Gallery of prints for sale

Friday, 15 October 2021

Christian Wilhelm Ernst Dietrich’s etching, “The River Between High Rocky Banks”, 1744 (2nd copy)

Christian Wilhelm Ernst Dietrich (aka Dietricy) (1712–1774)

“The River Between High Rocky Banks (In Manner of Salvator Rosa)” (aka “Der Fluß zwischen hohen Felsenufern”), 1744.

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

Size: (support sheet) 29.2 x 33.2 cm; (sheet) 15.8 x 21cm; (plate) 15.1 x 20.4 cm; (image borderline) 14.9 x 20.1 cm.

Inscribed in plate at lower right: “Dietricy f 1744”.

Linck 148 iv (of iv) with the plate number (“56”) erased from the upper right corner.

Linck 148 iv (J.F. Linck 1846, “Monographie der von C.W.E. Dietrich radierten, geschabten und in Holz geschnittenen malerischen Vorstellungen”, Berlin, Rudolph Weigel, pp. 242–143, cat. number 148 [see:]).

J.F. Linck (1846) offers the following description of this print:

(Google Transl.) “From the center of the background, to the right, a river flows between high rocky banks, the front almost half the width  of the image. On the left you can see, next to a large piece of rock, the trunk of a large, half-uprooted tree, the branches of which extend beyond the upper edge of the plate.  The right bank of the river is overgrown with trees in several places. Except for a few birds hovering in the air, the landscape is not animated by any staffage.” (p. 242).

See also the British Museum’s description of this print:

Condition: a strong impression with small margins and laid onto a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. There is an area of replenished loss to the upper margin and lower left corner; otherwise the sheet is in a very good condition with no significant stains or foxing.

I am selling this 1744 nature study executed in the style of Salvator Rosa for the total cost of AU$294 (currently US$218.30/EUR188.08/GBP158.75 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 remarkably strong etching of light catching on the surfaces of rocks, trees and water, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

Note that this is the second copy of this print that I have listed. Thre previous impression has been sold.

Sadly, Dietericy is not fondly remembered by the gatekeepers of history. The reason for this clouded view of his reputation as a printmaker is not so much that he did not have amazing technical skill—I cannot imagine any academic who would propose that criticism. In fact, the "problem" is all about his high level of skills regarding his dexterity at being able to reproduce other artists’ styles (i.e. to appropriate them as his own). In this etching, for instance, the image smacks the eye with the style of Salvator Rosa in terms of his contouring of forms (e.g. in the curved marks rendering the tree limbs), his use of tiny breaks in the outlining of forms (e.g. the dotted outline of the tree limbs on the upper left) and his free handling of linework—almost calligraphic—where the speed that the marks are laid is reflected in the tiny return strokes at the ends of the lines (e.g. the “sketchy” strokes representing water reflections) … and a plethora of other stylistic traits.

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