Rysbrack - Biography

A brief biography of Flemish painter Pieter Andreas Rysbrack (1694-1770)

Pieter Rysbrack


Rysbrack was born in Paris when his father moved there briefly from Antwerp, looking for work as a landscape painter. However the family did not settle in France, returning to Antwerp where a further nine children were born. Four sons became artists, including Pieter’s brother Michael, a sculptor, who also worked at Chiswick.

In 1710-11 Pieter was made a Master in Antwerp, but circa 1720 he and Michael settled in England, later joined by another brother, the still-life painter Gerard Rysbrack. Virtue records Pieter Rysbrack as excelling in ‘Landskip painting, fruit and flowers herbage birds and dead game….’ and that ‘his works were valued much and paid for by Noblemen and Gentleman…’. 

In England he continued to specialise in Flemish-style still-life and game pieces however he also painted a number of topographical landscapes and country-house portraits. His two sets of Chiswick House Gardens were an influential contribution to the vogue in the second quarter of the 18th century for sets of garden views and Burlington appears to have been Rysbracks biggest patron.  Pieter Rysbrack remained in England for the rest of his life.

The number of known works by Rysbrack in the UK is few. There are only three works held in English museums; Manchester City Art Gallery, ‘Dead Game’; York City Art Gallery, ‘Fish’, and a topographical view, ‘View of Richmond Ferry’ in Orleans House Gallery, Richmond Borough Art Collection. Chiswick House therefore now holds the largest known group of his works open to the public.

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