This magnificent landscape represents a view from the dune Het Kopje near Haarlem. It is framed by the spires of Saint Bavo on the left and the church of Bloemendaal on the right. In the left centre appears the Saxenburg estate of Rembrandt's creditor Cristofel Thijsz, from whom he borrowed money to buy his house in St. Anthoniesbreestraat. His failure to repay this debt would eventually lead to his bankruptcy. Perhaps this etching was done to appease his creditor, or it might record the frequent journeys he made to make his repayments.
Whatever the explanation, The Goldweigher's Field is one of the finest panoramas in Dutch 17th century art. Fields, trees, grasses and buildings are reduced to their most basic forms and yet imbued with a wonderful sense of movement and understanding of the underlying structure of the land. It resembles Rembrandt's drawing style more than any other of his landscape etchings. His precision and economy of technique is breathtaking, as is his use of blank areas to suggest distance and atmosphere. The representation is so accurate as to have prompted the idea that he worked on it out in the open, up on one of the dunes west of Haarlem.
The traditional title, used by Gersaint in 1751, is misleading. He was clearly under the mistaken belief that the estate was owned by the Amsterdam Receiver-General Jan Uytenbogaert, whose portrait Rembrandt etched under the title The Goldweigher (B. 281).