Gallery of prints for sale

Sunday 14 August 2022

Nicolaes Berchem’s etching, “Cows”, c1679

Nicolaes Berchem (aka Nicolaes Pietersz. Berchem; Nicolaes Berchen; Niclas Berghem; Claes Berighem; Nicolaes Pietersz.Berrighem) (1624–1683)

“Cows” (aka “Les vâches” [Bartsch title]; “Staande en liggende koe met schapen en koe die gemolken wordt” [Rijksmuseum title]; “Standing and lying cow with sheep and cow being milked”), c1679 (based on the life dates of the publisher), plate 1 from a series of six plates showing various animals, “Dieren”, published by Nicolaes Visscher I (aka Claes Claesz Visscher; Nicolaas Visscher) (1618–1679) with privilege by the States General (Belgium Federation).

Etching on fine laid paper with a small margin around the platemark.

Size: (sheet) 13.1 x 18.4 cm: (plate) 12.2 x 17.3 cm.

Lettered in plate along the lower edge: “Delin: et: Sculpt: per N: Berchem et in lucem edit: per Nicolaus Visscher cum Privil: Ordin. general: Belgii Fæderat./ 1”.

State iii (of iii) with the addition of the artist’s name and publication details.

TIB 7(5).13(264) (Otto Naumann 1978, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Netherlandish Artists”, vol. 7, New York, Abaris Books, p. 59, cat. no. 13 [ 264]); Hollstein 13.

The British Museum offers the following description of this print: “A standing cow seen almost in profile with body facing left and a resting cow seen from the front with head turned to the right, surrounded by sheep and other cows; from a series of six prints showing different animals” (

See also the description of this print offered by the Rijksmuseum:

For those interested in the origins of names, I have always believed the old story that Nicholaes Berchem had acquired his name from the cries of his mates who yelled, “Berg hem! Berg hem!” (Save him! Save him!), when Nicolaes was trying to escape the wrath and a beating from his father—the famous still-life painter, Pieter Claesz. Although I still love this story, the truth may be much less colourful, as Michael Prodger (2020) explains: “Berchem is the name of his father’s home town” (see “The greats outdoors: How Nicolaes Berchem offered vistas of a golden Arcadia …” []).

Condition: a richly inked and well-printed (near faultless) impression with a small margin (approx. 5mm) around the platemark. The sheet is in a museum quality (near pristine) condition with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, significant stains or foxing.

I am selling this truly superb impression by one of the best known of the Dutch Golden Age artists of pastoral scenes, for the total cost of AU$278 (currently US$198.06/EUR193.09/GBP163.17 at the time of posting 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 sensitively executed and subtly animated etching—note the marvellous way that Berchem has captured the cow on the left chewing its cud and the cow in the distance happily mooing—please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold 

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