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Herman van Swanevelt

(1603 Worden – 1655 Paris)

Three Views from the Surroundings of Zugro; The Villa Close to the Gates of Porta Pia. Four etchings. Each measuring approx. 11.5 x 18.2 cm. (1653). Hollstein 59–62, each I (of III). Watermark: Little jug with crescent and the initials BC (Hollstein 59), coat-ofarms cartouche with six balls.

Herman van Swanevelt’s significance is largely attributable to the contribution he made to the development and depiction of the ideal landscape in the first half of the 17th century. In 1629, Swanevelt made his way via Paris to Rome, where he was active up to 1638, working inter alia for the Doria-Pamphilij and Barberini families as well as for King Philipp V of Spain. His landscapes were strongly influenced by the paintings of Claude Lorrain, whom he met in Rome. Apart from numerous paintings Swanevelt produced an extensive printed oeuvre comprising over one hundred landscape etchings bathed in warm, southern light and often invigorated by little staffage figures in the foreground.

The Three Views of the Surroundings of Zugro and the depiction of the Villa Close to the Gates of Porta Pia near Rome belong to a twelve-print series of views of Rome and its surroundings. The appeal of the etched cycle, which arose in 1653 two years before the death of the artist, derives from its delicate atmospheric treatment. The preliminary drawings for the cycle are now in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Each of the four etchings is available here in the first state, in which Swanevelt is still named as the engraver and publisher. Magnificent, harmonious early impressions with light plate tone and delicate wiping marks. With thread margins around the occasionally inky platemark. Before the change of the signature and before the address of Bonnart. Slight traces of handling, occasional minor foxing, otherwise in excellent condition throughout. All from the collection of A. P. van den Briel (Lugt 407a).

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