State-in-Progress unknown to Literature
before Completion of the Second State
Brussel, Hermanus van (Haarlem 1763 – Utrecht 1815). The Landscape with the Two Anglers at the Water. In rich pasture landscape with steeple in the distance of the far bank. Etching. About 1805. Inscribed above left: 3. 5¼ × 8⅛ in (13.5 × 20.5 cm).
Sliggers 15, (before ?) II; Nagler 14. – Trimmed to or within platemark in possible analogy to the incl. title 7-sheet set Verschijen Landschap of which up to four sheet had been etched on totally just 3 plates which were separated only for the posthumous edition of 1815. – Above left tiny corner injury in the free field of the subject lining and generally slightly age-marked on the subject side and verso, and thereby less relevant, throughout age-stained resp. and with three old mounting spots.
Very fine impression of the charming sheet ,
compared with the copy of the second state in the British Museum (1856,0712.241) still showing white spots in the foliage of the left tree and likely still more delicate in the etching of the sky. However, foremost in present sheet a single large black bush right below the top
– as supposedly still belonging to the first state –
still commands the otherwise grass-grown hillock in the center of the subject. In the London copy this already is reduced distinctively and supplemented by two more bushes on top and left slope, just as they are, irrespective of further modifications, also in the third, final state (cf. ills. Sliggers 15, III, and BM 1856,1213.86).
Otherwise without the two resting figures of the first state right of the left tree, yet with the two anglers on the bank in the subject center as well as the three additional birds and the executed sky as according to Sliggers the marks of the second state. In such a way a
desirable undescribed state-in-progress
enriching the series of the graphic œuvre’s unica
and by this at the same time a charming look over the master’s shoulder :
“ Considering the fact that for instance in the printroom at Leiden most etchings are present solely in the final state (sometimes even in several copies) we can assume that Van Brussel regarded the earlier states as belonging to the process of creation. The collection in the Gemeentearchief at Haarlem is unique in that it originates largely from the artist’s estate … and therefore comprises all ‘states’ ”
(B. C. Sliggers, Hermanus van Brussel, Biografie en catalogus van zijn prentwerk, 1999, p. 15).
Also Nagler, Monogramists III, 1621, refers to these:
“ These sheets … are etched brilliantly, and there exist varieties of prints, more or less finished impressions, and then also such with modifications … (H. v. B.) is reckoned among the most excellent Dutch masters of his time … here it is only about the etched sheets though, which, however … partly belong to the rarities ”
With regard to the latter then also here on the back in pencil by earlier hand “H. v. Brussel / (Rare)”. Just as then also in most known collections there are only impressions from either the posthumous edition of 1815 or an edition of 16 small landscapes published in Dresden known only by a cover without date in the Gemeentearchief Haarlem. Besides
“ The free landscape prints (in Holland took up) more or less the works created in the middle of the 18th century in Germany – i. a. by Johann Alexander Thiele, F. E. Weirotter, Johann Christian Klengel, J. Nothnagel, and Heinrich Herterich – under the influence of Van Ruisdael and his company … The new direction in landscape art foremost concentrated on Haarlem … Of the 60 bequeathed etchings (of H. v. B’s.) 45 represent landscapes. ”
And the quality of his landscape etchings is characterized by nothing less than that “in a sale at Amsterdam in 1851 an etching by his hand (was traded) as an unknown work by Simon de Vlieger (1601-1653)”
(Sliggers, op. cit., pp. 13 + 4).
Offer no. 15,443 / EUR 430. / export price EUR 409. (c. US$ 496.) + shipping
“ I would like to thank you most sincerely for your expert analysis of the portfolio and for the considerable amount of time you gave to this effort. I will take your advice and we shall see what happens … Again, my sincere thanks ”
(Mr. P. S., March 22, 2012)