VELDE, Jan van de, II
(b. ca. 1593, Delft, d. 1641, Enkhuizen)

Skaters on a River

Etching, 120 x 188 mm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

The most prolific of the early Haarlem printmakers, Jan van de Velde II firmly established the popularity of the Dutch landscape print and its celebration of the local countryside. During the period of prolonged truce in the Dutch revolt, he and a handful of other artists active in Haarlem began depicting previously ignored characteristics of the indigenous landscape, thus marking the beginning of a distinctively Dutch school of landscape painting and printmaking. These simple, unadorned views, though not etched directly from nature, recreate the experience of walking through 'pleasant places' in the Dutch countryside with its low horizon line, trees and ruins silhouetted against the ample sky.

This etching was the source of inspiration for Rembrandt's famous landscape painting, the Stone Bridge (c. 1638, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam).