Landscape with the House with the Little Tower
On his excursions outside of Amsterdam, Rembrandt van Rijn frequently followed the waterways, drawing and later etching these flat Dutch landscapes. Rather than aiming for a detailed reproduction, Rembrandt emphasized only the important elements. He eliminated parts, giving the viewer no more than was necessary to see and feel what he himself saw and felt. Even though this view along the Schinckel River is topographically accurate and scholars have identified the house with the tower, it is Rembrandt's economy of means that makes the drawing enchanting. Rembrandt suggested space, light, and atmosphere by relying on blank paper and using a few exquisitely placed accents. A delicate wash over fine, short strokes creates a blurred and luminous effect in the mass of trees. A fine dotting technique further animates this area, giving the sense of a slight breeze passing across the treetops. A few broad lines transform the foreground into river and land, and scattered strokes at the lower left embody the rushes and their reflections. Even more subtly, a passage of dots and wash leads into the far distance beyond the house at the left.
Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash (about 1651)
by Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669)
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