp.
It would have been a close friend of Anthony van Dyck, who painted his portrait showing Ryckaert dressed as a King (1630). This portrait was in the possession of Martin when he died and is now in the Prado in Madrid.
He fell ill in early 1631 and died in Antwerp on 28 October. He bequeathed his entire fortune to his sister Maria and brother Pauwel.