Amsterdam, Prinsengracht – Jan Schenk after Abraham Rademaker, ca. 1720

BEAUTIFUL VIEW OF THE PRINSENGRACHT IN AMSTERDAM “Gesicht van de Groen-markt, van de Ree Sluys te sien naar de Wester…

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Gesicht van de Groen-markt, van de Ree Sluys te sien naar de Wester Kerk tot Amsterdam” [View of the vegetable market, from the Reesluis towards the Westerkerk in Amsterdam.] Etching with engraving on two sheets made by Jan Schenk after the design of Abraham Rademaker and published by Leon Schenk around 1720. Coloured by a later hand. Size: 55 x 94.5 cm.

We see the Prinsengracht at the level of the Reesluis [“deer-sluice”] (of which the name recalls the leather trade, that was concentrated here and later in the nearby Jordaan) in a northern direction. On the left, on the even side, is the Groenmarkt (vegetable market). It is bustling with activity. At the end of the odd side there’s the 17th-century Westerkerk.

The vegetable market on the Prinsengracht was established in 1644, replacing those on the Oudezijds and Nieuwezijdsvoorburgwal. It was by far the largest in the city and ran from approximately the Looiersgracht along both sides to beyond the Rozengracht. Growers from the wide area around the city sold vegetables and fruit from their barges to traders and individuals.

This engraving is from a series of 25 rare large views of Amsterdam and provides a colourful picture of the life and business of the city at the beginning of the 18th century. This extraordinary print is not only important for the townscape and architecture of that time but also for its charming decoration that depicts customs and habits.

Literature: Auction catalogue Collection R.W.P. de Vries – Oud en Nieuw Amsterdam (1925), no. 278. “Very fine example with wide margins. Charming depiction of the vegetable barges lying at the quay.” Result: 300 guilders + 15% premium.

Price: Euro 4.850,- (including frame)