The Three Oaks

12.8 x 14.8 cm (5 x 5 ⁷/₈ inches)
Signed and dated 'JvRuisdael in f. 1649' in the plate.


Duke of Portland
Sotheby’s Sale on December 8, 1972, no. 73
C. G. Boerner, Neue Lagerliste 62, 1973, no. 45
Private Collection Germany

Full Description

Dutuit 6/I (of II); Bradley, (Print Collectors Quarterly. Vol. VII, pag. 153-174); Keyes 5/I (of II); Hollstein 6/I (of II); Slive E9/I (of II)
Watermark: Foolscap

A landmark of European printmaking

Outstandingly rare first state of the artist’s magnificent masterwork.

This is the only impression mentioned by Slive in a private collection aside from the four other known impressions in public collections.

Marvelous early impression of really exquisite printing quality. The fine borderline only slightly und incompletely marked and not yet strengthened. Before the rework of the shadows in the tree on the extreme right, on the shaded bank and the willows at the foot of the bank. Before the address of F. van Wyngaerde.

Using the drypoint for the foliage of the oaks, the artist created a tremendous modeling, three-dimensional effect. The delicate horizontal whipping marks and the effectively utilized platetone achieve space and vibrant atmosphere.

Cut on the platemark. With some pail foxing marks, tiny rubbings in the sky and two short tears at the edges carefully mended, otherwise in excellent condition.

Refering to de Gheyn and Buytewech, Ruisdael’s small œuvre marks a substantially new formulation, a watershed of the art of landscape-etching. According to Hind and Bode it is only comparable to the masterpieces of Hercules Seghers and Rembrandt’s >The Three Trees< from 1643.


The Three Oaks