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HIERONYMUS COCK
(1510โ€“1570, Antwerp)

Landscape with Judah and Tamar. Etching. 22.6 x 32.4 cm. 1558. Hollstein 9.

This fanciful, picturesquely rugged landscape is based on a drawing by Matthijs Cock, the elder brother of Hieronymus Cock, and is part of a series of twelve works on biblical and mythological themes. When Hieronymus published the cycle in 1558, Matthijs had already been dead for ten years, but the popularity of his landscapes remained undiminished. The influence of the series etched by Cock should by no means be underestimated either. It exercised a determining influence on the development of landscape art in the Netherlands and far beyond. The fame of this series of etchings extended, for example, to northern Italy, where Angelo Falconetto in Verona and Gherardo Cibo in Genoa were influenced by their inventions and used them as a model for their own works.

Hieronymus Cock brilliantly translated the inventiones of his brother to the medium of etching. His light, accurate and vibrant style enlivens the skilfully arranged landscape scenes. In the present print the panoramic world landscape is sublimated by rich architectural staffage. Man and beast betoken
peacefulness and harmony and serve as invigorating elements in this fanciful, picturesque universe. The two biblical figures in the left foreground provide a narrative pretext, as it were, for the sublime scenic backdrop.

The present print is probably one of the earliest impressions. The printing quality is deep black and velvety and with a very intense chiaroscuro effect. The subtle, delicate plate tone suffuses the scenery with warm light. With even margins around the platemark, trimmed to the platemark on the right.
Minor ageing. Extremely rare indeed in this printing quality and pristine condition.