Roelandt Savery Two Riders About 1605 - 1610 Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture collections, David Laing Bequest (on loan to the Scottish National Gallery)


Born 1576
Died 1639
Nationality Dutch

Roelandt Savery painted landscapes, flower pictures and animal pieces. His landscapes in particular, known through the many prints made after them, had a significant influence on the development of the genre in the Netherlands. Roelandt's family, which was Mennonite, left Spanish-dominated Flanders to settle in Haarlem in about 1585. His elder brother, the painter Jacob (or Jacques, 1565— 1603), is listed as a member of the painters' guild there in 1587, but moved to Amsterdam on his marriage in 1591. Karel van Mander, who was acquainted with Roelandt, stated that Jacob trained the young Roelandt, who was certainly living with Jacob's family in Amsterdam when the two brothers made their wills in 1602. Following his brother's death from plague the next year, Roelandt moved to Prague. There he was appointed court artist of the Emperor Rudolf II by 1604, a position he retained after Rudolf's death in 1612, working for his successor, the Emperor Mathias. Savery spent nearly ten years in central Europe, and it was a period which marked the height of his creativity and output. He returned to Amsterdam in 1613, where he worked for some five years before moving to Utrecht, probably by September 1618, becoming a member of the artists' guild there the following year. Savery declined in mental and physical health in his latter years. Despite the highly marketable nature of his work and the importance of his own art collection, application was made for his bankruptcy in September 1638. He died the following year, destitute and deranged.