Clump of Trees with a Vista
Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn
Though small, Rembrandt’s landscape etchings contain worlds—the sweeping horizontal Dutch landscape as well as the tiny figures and habitations within it—all rendered with astonishing spontaneity and specificity. In Landscape with a Hay Barn and a Flock of Sheep, a moment of rural life unfolds, with the city of Amsterdam just visible on the distant horizon. Sheep return from grazing—etched strokes behind them mark their path through the vegetation—as a horse rolls on its back in the field nearby, adding a dash of humor.
Rembrandt’s mastery of the drypoint technique is evident in Clump of Trees with a Vista, particularly in the dark, gestural lines of the trees on the left. The sketchy handling of these variegated lines and marks, set against an expanse of unmarked paper, highlights the expressive possibilities of etching, and demonstrates why Rembrandt remained the exemplar of the “painter-printmaker” for all subsequent practitioners.
Titus Kaphar: I did some etchings called drypoint. The lines came out finer, but it felt less direct to me. It felt like a translation of the lines a little bit. Whereas, going directly on the plate and then printing that just like that and rolling it up with ink and running it through—that felt like the right way to do it. . . . The thing that surprises me about it is how much the technique hasn’t changed. This is Rembrandt. Rembrandt and I are doing exactly the same thing.
Drypoint on laid paper
Plate: 5 x 8 3/8 in. (12.7 x 21.3 cm)
Sheet: 5 3/16 x 8 9/16 in. (13.2 x 21.7 cm) (show scale)
Lower right in plate: "Rembrandt f. 1643"
Gift of Mrs. Horace O. Havemeyer
This item is not on view
Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669). Clump of Trees with a Vista, 1652. Drypoint on laid paper, Plate: 5 x 8 3/8 in. (12.7 x 21.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Horace O. Havemeyer, 54.35.11 (Photo: , 54.35.11_PS9.jpg)
overall, 54.35.11_PS9.jpg., 2019
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