Of Final Creation

Rubens, Peter Paul (Siegen 1577 – Antwerp 1640). Coastal Landscape with Thunderstorm. Fortified town at a mountainous bay. Before the harbour ships and boats – in Feininger-like depiction – searched rescue. On the peninsula in the foreground two churches, a shepherd with his flock, and farmers running away. Engraving by Schelte à Bolswert (Bolsward, Frisia, 1586 – Antwerp 1659). Inscribed: .P.P. Rubbens (sic!) pinxit . / S a Bolswert fecit. 12 × 16¾ in (30.6 × 42.7 cm).

Peter Paul Rubens, Coastal Landscape with Thunderstorm

From Schneevogt 53 + Hollstein 305-325, IV (of V). – Not in Rosenberg (2nd ed.) – From the set of the socalled Small Landscapes after Rubens. – With the address of Aegidius (Gillis) Hendriks in Antwerp (Gillis Hendricx excudit / Antwerpiae Cum privilegio), before that of Jacques Philippe le Bas (Lebas, 1707 Paris 1783). – Wurzbach, Bolswert 86, too, reckons the Hendricx address as the fourth of five states while generally saying in advance:

“ For a long period Martinus van den Enden was almost the only publisher (of Bolswert’s) plates. But in many cases G. Hendricx, too, is … the first and best address. ”

Julius Hofmann – “(he) occupied himself with a subtle examination of the states of the plates of Bolswert’s landscapes after Rubens”, Max Lehrs 1922 in the preface to the catalogue of the Hofmann sale – saw in the state here supposedly the second though: on one of the plates of this set from his collection traded here some time ago his autograph note “Sch. 53 No. 3” is followed by the raised addition “Hfm. II.”. The Roman number can refer only to the state, not to the sequence within the suite. Amongst Hendriks, active since 1645, Wurzbach – I, 677 – notes “owner of the old stock of van den Enden”. And in the latter’s article – I, 492 – “in 1645 he seems to have retired because already at that time the name Gillis Hendrickx appeared on the plates”.

With four-liner in Latin under the motto En quo discordia ciues. – On wide-margined strong laid paper with almost invisible centerfold. – The margins on the back with remains of earlier framing. Otherwise untouched.

Wonderful impression determined by a vibrant chiaroscuro

with still slight plate dirt and of a matchless faithfulness:

“ (Bolswert) was on friendly terms with Rubens whose paintings he reproduced with unsurpassable mastership, dealing with such a fine deception for the charm of the colors that for a long time one thought of a direct participation of Rubens at these works, but the most important works of Schelte’s are (as the one here) his latest, after Ruben’s death ”

(Wurzbach I [1909], 137 f.).

But also generally and beyond his works after Rubens Schelte belongs to the most esteemed artists not only of his time:

“ (Bolswert) got his artistic craftsman’s education in Holland, which must have been excellent, in the workshop of his brother Boëtius B. … Besides Vorstermann and Pontius from the early ’20s B. belonged to the best engravers who worked for Rubens. B.’s engravings have to be reckoned among the

climax of reproduction prints

after contemp. masters of the 17th century .

The sheets, which reflect all the possibilities between markedly correct copy engraving … and redesign and alteration of the model, …

lay claim to autonomous recognition and were highly esteemed

(so e.g. the honorarium for B.’s engraving after Quellinus’ Entry of Archduke Leopold William amounted to 2,500 guilders). B.’s works distinguish themselves by their light-flooded graphic execution … Especially the 20 sheets after the so-called small landscapes from the various periods of creativeness of Rubens (since c. 1635 or 1638, published by Martin van den Enden till 1645) … stand out from B.’s complete works ”

(Traude Kannengießer, Allgemeines Künstler-Lexikon XII, 1996, 414).

Offer no. 28,749 | EUR 813. | export price EUR 772. (c. US$ 933.) + shipping

„ … Toll, die Verbindung der Kunst mit berühmten Männern der Geschichte. Dazu die qualitative Aufmachung … “

(Frau U. K., 2. Januar 2010)