Jan Both, Ponte Molle, 1615-1652

Intimate Distances

Landscape etchings from the 17th century

Until 25 November 2012 in the study room of the Kupferstichkabinett


The study of nature in German art finds an initial high point in Albrecht Dürer. The landscapes incorporated into his religious paintings andportraits are striking in their diversity of natural forms, which are represented down to the smallest detail. But it was only around 1600 (some75 years after Dürer) that landscape paintingfirst emerged as a genre in its own right, liberatedof other visual subject matter.
Italian artists such as Annibale Carracci (1560–1609) and Domenichino (1581–1641) were pioneers in this regard; painters active north of the Alps learned about their work during their travels. During their studies abroad in Rome, they studied not only antiquity and ancient art, but increasingly turned their attention to landscape.
In the following period, Italy accounted for such diverse traditions as the vedute of Herman van Swanevelt (ca. 1600?–1655), or the idealistic, light-filled perspectives of Claude Lorrain (ca. 1600–1682), whose printed graphic works demonstrate an extraordinary love for experimentation in the use of the etching needle. At that time, the art of renderinglandscapesalso reached a high point in the Netherlands. One outstanding representative of this prolific period is found in Rembrandt (1606–1669).