Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Wenzel Hollar’s etching (with drypoint) “Randerigl”, c1670




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

“Randerigl” (aka “The Danube with Castle Rannariedl”, 1652–1677
Etching and drypoint on laid paper trimmed along the image borderline/platemark and backed with a support sheet
Size: (support sheet) 11.5 x 19.2 cm; (sheet) 5.9 x 13.7 cm
Inscribed on plate within image borderline: (upper left above castle) "Randerigl"; (lower left on river) “Danubius”.
Lifetime impression of the only state

Pennington (2002) 777; New Hollstein (German) 2489 (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 river marked 'Danubius' [the Danube] flows between wooded banks on r[ight] and wooded his on l[eft] on the top of which is a castle with 'Randerigl' [Rannariiedl] in sky above. Two barges with cabins, and passengers sitting on the cabin roofs, are being rowed on the river. Unsigned. The original sketch is at LBM. The castle of Rannariedl is near Passau on the Danube. The two barges shown may be those of Arundel's suite" (p. 130).
See also the description of this print at the British Museum:

Condition: crisp and well-printed impression trimmed along the image borderline/platemark and backed with a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. There are pale stains and light surface dustiness near the centre of the image, otherwise the print is in good condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes or creases).

I am selling this simple but graphically strong etching by one of the greatest printmakers of history, for the total cost of AU$221 (currently US$164.37/EUR141.77/GBP126.75 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 elegantly minimal composition, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


I like being able to compare an artist’s preliminary study with the finished print and this is one of those rare times that the original drawing is available (see the BM: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details/collection_image_gallery.aspx?assetId=259394001&objectId=752104&partId=1)

What is interesting for me when comparing Hollar’s ink and wash drawing with his etching is that the direction of lighting in the scene has changed: in the drawing the scene is lit from the left, whereas in the etching the scene is lit from the right. Note that this reversal in lighting direction is not the result of “mirror-imaging”, resulting from the printing process, as both compositions share the same design arrangement. 

The reason for this anomaly in the lighting directions may be as simple as the artist deciding that the darkening of the trees with shadow on the right helps to “stop” a viewer’s attention from sliding out of the composition … but I really don’t know.

For those who may have a deep affection for the Danube, the British Museum offers the following description of the composition:

“Rannariedl ('Randerigl') from the SW; view looking down the Danube in mid-stream, presumably from one of Lord Arundel's house-barges, two others of which are seen at some distance away, on the high wooded left bank, the castle of Rannariedl, and on the right, clumps of trees, hills in the distance”







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