Sunday, 8 October 2017

Isaak Major’s engraving, “Chapel at the River”, c1610


Isaak Major (aka Issak Mayor) (c1576–1630)
“Chapel at the River”, c1610 (note that the Rijksmuseum proposes the time span of between 1586 and 1630 for the execution of this print but the earlier date is unlikely as the study upon which the print is based was executed between 1590 and 1610), after a drawing by Pieter Stevens (c1567– before 1632) (see http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.29517), from the series “Ten Landscapes”, published by Marco Sadeler (fl.1660s).

Engraving on fine laid paper with narrow margins lined onto a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 24.1 x 18.4 cm; (plate) 23.8 x 18 cm; (image borderline) 22.7 x 17.5 cm
Lettered below the image borderline at right: “Marco Sadeler excudit.”
Inscribed by an old hand in brown ink at lower left: “Bril” (This is an incorrect attribution)

Hollstein German 18-2 (3) (F W H Hollstein 1954, “German engravings, etchings and woodcuts c.1400–1700”, Amsterdam); Robert Zijlma (comp.) 1979, “Erasmus Loy to Jakob Mayr”, “German engravings, etchings and woodcuts, ca. 1400-1700”, vol. 23, p. 176, cat.nr. 18
See also the description of this print at the Rijksmuseum: http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.148573

Condition: crisp and well-printed impression with narrow margins around the platemark, There is an old ink inscription, “Bril”, below the image at left and two dots at the top margin. The sheet has been laid onto a support sheet of millennium grade washi paper.

I am selling this graphically strong—almost electric in the aura of stormy energy that it projects—small masterpiece from the early 1600s for the total cost of AU$402 (currently US$312.82/EUR266.61/GBP239.43 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this sublime landscape exemplifying the spirit of German Mannerism, 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


Although the old hand that wrote the artist’s name, “Bril”, at the lower left was incorrect in the attribution of the print to the great Flemish master, Paul Bril (1554–1626), I can see the point: this very romantic view of landscape captures Bril’s love for what Julius Samuel Held (1982) in “Flemish and German Paintings of the 17th Century” describes as (according to the link in Wikipedia) “steep cliffs with chasms or dark, twisting trees growing from hills next to flat, sunlit pastures.” Of course, here the “sunlit pastures” have been replaced with the sunlit estuary.

From a personal standpoint, this is a marvellously moody image. I especially like the suggestion of the latent energy of a pending storm expressed by curved lines describing the tone of the clouds and the turmoil of air currents. This expression of what might be described as “calm before the storm” is made even clearer by the brilliant illumination of tiny pockets of landscape within the scene (e.g. the patch of light falling in the goats in the foreground, the strong light illuminating the ground in front of the chapel and the tree behind it).

(Note: I have featured another of Isaak Major’s prints in an earlier discussion: http://www.printsandprinciples.com/2014/09/secrets-of-veduta-part-1-bril-perelle.html)






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