Sunday, 26 June 2016

Jan Both, "River Crossing"


Jan Both (aka. Jan Dirksz Both) (1618/22–52)
"River Crossing” [Le Trajet], 1636-1652
from “Six Horizontal Landscapes” (Bartsch) and “Views of Rome and its surroundings” (BM)
Etching on fine laid paper.
Size: (sheet) 22 x 30 cm; (plate) 19.9 x 28 cm; (image) 19.4 x 27.5 cm
Inscribed below the image borderline (lower left) "Both fe." The British Museum offers the following description of this print: “View of the Tiber Valley. Landscape with two men travelling on horseback on the country road at left in conversation with the skippers of the barge which carries passengers and cattle on the river at right, a male figure with a mule approaching in left background; from a series of six plates” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3060228&partId=1&searchText=jan+both&page=1)
Hollstein 7.IV; Bartsch (1803) V.209.7; Bartsch (1978) VII.209.7

Condition: strong impression with minimal wear and with small margins. There is very light spotting, and remnants of mounting (verso) otherwise the sheet is in remarkably fine condition for its age.

I am selling this rare, historically important and very beautiful etching for AU$226 in total (currently US$167.36/EUR152.09/GBP125.01 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world. If you are interested in purchasing this etching by an old master please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold




Jan Both made a significant impact on the way that 17th century artists looked at the landscape. Prints like this one, showed a fresh vision of how black and white etchings could express atmosphere and—perhaps surprisingly—colour.

Clifford S Ackley in “Printmaking in the Age of Rembrandt,” for instance, proposes that the artist was “searching for the black and white equivalent of the golden haze of southern light that vaporises or makes the forms of the landscape translucent …” (p. 176).


Ackley also summaries Both’s method of achieving this effect of a golden haze in his prints that is so much a part of his paintings: “[using] … slanting open parallel shading lines … [to] suggest not only the translucency of the shadows but the path of the sun’s rays. Passages of bitten granular tone comparable to that which occurs in some of Rembrandt’s etched landscapes of the 1640s combine with Both’s masses of fine scribbling lines to lay stress on the broader patterns of southern light and shadow rather than on contour drawing.” (ibid).

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