|Museum Het Rembrandthuis|
1011 NK Amsterdam
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Landscape prints were immensely popular in the 17th century. The portrayal of the Dutch landscape reached its zenith in Rembrandt’s work. Altogether Rembrandt made 26 landscape prints. They all date from the 1640-1653 period. Rembrandt’s landscapes were usually produced in his studio on the basis of drawings he had made during walks in the countryside around Amsterdam. In some cases he probably worked straight into the copper plate on the spot. Six’s Bridge and the Clump of trees with a vista are examples of this. The rapid and spontaneous drawing lends these prints the feeling of having been made in the open air. The three trees is Rembrandt’s most famous landscape etching. The trees were probably on the Diemerzeedijk. The silhouette of Amsterdam can be seen in the background. In this etching, Rembrandt exploited the effect of strong contrasts between light and shade. The darker passages were accentuated with drypoint and burin.
Rembrandt’s early landscape etchings are entirely etched. The foreground of these etchings is always meticulously worked out and placed against a lightly indicated horizon. In his later landscapes Rembrandt combined the etching technique with drypoint and burin. He also sometimes added imaginary elements—such as mountains and exotic buildings—to the typical Dutch landscape.