Saturday, 26 November 2016
Adriaen van der Cabel’s etching, “Extensive Landscape with River, Mountains, and Village”
Adriaen van der Cabel (aka Adriaen van der Kabel) (1631–1705)
“Extensive Landscape with River, Mountains, and Village” (Le paysage au grand lointain) , 1660–1700, plate 5 in the series, “Landscapes VI” (only five of the six landscapes have been identified by Bartsch), published by N Robert (1650–1700; fl. c.) using a French privilege. (Interestingly, the BM proposes that this publisher may be “identified with Nicolas Robert, the painter of vélins”. If this is true then the date of the print may be narrowed to between 1660 and 1685 as Nicholas Robert died in 1685.)
Etching on fine laid paper with watermark, small margins around the image borderline and stamped (verso) with a collector’s mark
Size: (sheet) 23.1 x 35 cm
Lettered below the image borderline: (left) "Adr. Vander Cabel jnu. et fecit. Cu. priuil. Regis."; (right) "N. Robert ex. Cu. P. R.".
State i (of ii) before the number '5' is added to the text line. This must be a very early impression as the fine burnishing marks left on the plate from its original polishing are clearly visible. (Note: later impressions do not have these tiny “scratch” marks as the inking and wiping process involved in printing the plate wears them away.)
The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Plate 5: Landscape with a draped woman conversing with a seated man in lower right corner, a fisherman seated on a river-bank beyond, trees on either side, towns and mountains in the background; on full sheet; from a series of six prints (7ème) showing landscapes.” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3063813&partId=1&searchText=van+der+cabel&page=1)
Hollstein 48.I (F W H Hollstein, 1949 “Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts c.1450-1700”, Amsterdam); Bartsch 4 (5).42 (254) (Walter L Strauss, 1979, “The Illustrated Bartsch”, vol. 5 New York, , p. 253; Adam Bartsch, 1803 “Le Peintre graveur”, vol. 4, Vienna)
Condition: A richly inked and well-printed early (lifetime) impression from the first state. There is a flattened fold mark (only visible verso), a few tiny tears at the margins, mounting hinges, pencil notations and a stamp on the back of the sheet from previous collectors; otherwise the sheet is in excellent condition for its age.
I am selling this remarkably strong, museum quality, lifetime impression from the late 17th century for a total cost of AU$297 (currently US$220.78/EUR208.79/GBP177.13 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you wish to purchase this rare landscape print exemplifying the classical tradition, please contact me (email@example.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
This print has been sold
I have been collecting prints by Adriaen van der Cabel for many years and the reason for my fascination is simple: I like the way in which he composes his landscapes.
To explain what I mean about this artist’s compositions, I need to draw upon two much earlier traditions of landscape imagery dating back to Joachim Patinir (c.1480–1524) and Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c.1525–69): the Weltlandschaft (German for “World Landscape”) and—to borrow the term coined by Max Dvořák—“Mannerist inversion.”
Regarding the Weltlandschaft/World Landscape, this tradition celebrated elevated views of landscape constructed with all that is spectacular in an ideal world: grand mountains, statuesque trees, vast stretches of water and a sprinkling of monumental buildings with folk dressed from an Olympian past engaged in symbolic acts. This print exemplifies all these attributes of the Weltlandschaft tradition and presents the key ingredients in an endless moment.
Regarding the tradition that Dvořák’ perceived as “Mannerist inversion”, what this approach to composition involves is to give maximum attention to the landscape as the key subject of the image rather than the figures portrayed within it. In the case of van der Cabel, his use of figures leans towards them being generic folk—staffage for the landscape—rather than “real” people.