Thursday, 2 March 2017

Jan Both’s etching, “Landscape with a Large Tree”, 1636–52


Jan Both (aka Jan Dirksz Both) (1618/22–52)
“Landscape with a Large Tree” or “Le Grand Arbre” (The Tall Tree), 1636–52, from the series, “Four Vertical Landscapes” (Bartsch title) or “Italianate Landscapes” (BM title).

Note that the British Museum holds a copy of this print inscribed “TMatham ex." signifying that the print in that later state was published by Theodor Matham (1605/1606–76).

Etching on fine laid paper trimmed on or within the plate-mark and lined onto a conservator’s support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 26.4 x 20.5 cm
Inscribed with the artist’s name and fecit note at the upper-right corner: “Both fe
State ii (of iii?)
Hollstein 3.II Bartsch V.206.3; TIB 7(5)3 (206) (p. 9)

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“The Tall Tree. A tree standing at centre in front of a mountain road passing the cliffs at left as it winds down towards a valley in right background, various figures on the road, some on horseback, others accompanying cattle; from a series of four upright landscapes” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3060157&partId=1&searchText=S.1270+&page=1 )

Condition: well-inked and crisp impression trimmed at or within the plate-mark and laid onto a support sheet. There are a few tiny dots and other minor imperfections otherwise the print is in exceptionally good condition for its age.

I am selling this almost iconic image of landscape by Jan Both for the total cost of AU$265 (currently US$200.36/EUR190.43/GBP163.37 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this portrait of a tree, 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


In the eyes of many of the old masters, trees are more than simply trees. For instance they can represent the link between the temporal and heavenly realms. They can also embody the spirit of the landscape and may even be a psychological portrait of the artists themselves. There is one use, however, that I find especially interesting: the use of trees to symbolise the cycle of life—the never ending rhythm of life, death and regeneration.

Jan Both may not have consciously planned to connote a cycle of life in this spectacularly beautiful etching. Nevertheless, his deliberate appropriation of design elements extracted from the Italian tradition (e.g. use of a “U”-shaped composition with an “S”-shaped meandering path leading into the distance) may have inadvertently guided his arrangement of trees to symbolise the cycle of life wherein a healthy adult tree is juxtaposed with a dead tree and lush undergrowth.





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