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Tuesday 19 March 2024

Simon Frisius, “Hovtewael by Amsterdam”, 1601–10

Simon Frisius (aka Simon Wynhoutsz Frisius; Simon de Vries) (c.1580–1628)

“Hovtewael by Amsterdam” (aka “Houtewael by Amsterdam”; “Gezicht op Houtewael nabij Amsterdam”), 1601–10, plate 2 from the series of five plates, “Views of Amsterdam” (see, published in 1610.

Etching on fine laid paper with a small margin around the platemark and backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 18.2 x 22.7 cm; (plate) 17.2 x 21.6 cm; (image borderline) 15.2 x 21 cm.

Numbered and lettered in plate: (within the image borderline at lower left) “2”; (below the image at centre) “HOVTEWAEL by Amsterdam”; (at lower right corner) “2”.

State ii (of ii)

New Hollstein 91 (Nadine M. Orenstein [comp.] 2008, “Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts ca. 1450–1700: Simon Frisius”, vol. 1, Amsterdam, Sound and Vision, p. 94, cat. no. 91).

The Rijksmuseum offers the following description of this print: “(transl.) View of the village of Houtewael (Oetewaal) near Amsterdam, where various figures carry out every day work between houses in a rural environment. Numbered at the bottom left of the scene: 2. Numbered at the bottom right: 2. Part of a series of five prints in and near Amsterdam” (

For those who enjoy contemplating historical advances in portraying landscape, forty-two years after Frisius executed this etching of daily life near Houtewael, Rembrandt made an etching (with drypoint) of an area that I understand is close by, described by the British Museum as “between Houtewael and Zeeburg” ( Although there is a significant leap in Rembrandt's rendering of the rural landscape, Frisius may be credited with the advance in the handling of line. After all, Frisius is famous for his amazing technical virtuosity in mimicking the attributes of engraved lines in his etchings—he even published manual for calligraphers executed entirely by etching, but with the swelling and tapering of lines found in engraving.

Condition: a strong and well-printed impression. There are restored fractures and breaks in the margin, otherwise the sheet is in a very good condition for its considerable age with no significant stains and is laid onto a support sheet of millennium quality washi paper.

I am selling this curiously wonderful etching—note the small size of the figures in the middle ground compared to the surrounding houses, in particular, compare the size of the figure on horseback to the man being chased by a dog—for the total cost of AU$294 (currently US$191.53/EUR176.56/GBP150.91at the time of posting this) 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 superb and seldom seen old-master print on the art market, 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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