Landscape with an Obelisk, c. 1650

Not on Viewexpand_more

In 1624 the city of Amsterdam erected the obelisk pictured here to mark its expanded boundary along the Spaardammerdijk River toward the town of Haarlem. Rembrandt romanticized the view of the relatively barren landscape, adding features and making the obelisk appear considerably larger than it actually was. Look closely to see that he initially drew it with an orb on top, just reaching the top of the image. Giving the etching needle greater dimension, he more firmly anchored the entire image. To the right is a farmhouse. The big peaked, thatched roof covers the animal barn, and the gabled section is the farmer's residence. The two structures were contiguous in order to preserve precious warmth during the cold, damp Dutch winters. Rembrandt shows it is time to prepare for another winter, for the roof of the hayrick-just behind the marker-is lowered, indicating the hay has been used up. A tiny figure in the distance carries a scythe for cutting hay to refill the rick.

Details
Title
Landscape with an Obelisk
Artist Life
1606–1669
Role
Artist
Accession Number
P.12,548
Provenance
[Heinrich Eisemann, London, until 1957; sold June 14, for $1,250, to Mia]
Catalogue Raisonne
Hind 243 ii/ii; B. 227; Mz.157 ii/ii; Holl. 227 ii/ii; B-B. 50-3 ii/ii
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Show Detail

Zoom in on the left to the detail you'd like to save. Click 'Save detail' and wait until the image updates. Right click the image to 'save image as' or copy link, or click the image to open in a new tab.