Cottage Beside a Canal with a View of Ouderkerk

Rembrandt Van Rijn
Cottage Beside a Canal with a View of Ouderkerk
etching & drypoint
c. 1641

An original Rembrandt Van Rijn etching & drypoint print.

c. 1641

Original etching and drypoint printed in black ink on laid paper.

A superb 17th century/lifetime impression of Bartsch, Usticke and New Hollstein’s only state of this very rare etching (characterized by G.W. Nowell-Usticke in his 1967 catalogue Rembrandt’s Etchings: States and Values as “a scarce print; probably a snow scene”), showing traces of sulphur tinting in the trees at the left, in the sky above the cottage and the distant landscape at the center.

Catalog: Bartsch 228; Hind 212; Biorklund-Barnard 45-1; Usticke 228; New Hollstein 202.

5 7/16 x 8 5/16 inches

In this etching the village of Ouderkerk to the south of Amsterdam can be seen in the background on the other side of the water. In 1915 Fritz Lugt recognized the church steeple. In the distance to the right of the church a long bridge is discernable. However, the attention chiefly focuses on the farmhouse in the foreground. Immediately in front of it is a low barn, and then the thatched farmhouse, with at the rear an extended ‘opkamer’ (upstairs room) with a chimney.

What is striking about this undated composition is the extraordinarily low horizon with an expanse of sky asbove it, and the successfully executed transition between foreground and background. The print was lightly etched and impressions are almost always a little faint and misty. Several scholars have described the scene as a winter landscape. There is, however, no general agreement on the question as to whether the landscape is actually covered in snow, although there is consensus that it is a moment in winter or early spring.

The dull winter atmosphere that characterizes the print is partly the effect of the grain, which is particularly discernible in the left half of the composition, in the farm buildings and in the sky.