Catalogue Raisonne: Bartsch 225; Hind 177; Muenz 147
Inscription: Verso, four collectors' stamps within r. half of sheet, the Kupferstichkabinett der Staatlichen Museen, Berlin
("Kupferstich-Sammlung der Konigl-Museen"), Thiermann ("TH"), "Tilgungs Stempei KHC," and Baumfeld's ("RB"); numerous pencil
annotations, e.g., "B. 225"
Provenance: Kupferstichkabinett der Staatlichen Museen, Berlin (L. I/1606); Thiermann (L. I/2434); O.P. Reed, Los Angeles;
Rudolf L. Baumfeld, Los Angeles
Scope and Content:
Rembrandt's oeuvre includes about three hundred etchings, some twenty-seven of which are landscapes dating from 1640 to 1657,
the period in which he painted the majority of his landscape pictures as well. His landscape etchings were inspired by the
countryside surrounding Amsterdam but were almost never etched from nature. Rembrandt's work as a printmaker compares with
that of no other artist except Hercules Segers in the variety of techniques and papers used, and certainly no other Dutch
artist of the period made such a large number of radical revisions to his plates.
The house on the right amidst the trees in Cottage and Hay Barn has been identified as Kostverloren, a house along the Amstel
that was a readily recognizable landmark for Rembrandt contemporaries and was often depicted in paintings, drawings, and prints
by seventeenth-century Dutch artists. Kostverloren, whose name (which means "lost money") was recorded as early as 1563, was
built around 1500 on swampy land on the riverbank, which resulted in the expenditure of large sums of money on its preservation
by its various owners (Groesbeek 1966, pp. 125-26, pls. 46-48).
While Rembrandt depicted an actual site, its placement in relation to the city of Amsterdam, seen at left, is entirely imaginary.
Indeed, probably only two of the artist's landscape prints were actually drawn from nature. Rembrandt intentionally juxtaposed
the bustling city in the background with the deteriorating house, a symbol of decay. The image could be interpreted moralistically,
as illustrating the decay of the farmhouse in the center, whose inhabitants fish rather than tend to their property, as in
a drawing of a neglected farmhouse by Jacques de Gheyn (van Regteren Altena 1983, no. 950, pl. 24). In any case, Rembrandt
certainly meant the farmhouse in the center to act as a mediating image between the neglected Kostverloren and the busy, crowded
North Holland; landscapes (representations); houses; people; fishing