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A River Landscape with a Boat Landing below a Bluff

Accession Number
2009/1.516

Title
A River Landscape with a Boat Landing below a Bluff

Artist(s)
Herman Saftleven, II

Object Creation Date
1630-1685

Medium & Support
ink, graphite on paper

Dimensions
13 5/8 in. x 19 in. ( 34.61 cm x 48.26 cm )

Credit Line
Joseph F. McCrindle Collection

Label copy
*Gallery Rotation Winter 2011 (January 2011)
Herman Saftleven, II
The Netherlands, 1609–1685
A River Landscape with a Boat Landing below a Bluff
1630–85
Ink and graphite on paper
Gift from the Joseph F. McCrindle Collection, 2009/1.516
This small drawing is noteworthy for its balance of mass and opening, light and dark. It is built upon a contrast between a low bluff with buildings on the left and the open expanses of sky and water on the right. The two halves of the drawing interpenetrate each other: the angled tree and the object dangling from the overhanging building cut into the open space, which in turn cuts into the masses of rock in the angled bluff. The stream, whose the movement is skillfully suggested by the use of wash, cuts through the dark form of the bluff to create an engaging interplay of positive and negative space.
Gallery Rotation Winter 2011
Herman Saftleven, II
The Netherlands, 1609–1685
A River Landscape with a Boat Landing below a Bluff
1630–85
Ink and graphite on paper
Gift from the Joseph F. McCrindle Collection, 2009/1.516
This small drawing is noteworthy for its balance of mass and opening, light and dark. It is built upon a contrast between a low bluff with buildings on the left and the open expanses of sky and water on the right. The two halves of the drawing interpenetrate each other: the angled tree and the object dangling from the overhanging building cut into the open space, which in turn cuts into the masses of rock in the angled bluff. The stream, whose the movement is skillfully suggested by the use of wash, cuts through the dark form of the bluff to create an engaging interplay of positive and negative space.

Subject matter
This drawing may be a record of the damage inflected by a hurricane that struck Utrecht in 1674; Saftleven sold many of those drawings to the city. 

Physical Description
This drawing is horizontally oriented. It is surrounded with rose, gold, and mint matting; a scroll that reads “H. Saftleven” is juxtaposed over the mattings. The actual work depicts a river scene, with a cliff on the shore of the river to the right. On the cliff are buildings, including what looks like the ruins of a castle tower. A tree leans to the right over the edge of the cliff. Ships populate the river, including one at the shoreline, in which a person is seated, while another person straddles it and a dock.

Primary Object Classification
Drawing

Primary Object Type
landscape

Collection Area
Western

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
boats
castles (fortifications)
natural landscapes
riverbanks

2 Related Resources

Christian Churches
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Religious Buildings
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

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