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johann georg von dillis
(1759 Grüngiebing – 1841 Munich)

The Old Willow by the Stream. Etching on wove paper. 17.7 x 24.1 cm. 1793. Andresen 30.

„Liberally and picturesquely treated sheets in the style of Ruysdael and directly etched onto the copper in situ after nature” is how Andresen describes the present work and its companion piece The Rotten Tree Trunk, both of which are apparently based on motifs from the English Garden in Munich. The two sheets, sketched directly after nature, are surprising for their freshness, the immediacy of their interpretation of nature and the impetuosity of the line work. This is particularly true of the present sheet, in which Dillis’ style of drawing achieves a remarkable degree of abstraction. His etching needle produces a dense, impenetrable tangle of grasses, shrubs, gnarled tree trunks and rampant, supple branches that appear to reflect nature in its infinity and pantheistic presence. In this respect Dillis comes very close to the interpretation of nature favoured by his great predecessor, Jacob van Ruisdael, whose works he may well have seen himself. There can be no overlooking the stylistic parallels with the etchings Ruisdael made in the 1650s.

A superb, richly varied impression, printed on the full sheet. In excellent condition.