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Friday 5 November 2021

Pieter Nolpe’s etching, “Winter”, c1650 after Paulus Potter

Pieter Nolpe (1613/14-c1652/3)

“Winter / December” (aka “Aer” [Air]; “Strandgezicht: de maand december en het seizoen winter” [Beach view: the month of December and the winter season]), c1650, from the series, “Landschappen met de maanden, elementen en seizoenen” (Landscapes with the months, elements and seasons),  after Paulus Potter (aka Paul Potter) (1625–1654), published by Pieter Nolpe in Amsterdam. Following this first edition, the etching was republished by Frederick de Wit (aka Frederick de Widt; Frederick de Witt; Frederick de Witte) (1629/30–1706) with the title changed to "Aer" and with the addition of Paul Potter’s name as the designer.

The Curator of the British Museum offers the following insights regarding this print in its later edition: “Hollstein describes what seems to have begun as a set of the twelve months, linked with the elements and seasons. These must have had their titles changed when re-issued by De Wit, and turned into sets of seasons and elements. The text of the poem on this plate suits Winter, but is inapplicable to Air” (BM inv. no. 1871,0812.3941).

Etching and stipple engraving on laid paper trimmed around the platemark and backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet [irreg.]) 41 x 53 cm; (image borderline) 38.2 x 52.3 cm.

Lettered in plate below the image borderline with couplets in Dutch and French: (left) “Die voor de winter, hem voorsiet, en voorraet weet te gissen/ Al quelt hem & killege nat dan. niet. kan. op zӰn tӰ & wel vissen” (note that there may be errors in my reading of this text); (centre) “Winter/ DECEMBER/ Pieter Nolpe fecit & Excud.”; (right) “Qui prudent à l’hӱver songe, et se fournit à propos./ Trouve es plus rudes froidures, chez soӱ chaleur & repos.” ([Google transl.] “Who prudent to winter thinks, and provides himself about./ Find the harsher colds, in your warmth & rest.”)

State i (of iii) before the name change of the publisher from Pieter Nolpe to Frederick de Wit and the change of title.

Hollstein Dutch 262-1(3) (F.W.H. Hollstein 1956, “Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts 1450–1700: Meer–Ossenbeeck”, vol. 14, Amsterdam, Menno Hertzberger, p. 178, cat. no. 262); Dozy 178-1 (3) (C.M. Dozy 1897, “Pieter Nolpe”, Oud Holland 15, p. 153–154, cat .no. 178).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print: “A scene on a sea-shore with fishing boats beached and a group gathered around a beach hut with barrels of fish. c.1650
Etching (

See also the description of this print by the Rijksmuseum:

Condition: a well-printed lifetime impression from the first edition as published by Nolpe, but showing significant wear to the printing plate. The sheet has many restored and replenished areas—notably the upper-right corner and the restored centrefold—and has been laid upon a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper.

I am selling this large etching showing everyday life on a wintery seashore during the month of December in the mid-1600s, for the total cost of AU$321 (currently US$237.64/EUR205.44/GBP176 at the time of 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 rarely seen etching on the art market—especially an impression from the first state—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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