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The Rugendas Letters
Johann Moritz Rugendas’
first voyage to Brazil
Early 17th Century Marine Scenery
Bril, Paul (? Breda 1553/4 – Rome 1626). Rocky Coastal Landscape with View at a Harbor. In front left sailing-vessel on the water strongly moved by surge. On the right sheerly rising shore with stock of trees. In the center-field a mighty lighthouse, on the left of it the mouth to the harbor of the town lying underneath of rugged crags. In front of them, as at the other shores, too, numerous boats, but also ships and a galley. In the distance the inland course of the river under dramatic skyscape including breaking sun and a shower. Engraving by or at Jan Claesz. Visscher (c. 1550 Amsterdam 1612). Below left in the water and white margin resp. inscribed: Paulus Bril inue / ICVißcher (ligated) excudit. Sheet size 20 x 26.8 cm.
Bernt IV, 127 (preparatory drawing in same size and direction, with ills.). – Equal-sized copy in reverse after the engraving by Raphael Sadeler I (Antwerp 1560 – Munich 1632/Venice 1628), Hollstein 217. – The monogram corresponding with the first one of Wurzbach II, 800; compare also Nagler, Monogramists, III, 2155 + V, 1063, also the one of Cornelis Visscher Nagler V, 1079 leaned upon to the one here. – Figurative watermark.
Trimmed inside the platemark, but still with a fine papermark – a tiny completion on the right – around the subject, below also 5 mm wide. The lower corners somewhat box pleated in respect of former corner mounting. In the upper margin acid-freely repaired tear reaching 2 cm into the image, but scarcely visible only. In the lower margin barely recognizable writing by old hand: Afbeelding van den toeloup des … tot … by (he)t Galileetsche Meyk.
Already in 1574 Paul Bril went to Rome where he met with Adam Elsheimer “whose influence was of decisive consequence for Bril’s art” (Thieme-Becker V, 16 f.) :
(Bernt). So then also Luuk Pijl in Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon XIV (1996), 228:
In such a manner the
extraordinarily pictorial sheet here in its splendid chiaroscuro
qualified as early print by the still recognizable fine type lines within the Visscher inscription.