• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7534

    Old Master Prints

    4 December 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 237

    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

    The Omval (B., Holl. 209; H. 210)

    Price Realised  

    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn
    The Omval (B., Holl. 209; H. 210)
    etching with drypoint, 1645, second (final) state, a good impression with touches of burr in the trees and in the shadows lower left, the sulphur tinting printing strongly, on fine paper without watermark, with narrow margins, a pale stain above the trees, a small area of discoloration at the lower left corner, a few thin spots towards the sheet edges, a band of pale spotting on the reverse (just showing through in the upper subject), window-mounted, otherwise in good condition
    P. 185 x 226 mm., S. 191 x 235 mm.


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    The area of Amsterdam still known as the Omval (the Ruin) named after a ruin which stood on the site, was in the seventeenth century a small spit of land at the head of a canal which entered the east bank of the River Amstel south east of the city. Like the ruins of Kostverloren manor further south this was an area often represented by Rembrandt and his contemporaries. The etching mirrors the real situation (in reverse) to a considerable extent and shows on the right as a dark hole (somewhat resembling a bridge) the opening of the irrigation pipe where it discharged water pumped from the nearby polder into the Amstel. One of the windmills producing this flow is shown in the far distance, near the banks of the canal that ran south east from this point. The second, larger windmill stood on the Omval itself, near some shipyards, and several boats are shown moored or hauled up on the banks. In the centre, further boats partly obscure the inn behind, which was also known as the Omval. This may have been the destination of the covered ferry that enters the scene on the right. (C. White, Rembrandt the Etcher, Yale University Press, London and New York, 1999, p. 210)

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