View full screen - View 1 of Lot 63. The Omval (B., Holl. 209; New Holl. 221; H. 210).

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

The Omval (B., Holl. 209; New Holl. 221; H. 210)

Lot Closed

December 10, 02:56 PM GMT


150,000 - 250,000 GBP

Lot Details


Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

1606 - 1669

The Omval (B., Holl. 209; New Holl. 221; H. 210)

Etching and drypoint, 1645, a superb impression of New Hollstein's second state (of three), printing with rich burr in the trunk of the tree, the foliage at left and the signature, the sulphur tinting in the sky very pronounced, still with rough, inky plate edges, on fine laid paper with a Double-headed Eagle watermark (Hinterding C.b., dated 1645), framed

plate: 184 by 225mm 7¼ by 8⅞in

sheet: 188 by 230mm 7⅜ by 9in

Hinterding notes that this watermark occurs only in impressions of this subject, so a date of 1645 seems likely. It also shows that the second state was made immediately after the first.

The present impression is superior to the Cracherode and Malcolm impressions at the British Museum, while it compares favourably with the Slade and Salting impressions in the same collection.

Fürst Karl Paar (L. 2009); with Sotheby's, London, 13 July 1854 (Lugt mentions this impression specifically in his auction records - the hammer price of 14 Pounds and 5 Shillings was the third highest price ever achieved for a Rembrandt print); Atherton Curtis (L. 94), who according to Lugt, Band I, 1921, 'a formé une des plus belles collections d'estampes de l'époque actuelle'; with Gutekunst und Klipstein, Bern, 28 April 1955, lot 104, then described as 'Prachtvoller Frühdruck von einzigartiger Schönheit'; with Galerie Kornfeld, Bern, 10 June 2009, lot 106 (460,000 CHF hammer)

“De Omval”, an idyllic peninsula between the Amstel river and the Ringvaart, offered Rembrandt and his peers a scenic escape from bustling Amsterdam. The painter-printmaker seems to have had a fondness for this especially serene stretch of riverbend, which he also captured in at least three drawings. The languid waterway and wild foliage of The Omval, named for a long-gone ruin (“omvallen” means to “fall” or “topple over”), provided the perfect setting for the present depiction of pastoral romance. Shrouded by overgrowth at the base of a gnarled tree trunk, which Rembrandt appears to have re-interpreted in his 1648 etching St. Jerome beside a Pollard Willow (B., Holl. 103; New Holl. 244; H. 323), a man sweetly crowns his lover with a delicate flower wreath. 

The amorous couple is visible upon close inspection, cleverly hidden by a series of etched and drypoint lines, which when combined evoke the dramatic shadows of a wooded area. Towering over the pair, the robust tree trunk offers them privacy and becomes the focal point of the print, emphasized in this case with rich, velvety burr. The unruly landscape at the foreground contrasts with the sensitively outlined suburban sprawl in the background, which is printing remarkably clearly in this impression. Serving as a link between the two banks, a passer-by in a wide-brimmed hat admires the boats across the way, seemingly oblivious to the pair of young lovers. 

The Omval is one of five landscape prints Rembrandt created in 1645 and stands out as one of his most intricate. A particularly early impression of this rare subject, the present print features pronounced sulfur tinting in the sky, alongside swathes of burr in the vegetation, and further traces in the artist’s signature. Altogether these touches create a warm and atmospheric quality, which compares favorably to the famous Cracherode impression housed at the British Museum. The sheet itself, a fine laid paper, also includes a complete, splendid Double-Headed Eagle watermark, consistent with the earliest printings. Its ownership can be traced back to the collection of Fürst Karl Paar (Lugt 2009), whose important collection was sold at Sotheby’s in 1854. Lugt records this impression specifically, citing that it sold for 14 Pounds, 5 Schillings, which at the time was the third highest price ever achieved for a Rembrandt print at auction.