Eglise de Saint Jean de LyonArtist(s)Isräel SilvestreObject Creation Date1621-1691Medium & Supportetching on paperDimensions
3 15/16 in x 6 ¾ in (10 cm x 17.15 cm);3 15/16 in x 4 ¾ in (10 cm x 12.07 cm);14 ¼ in x 19 ¼ in (36.2 cm x 48.89 cm)Credit LineMuseum PurchaseLabel copy
The landscape in Silvestre’s etching is dominated by signs of human activity and spiritual ambitions. In the foreground, men are busy at work on one side of the river. On the other side, the town of Lyon, an important commercial center in the seventeenth century, stretches along the river Saône into the far off hills. The commanding Gothic cathedral of St. John the Baptist rises toward the heavens, its massive, orderly architectural forms contrasting with the more organic elements of the landscape and the atmosphere.
In Cuyper’s drawing, nature takes center stage as a rugged mountain soars toward the sky. A ruined bridge on the right suggests an earlier human presence, but nature governs once again. Whereas Silvestre’s print may have served as a topographical illustration of the town of Lyon in the seventeenth century, perhaps to be included in an album with other city views, Cuyper’s landscape is more contemplative. It could have been an independent work or a study for a larger commission. Primary Object Classification Print Primary Object Typeintaglio printCollection AreaWesternRights
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