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Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn
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Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

Landscape with a square tower (B., Holl. 218; H. 245)

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn
Landscape with a square tower (B., Holl. 218; H. 245)
etching with drypoint, 1650, a good impression of the fourth (final) state, with thread margins left and right, narrow margins at top and bottom, with touches of grey wash to the right of the tower and elsewhere, a pale grey line to the upper right, a pale stain (from old adhesive?) in the margin upper left, a collector's stamp in the upper right sheet corner recto, minor thin spots along the upper sheet edge on the reverse
(FPR 60)
P. 88 x 157 mm., S. 95 x 160 mm.
W.E. Drugulin (L. 2612)
R.B. (not in Lugt)
Special Notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
Sale Room Notice
The collector's stamp is possibly that of Richard Bucknor, circa 19th century painter.

Lot Essay

Landscape with a square tower is a wonderful example of Rembrandt's skill in combining real and imaginary motifs in his landscapes. Whilst the buildings are typical of farms around Amsterdam the topography is similar to the hilly landscape between Amersfoort and Rhenen. In 1649 Rembrandt travelled with Hendrickje Stoffels to Bredevoort (near Winterswijk) close to the eastern border with Germany, to visit Hendrickje's parents. The route they took can be reconstructed from his drawings, and here we see elements of the landscape they encountered. It features in a number of landscapes of this period, including lot 49 Canal with an angler and two swans (B. 235). Dutch artists often included ruins in their landscapes to convey a moral message about the inevitable passage of time and the fragility of man's endeavours, but here the past and present co-exist peacefully, and therefore it need not be interpreted strictly according to this convention.

Some commentators believe the imaginary element signalled a waning interest in strict landscape, and a desire to move beyond the realistic vocabulary with which he had described the Dutch landscape through most of the 1640's. Rembrandt continued to produce both real and imaginary views for two more years, before ceasing altogether in 1652. The only landscapes produced after this time were backdrops for figures in outdoor settings.
Reproduced actual size


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