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Storytelling in Miniature

Rembrandt van Rijn
Dutch, 1606–1669

Landscape with a Milkman

Etching and drypoint, about 1650
2 5/8 x 6 7/8 in.
The Grace J. Hitchcock Collection, 1981.185

The landscape in this etching is reputed to be one of the finest reproductions of the scenery around Amsterdam in Rembrandt’s time. The milkman of the title, shouldering his burden of two heavy wooden buckets on a yoke, walks on a dyke on the right. A large farmhouse, sheltered by a grouping of trees rich with drypoint burr, dominates the left side of the print. A small gated bridge isolates the house from the dyke, while a boat waits near the front door. In his etchings of the 1650s Rembrandt inextricably mixed etching and drypoint, so that only where the burr makes its full effect is the distinction between them obvious.