“ … yet  (1830)  an  Art  Collector

paid … 100 fl.  for  this  Sheet ”

Ducq, Jan le (1629/30 The Hague 1676). The River Landscape with the Waiting Rider to the left (sic!, see below). This dominantly right in front, awaiting another one coming through the river. In small figure behind that a man wading up to his knees with a rod (lance?) in the right while pointing with the left at a swimming or floating little figure. On top of the rock dropping steeply to the opposite bank on the left a building with bulky round tower. A further building below on the bank far left. And to the right margin of the picture an ensemble of buildings with high tower with bulbous top, behind the river bending to the left, in the distance on a level with a mountain chain on this side navigated by a sailship. Etching. Sheet size 7⅛ × 9⅛ in (18 × 23.3 cm).

Jan le Ducq, Waiting Rider at the River

Nagler, Monogramists, III (1863), Ducq, 2184, no. 8; Wurzbach (1906), Duck, 8; cat. Davidsohn I (1920), Ducq, 1378 (“Debatable sheet … Very rare”, referring by the way to Weigel, Supplement, pp. 24 f. + Dutuit V, p. 47),. – Closing leaf of a 4-sheet set – the 3rd, a riding school scenery at the pillar – , whose first two ones are by Roman de Hooghe (1645-1708) who also was connected with the whole set.

With the no. 4 below outside right in the white margin, yet barely with “In front in the centre of the grass ground, slightly to the left … letters I D f.” noticed by Nagler, in this regard also Wurzbach remarks “According to Nagler allegedly inscribed …”. Also Brulliot would have missed it, see below. – With almost complete large watermark “Reared Lion in double lined Circle below Fleur-de-lis” with sword in the right and arrows in the left as variant to Heawood 3140-3145 (1651 till c. 1689) inclusive of the paddings in the circle, but without its escutcheon. – Lower right small oval collector’s stamp A (? Aretin? see below, H?).

The  painterly  sheet  in  the  excellent  impression of  the  J. H. Anderhub  Collection

not figuring, as further prints, too, in the 1963 book sale of the “Bibliotheca Hippologica I. H. Anderhub”.

With surrounding margin of 2-4 mm trimmed to platemark on three sides, above rather to the image border with, however, lots of white plate field. This outside left and centre with noticeable quite feeble touch of browning. Two fine vertical box pleats running through from the front worth mentioning above horse + rider only. So, too, a light diagonal trace of fold in the lateral right white image field.

Though already assigned by Nagler to the painter + etcher le Ducq, pupil of Potter and foremost related to the animal and landscape subject, as  one  “ of  the  most  excellent  Netherlandish  masters ”, the confusion continues with the Utrecht genre painter and etcher of soldier interiors Jacob Duck (about 1600 – 1667; from about 1660 to 1661 in The Hague), whose works run, so Thieme-Becker, since the 18th century indeed mostly under le Ducq’s name, just as the latter’s paintings on their part circulated as Dujardin in consequence of stylistical relationship. The confusion of both promoted not least by le Ducq’s additionally military themes, too, since he had joined as soldier the States-General where he had been promoted captain. Gradually being exhausted his “quite rare” (Thieme-Becker) painted work kept within bounds. The engraver is documented by a certificate of the Hague Guild of 17th June 1662 granting him the sale of his copper-plates and etchings.

Nagler repeatedly qualifies the latter as preciousnesses and here it is especially the “famous set of the hounds” from 1661 which figures in Weigel’s Art Stock Catalog, division VIII, 1840, per 9135 as “Of greatest rarity” at the high price of 80 Thaler. In the Davidsohn Catalog (I, 1376) in 1920 the 8 sheet in but the second state were estimated at 600 Reichsmark. Yet present “Rider at the Riverside” as single sheet – in brilliant print quality with margin each – at half of this, that is 300 Reichsmark!

This  to  elucidate  its  preciousness . And in harmony with Nagler’s report from 1863 :

“ This  wittily  etched  sheet  Brulliot describes in the Aretin Catalogue no. 4401 with the remark that it were etched in le Ducq’s manner. He missed the (signature) letters,

yet  at  the  (1830)  sale  an  art  collector  paid

100  fl.  for  this  sheet .”

Besides – so Wurzbach, too, as supposedly adopted since likewise describing expressly only this one – marking the rider as “in profile to the right” while here he stands to the left, but without thereby establishing a copy in reverse. For conforming to Nagler the building on the opposite bank and the bulky round tower on the rock above it stand left-sided. A position of the rider to right were by the way not in harmony with the scenically arrangement. Correctly the rider holds then also the riding-whip with the left, but the bridle with the right as the soldier in the water his lance, too. This normal use in analogy to the present training scene above as sheet  3 of the set.

Granted finally the correctness of the monogram recorded by Nagler perhaps as a mark of state so its I D f does not correspond with any signatures of monogram character secured for Jacob Duck. See hereto already Thieme-Becker X (1914), 40/II, then the Work Catalog of the Paintings in Salomon, Jacob Duck, 1998, pp. 141 ff.

Offer no. 28,978 / EUR  630. / export price EUR  599. (c. US$ 721.) + shipping

„ Ihre Schriften der (ridinger handlung niemeyer) Nr. 25 ist ein wundervolles Kompendium. Ich danke Ihnen diesmal besonders für die Sendung und bin sehr froh, die Zusammenstellung zu haben … “

(Herr G. K., 25. Dezember 2011)