Sunday, 29 July 2018

Wenzel Hollar’s etching, “Mechlin”, c1643 (a second copy of the same print listed earlier)

(Note: this is a second impression of the same print that I posted early. The previous impression has been sold.)

Wenzel Hollar (aka Wenceslaus Hollar; Václav Hollar) (1607–77)

“Mechlin”, c1643, from the series of ten views in Bohemia, Germany and England, “Prospectus aliquot locorum in diuersis provincijs” (New Hollstein 454–63; Pennington 727–38). The curator of the BM advises that the series was “put together as a set by Parthey following George Vertue (III. 120–31)” (see BM no. Q,4.311).

Etching on laid paper with generous margins
Size: (sheet) 11.5 x 18.1 cm; (plate) 8.1 x 12.7 cm; (image borderline) 7.6 x 12.5 cm
Inscribed on plate within image borderline at upper left "zu Hemsen beÿ Mechelen".
State ii (of ii) Note: compare the shading on the mill of this second state impression with the first state impression shown in my previous listing

Pennington (2002) 729; New Hollstein (German) 1818.II (Hollar)

Richard Pennington (2002) offers the following description of this print in “A descriptive catalogue of the etched work of Wenceslaus Hollar 1607–1677”, Cambridge University Press:
“A road in a village crosses a mill-stream by a wooden bridge on which two gentlemen are riding. A gabled mill on r. with a man carrying a sack. On extreme r. a pollarded tree and on extreme l. the end of a house. Unsigned.” (p. 125)

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Mechlin / Mechelen; man carrying sack over his shoulders seen from behind walking along road, gabled house at right and willow tree in the foreground.”

Condition: richly inked and well-printed impression showing slight wear to the plate. The print has generous margins (for an early print) and the paper is in excellent condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, significant stains or foxing).

I am selling this exquisitely rendered and graphically strong etching by one of the greatest printmakers of history, for the total cost of AU$221 (currently US$163.69/EUR140.46/GBP124.82 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world (but not, of course, any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries).

If you are interested in purchasing this rare and very beautiful etching, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

One has only to look at Hollar’s meticulously detailed etchings to appreciate that he had a strong understanding about the technical intricacies of architecture and how the correct angle of light falling on a building (usually from the top-front-left) can enhance a viewer’s understanding of the building’s form and structure. From a personal standpoint, however, the graphic strength of this small but visually engaging image is not so much that I can count every tile on the roofs, but rather its strength is all about the juxtaposed arrangement of three-dimensionally solid and somewhat sanitised rendered buildings with what I will describe as “soft” forms of trees and village folk going about their everyday business.

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