Lot 12
  • 12

Herman Saftleven

120,000 - 180,000 USD
137,500 USD
bidding is closed


  • Herman Saftleven
  • A view of Linz am Rhein, with barges unloading at a Quay and an inn nearby
  • signed lower left: HS 1663; signed, located and dated on reverse: Bij Linsz / . herman Saftleven. f.A. utrecht / .Anno. 1663
  • oil on copper
  • 9 by 12 1/2  in.; 22.9 by 31.7 cm.  


Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 10 July 1998, lot 26;
There acquired ($130,739).

Catalogue Note

With its delicately painted features and vivid palette, this mesmerizing view of Linz am Rhein is an impressive example of the panoramic landscapes of the Rhineland for which Herman Saftleven is best renowned.  Bathed in a subtle golden light and executed with exacting precision, this work encapsulates the unique artistic vision that defined Saftleven's output and established him as one of the most successful and versatile Dutch artists of the seventeenth century.    Born in Rotterdam to a family of artists, Saftleven moved to Utrecht in 1632.  It was here that he established a successful career as a painter, draftsman, and printmaker.  Saftleven's early work was reminiscent of artists such as Jan van Goyen, Abraham Bloemaert, and Jan Both, but by 1640s he turned towards renderings of small and exquisite landscapes, a genre that helped him develop a distinct style that would define his works for the last decades of his career.  

From around 1650 onward, Saftleven traveled extensively throughout the Rhine valley.  He recorded the topography and architecture of the lands he visited in countless drawings, which would later serve as inspiration for paintings he completed back home in Utrecht.  Saftleven painted this peaceful yet lively vista of Linz am Rhein in Utrecht in 1663.  He had first visited this foreign city, however, in 1651, recording it from another angle across the Rhein in a drawing now preserved in the Atlas Blaeu-Van der Hem in the Nationalbibliothek, Vienna (fig. 1).