Twelve months – Franz Edmund Weirotter after Pieter de Molijn, c. 1760

“Les douzes mois de l’année” [the twelve months of the year], complete series of 12 etchings made around 1760 by…

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Les douzes mois de l’année” [the twelve months of the year], complete series of 12 etchings made around 1760 by Franz Edmund Weirotter after drawings (from around 1656) by Pieter de Molijn, published in Paris by Gabriel Huquier. Each measuring 17 x 20 cm.

The Haarlem painter and draftsman Pieter de Molijn (1595-1661) is primarily known for his landscapes. Before De Molijn turned to painting, he mainly made drawings and sketches, which were then turned into prints by other artists. He collected drawings and prints of his favorite artists, such as Abraham Bloemaert, Gillis van Coninxloo, David Vinckboons, Roelant Savery, and, in particular, drawings by Esaias van de Velde.

De Molijn often chose dunes as his subject, as can be seen in this series of etchings. Also, he frequently painted landscapes with resting travelers or soldiers and created a few seascapes. His compositions were usually built diagonally, with the figures always emerging clearly from the background and thus contrasting with their surroundings. The composition of the terrain into the depth of the scene was the most important aspect for him, often lacking the atmospheric dimension. However, we do find Dutch cloudy skies in his work, against which the crowns of the trees softly stand out.

Weirotter (1733-1771) received his education in Innsbruck, Vienna, Regensburg, Mainz, and Paris, where he encountered the German engraver Johann Georg Wille in 1779. With Wille, Weirotter learned engraving. Despite his short life, he left an impressive oeuvre of 288 etchings, nearly all of which were landscapes.

In this series of etchings of Dutch landscapes, the signs of the zodiac have been added decorating the twelve months.

Literature: Hollstein’s Dutch & Flemish Etchings, Engravings, and Woodcuts ca. 1450 – 1700, Pieter Molyn, nos. 19-30.

Price: Euro 1.250,-