Wednesday, 18 March 2020
Simon Frisius’ etching, “Landscape with a Farm”, c.1607
Simon Frisius (aka Simon Wynhoutsz Frisius; Simon de Vries) (c.1580–1628)
“Landscape with a Farm” (Landschap met een Boerderij), 1598–1616 (Roethlisberger proposes the date range, 1605–08), after a lost drawing by Abraham Bloemaert (1566–1651), published by Herman Allertsz. Koster (fl.1587–1616) in Amsterdam with rhymed verses written by an unknown author exhorting man “to live mindful of God” (Roethlisberger 1993, p. 136).
Regarding the portrayed scene, Roethisberger (1993) offers the following insights: “The daily life of the farm is … under the sign of God, the majestic trees embody His grandeur. Unlike the tiny figure on the ladder and two others further back, the two foreground figures are not peasants but assume an allegorical character; the man probably orders a halt for reflection, the woman is intent on pursuing the journey of life in whose axis appear the tower and the tiny, distant church steeple. Also the unusual wave-like clouds gently allude to the passing of time” (ibid).
Etching—so fine that it resembles a burin engraving—on laid paper trimmed close to the platemark with a narrow margin around the image borderline.
Size: (sheet) 34.5 x 21.1 cm; (image borderline) 31.5 x 20.6 cm.
Lettered on plate below the image borderline in calligraphic script: “S: Fryzius./ Des morgens vroegh soo Gaest den dags begint t’claren,/ O mensche wie ghy syt looft Godt gebenedydt,/ U dags doch wel besteedt; in wat beroep ghy sydt/ Syn segening vertrout, en slyt alsoo u jaren./ Gedruct by Herman/ Allertsz. Koster.” ([Roethlisberger transl.] “Early in the morning, as soon as dawn sets in, oh man, as you may be, praise the blessed Lord, spend your days well, in whatever profession you are, trust His blessing, and thus spend your years. Printed by Koster” [p. 135].)
New Hollstein Dutch 97 (Nadine Monica Orenstein [comp.] 2008, “The new Hollstein: Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts 1450–1700: Simon Frisius”, Ouderkerk aan den Ijssel, Sound and Vision, p. 102, cat. no. 97); (Jacob Bolten 2007 “Abraham Bloemaert, c.1565–1651: The Drawings”, part 1, p. 459, cat. no. 1562); Roethlisberger 88 (Marcel G. Roethlisberger 1993, “Abraham Bloemaert and his Sons : Paintings and Prints”, vol. 1, Doornspijk, Davaco, p. 135–36, cat. no. 88); Nagler, 505; Le Blanc 46.
The Rijksmuseum offers the following description of this print:
Condition: excellent impression on laid paper with a small margin around the image borderline. The sheet has a few minor marks, small closed tears and replenished areas (e.g. the lower right corner). There is a ink remark from an old hand and pencil notations by previous collectors verso.
I am selling this exceptionally rare etching—not only rare because very few copies exist (mindful that even the British Museum does not hold a copy), but also because it is such a finely crafted etching that it resembles an engraving—that is one of Frisius’ earliest works for the total cost of AU$580 (currently US$344.92/EUR314.11/GBP286.26 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this rarely seen old-master print on the art market, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
This print has been sold