Landscape with a high Rock and a Castle at Left

Landscape with a high Rock and a Castle at Left
etching, 1546, on laid paper, without watermark, a very fine impression of this rare print, printing with remarkable clarity even in the finest lines, with many light plate impurities, a small accidental smudge of printing ink at lower left, trimmed to or just outside of the borderline, generally in very good condition
Sheet 143 x 214 mm.
With Colnaghi & Co., London (their stock number C16038 in pencil verso).
With R.M. Light & Co., Santa Barbara, California.
Acquired from the above; then by descent to the present owner.
Bartsch 74; Schwarz 74; Hollstein 47

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Lot Essay

Augustin Hirschvogel (1503-1553) came from a family of glass painters in Nuremberg. He trained in the family craft, then set up a workshop as a majolica painter in his native city. In the late 1530's we find him in the Balkans working as a cartographer for Emperor Ferdinand I. Having established close connections to the Imperial Court, he finally moved to Vienna, where he lived permanently from 1544. It was probably there that he started decorating arms and armour and began to work in the new print technique of etching.
He was one of the first printmakers of the German Renaissance to create landscape prints, views of buildings and scenery, without any religious or allegorical content, and indeed the first to execute them in pure etching. He grasped and took full advantage of the spontaneity of the etched line and his scenes are imbued with an almost naive immediacy, which was new to the medium. He thus stands at the beginning of a long tradition, lasting well into the 19th century, which considered etching as the natural printmaking method for the depiction of landscapes.
Very few impressions of Augustin Hirschvogel's landscapes appear to have survived and are today great rarities on the market. Hollstein records a total of 20 impressions and three counterproofs of this print.

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