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Workshop of Claes Jansz. Visscher (1586/1587-1652)

The siege of Gennep

etchings, watermark letters PH
titled and inscribed below the upper edges, published in 1641
13 x 25.2 cm
FMH 1845[1] ; Hollstein 93[2] , first and only state, originally published as one plate, very fine uniform set, in untreated condition, one print with one foxmark, trimmed within the platemark, but outside the images

Friedrich August II von Sachsen, King of Sachsen (1797-1854) (L. 971).

Claes Jansz. Visscher’s publishing house was one of the most influential and productive of the first half of the 17th century. It was located in the Kalverstraat in Amsterdam in a house called ‘De Visscher’ from where Visscher published almost five thousand prints, many of which depicted landscapes or topographical subjects. Visscher played a crucial role in popularizing printed landscape series in The Netherlands by republishing 16th century landscape prints and, more importantly, by publishing his own landscape series such as Plaisante Plaetsen, which marked a new era in Dutch landscape printing.
The present series of six prints depict the siege of Gennep Castle etched in Visscher’s characteristic style. Due to its strategic location in between the Niers and Maas rivers, the castle was often the scene of fierce battles during the 80 Year War. The siege shown in the present series took place in 1641 when Prince Frederik Hendrik together with an army of 20,000 forced the Spanish army to surrender. Besides the castle itself, the series depicts views of battles which took place in the castles, cloister and nearby villages.

[1] F. Muller, 'De Nederlandse geschiedenis in platen. Beredeneerde beschrijving van Nederlandsche Historieplaten, zinneprenten en historische kaarten. […]', Amsterdam, 1863-1870, vol. 1, p. 259.
[2] C. Schuckman, 'Hollstein’s Dutch & Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts, ca. 1450-1700, volume XXXVIII. Claes Jansz. Visscher to Cleas Claesz Visscher II', Roosendaal, 1991, p. 60.

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