Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Herman van Swanevelt’s etching, “The Mountain”, 1650–55


Herman van Swanevelt (aka Herman Swaneveld) (1603–55)

“The Mountain” [La Montagne], 1650–55, from the series “Four Upright Landscapes” published by Van Swanevelt with privilege from Louis XIV (King of France).

Etching on wove paper with wide margins as published in the 19th century edition.
Lettered below the image borderline: (left) “Herman van Swanevelt Inventor fecit”; (right) “[partial erased text] …cum privilegio Regis”
Size: (sheet) 42 x 28.3 cm; (plate); 30.8 x 23.7 cm; (image borderline) 29.5 x 23.5 cm
State v? (of v) with traces of earlier lettered text but without obvious wear to the plate.
TIB 2.113 (317) (Mark Carter Leach & Peter Morse [eds.] 1978, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Netherlandish Artists”, vol. 2, Abaris Books, New York, p. 317); Hollstein Dutch 100.II (5); Bartsch 113
See also the description of this print at the Rijksmuseum:

Condition: well-inked and well-printed 19th century impression with generous margins (as published) in near faultless condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, stains or foxing).

I am selling this strong impression of one of Swanevelt’s most beautiful large etchings capturing the merged spirits of Italian classical composition with a Dutch love for objective representation, for the total cost of AU$198 (currently US$147.57/EUR124.33/GBP109.31 at the time of posting this etching) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this near pristine impression showing virtually no wear to the printing plate, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


In one of my earlier discussions about Swanevelt’s etchings I mentioned that the artist’s first name, “Herman”, was a nickname given to him because of his love of “immersing” himself in the landscape in the sense of being a hermit—a real “Herman the Hermit.” When I was enlarging details of this print I was surprised to find what I believe is a tiny self portrait of the artist at work on his easel (see him with a companion on the far distant ridge of the mountain).

My vision of Swanevelt being immersed in the landscape fits well with what is portrayed in this scene: a landscape where the scale of the trees and mountain dwarf the nine folk engaged in their everyday activities. This is a landscape where the underpinning concept behind the composition is to project an aura of grandeur and awe inspiring poetic beauty—a sublime vision of landscape.







1 comment:

  1. … mm … I think I may be wrong about my earlier idea that there is a self-portrait of the artist working happily on his easel on the mountainside. When I was posting the details I had a close look at the “self-portrait” and I’ve now decided that what I thought was an easel leg is simply a “slipped” stroke and the two figures are simply shown going for a stroll with the closer figure having the assistance of a walking stick. (sigh)

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