Theobald Michau

1676 – 1765

A River Landscape with Figures and Horses on a Path


Oil on Copper




31.8(h) x 44.9(w) cms

Framed Dimensions:

42(h) x 55(w) cms


Signed lower right: 'T.Michau Fe'


Theobald Michau first studied under Lucas Achtschellinck the landscape painter in Brussels. He was made Master of the Guild there in 1698 and was elected a member of the Guild of Antwerp in 1710. It is thought that he also painted large scale cartoons for tapestries based on paintings by David Teniers II as he is mentioned in records from the Brussels tapestry workshop of Pieter van der Borcht.

His landscapes are characterised by colourful and cheerful peasant scenes and country festivals (Kermesse) with a strong use of colour in the Flemish tradition of the Brueghels and David Teniers the Younger. His preferred support was either panel or more often copper. These have enabled the vibrant colours in his work to remain in excellent condition so many of his paintings today appear exactly as they would have done in the 17th and 18th centuries.


This work is an attractive and typical landscape by Theobald Michau who frequently painted scenes of travellers in imaginary settings. The composition with its gently flowing diagonals is designed to lead the eye into the painting and linger on the sights there. A river busy with traffic runs from left to right and boats are alternately punted, rowed and sailed along the water. Travellers on the road are painted with great care walking, riding or limping along and the road is full of incidents as people jostle and converse with one another. The travellers flow in the same direction and it may be that they are travelling to market.


Private Collection, Portugal since the 1970s