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Willem van Bemmel

(1630 Utrecht – 1708 Wöhrd)

Landscape with a Man and a Boy. Etching. 11.1 x 17.8 cm. Weigel 12622, Hollstein 7 (without illustration). Watermark: Crown (fragment).

Willem van Bemmel was the founder of a large and influential dynasty of artists that was active in South Germany until well into the eighteenth century. The artist was born in 1630 in Utrecht and at young age began to study under Cornelis Saftleven in Rotterdam. Around 1647 Bemmel traveled to Italy, where he lived and worked for two years in Venice and then for four years in Rome and Naples. After a further stay in England, Bemmel spent the rest of his life in Germany. He was called to the court of Count Karl of Hessia in Kassel and later worked in Augsburg and Nuremberg. Bemmel painted landscapes exclusively and was praised for this by his contemporary Joachim von Sandrart. His printed oeuvre is fairly small, consisting of only eight sheets, all of which are very rare.
It seems that Hollstein never saw an impression of the present etching, because he does not name one collection. The sheet is executed in a very detailed and effective etching manner. A rock in the foreground bears the artist's signature. It is possible that Bemmel became familiar with the printed work of Claude Lorrain during his time in Rome. The liveliness with which the artist handles the etching needle and the atmospheric rendering of the landscape are both reminiscent of Claude's early landscape etchings.

A very fine impression printing with tone and with even margins around the platemark. Slight aging, otherwise in impeccable condition. The impression from the collections of Paul Davidsohn (Lugt 654) and Richard Leendertz (Lugt 1708) recorded by Hollstein. Verso with the collector's stamp of A. P. van den Briel (Lugt 407 a).
 

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