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Monday 28 August 2017

Christian Wilhelm Ernst Dietricy’s etching, “The Small Waterfalls at Tivoli”, 1744

Christian Wilhelm Ernst Dietricy (aka Christian Wilhelm Ernst Dietrich) (1712–74)
“The Small Waterfalls at Tivoli” (“Die kleinen Wasserfälle bei Tivoli”, Link title); “Arcadian landscape with waterfall” (“Arcadisch landschap met waterva”,l Rijksmuseum title), 1744

Etching on laid paper with Adrian Zingg’s engraved number, “45”, in the upper-left corner indicating that this impression was part of Dietricy’s posthumous edition arranged by his widow. (Note: after the plate was published in the Zingg edition the number was erased by JF Frauenholz for Fraenholz's later edition.)

Size: (sheet) 12.8 x 18.6 cm; (plate) 9.1 x 14.6 cm
Signed and dated in the plate at upper right: “Dietricy 1744”.
Inscribed in extremely small numerals at the upper-left corner: “45”.
State ii (of iii) with the plate polished and the Zingg number, “45”, inscribed before it is erased in state iii. Note: I needed to use a loupe to see the inscribed number as it is so small!

Linck 153-II (III) (JF Linck 1846, “'Monographie der von C. W. E. Dietrich radierten, geschabten und in Holz geschnittenen malerischen Vorstellungen”, Berlin, pp. 251–52, 153); see also the description of this print held by the Rijksmuseum:
Condition: richly inked impression in near pristine condition with small margins varying in size but approximately 2 cm. On the back of the sheet there is a very pale offset of another print.

I am selling this small but exquisitely rendered etching of the waterfalls and cascades at Tivoli (Italy) for the total cost of AU$157 (currently US$124.83/EUR104.57/GBP96.62 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this remarkable nature study showing the effect of raking light on foliage, rocks and water, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

Dietricy was a bit of an artistic chameleon in the sense that he had the gift to mimic other artists’ styles. This ability, however, did not mean that his approach to image making was rinsed clean of showing personal stylistic traits. For example, this very beautiful nature study of the waterfalls and cascades at Tivoli is a fine example of his very insightful and somewhat unique approach to portraying spatial depth.

In one sense, Dietricy uses the traditional approach for showing spatial depth by making the foreground waterfalls slightly darker than those further away and employs an increasing amount of white space around each line to suggest an even greater lightening of tone into the far distance. There is, however, another device that Dietricy employs to portray depth and this, I see, as being his personal stylistic hallmark: Dietricy uses a transition from comparatively small, multi-directional cross-hatched strokes to render forms in the foreground to parallel aligned strokes in the middle distance and finally to almost horizontal strokes designed to portray distant mountains and sky. 

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