SWOL, Ambrosius van
(active 1640-1680 in Utrecht)

The Rat-Catcher

c. 1660
Boxwood, height 31 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Ambrosius van Swol is a less-known Dutch sculptor whose activity is documented between 1643 and 1679 in Utrecht. He worked in the style of Albert Vinckenbrinck. He must have had something of a reputation in his day as a carver of picture frames and figures such as the Rat-catcher, a subject which can be found in prints by Rembrandt, Joris van Vliet and Cornelis Visscher. Van Swol's small group appears to have been inspired by Rembrandt's etching of 1632 which also shows a rat-catcher and a young assistant in a similar arrangement and poses.

The piece is monogrammed A.V.S. and bears the coats of arms of the cities of Utrecht and Amersfoort.