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REMBRANDT VAN RIJN Landscape with a Cottage and a Large Tree.
Etching, 1641. 127x320 mm; 5x12 5/8 inches, narrow to thread margins. Usticke's only state (e), with the few short vertical scratches in the sky upper center. Strasbourg Lily watermark (Ash/Fletcher 36 M. a.; there is an identical watermark on another impression of this subject in the Art Institute of Chicago). Ex-collection J. E. Wetterauer (Lugt 4267, verso). A superb, richly-inked and clear impression with strong contrasts and no sign of wear.
According to Royalton-Kisch, "This view of a picturesque, tumbledown cottage, like that of the companion plate, the Landscape with a Cottage and Haybarn: Oblong (see lot 167), is an imaginary distillation or capriccio of the countryside around Amsterdam. However, a drawing in the Louvre, Paris, of around 1639, of a Cottage with a Cart and a Road, which may well have been made out of doors, seems to have provided the starting-point for the left half of the composition.
Like its companion, the etching bears the date 1641, the earliest to be found on Rembrandt's landscape prints. Yet the plate is executed with supreme assurance. In a detailed image Rembrandt successfully suggests a rich variety of textures, such as thatch, foliage and water, elaborating them to a high degree of finish. Particular subtlety has been derived from immersing the plate more than once in the acid to etch the lines more deeply in the foreground than the distance, where the forms dissolve in the atmosphere," (Rembrandt the Printmaker, London, 200, pages 185-186). Bartsch 226; Biörklund 41-B; Hollstein (White and Boon) 226.