As Nowell-Usticke stated, certainly the largest and arguably the most admired landscape by Rembrandt and maybe even the most admired etching, which is supported by the large number of copies made by later artists.
Lugt suggested that the view is from the Diemerzeedijk in Amsterdam, but more likely the town in the background is imaginary. Rembrandt also made a drawing from the Diemerzeedijk (HdG 785).
From before 1680 only a small number of impressions are known. Most Museum impressions stem from around 1680, like the present one. The plate was subsequently lost. This important landscape is very rare and practically hardly obtainable.
Attached to the backboard is a typed explanation of the etching by Laurence Binyon:
“With ‘The Three Trees’ we come to the most famous of Rembrandt’s etched landscapes. It is the grandest and most typical, most expressive of the master’s temperament. For once Rembrandt builds up a landscape design out of sky and earth; and the something elemental which inspires it gives the etching a pregnancy and significance which are absent from the other etchings, in themselves at their best, more intimately charming. There are those who object to the straight, hard lines of the rain; but I do not find them untrue, and they are of great value in the design. Then, what beauties lurk in this etching whenever one looks at it! The return of the light after rain, than which there is nothing more beautiful in nature, gives a wet sparkle to the fields; and again we notice how the trees in their dark relief give glory to the space of luminous clearness beyond. The wagon on the top of the high bank is moving toward the light, and a painter sits by the roadsise sketching the passing of the storm. An angler fishes in a pool; Lovers, hardly discerned, sit together away from the world in a thicket’s obscurity. All the plain, so solitary at first sight, is filled with moving life.” …- Laurence Binyon….
Robert Laurence Binyon, Order of the Companions of Honour (10 August 1869 – 10 March 1943) was an English poet, dramatist and art scholar. His most famous work, “For the Fallen”, is well known for being used in Remembrance Sunday Service.
on 17th century paper, including small margins along the sides, and cut to the platemark at the top.
Bartsch 212; The New Hollstein (Hinterding/Rutgers) no. 214, Only state.
Plate is not in existence with Nowell-Usticke ‘RR’ .
With Arthur Harrow & Co , New York;
Tomlinson collection in Baltimore; Private European collection
‘Rembrandt in zwart-wit’, Het Markiezenhof (Bergen op Zoom), Stedelijk Museum Zutphen, Het Hannemahuis (Harlingen), Museum Gouda, Jan ten Horne Museum (Weert), Stadsmuseum Harderwijk, August 2013 – august 2015; Stedelijk Museum Vianen, October 2017 – January 2018;
‘Rembrandt in Black & White’, Schloß Britz (Berlin), Bozar Expo (Brussels), Chateau des Penthes (Geneva), November 2015 – October 2016;
Hind 205, Börklund and Barnard 43-B, Gersaint 204, Middleton 309, Münz 152, Rovinski (atlas) 581, de Claussin 209, Wilson 209, Blanc 315, Dutuit 209, Campbell Dodgson 163. J. Springer in Monatshefte für Kunstwissenschaft, 1908 xi, p. 798; Hinterding 2006, p. 51-53; Vogelaar 2006, p. 158; Hinterding 2008, p. 390-393; Rutgers/Sandring, p. 95;
Verso handwritten in graphite Z 5079, a 49013, 426 and H8xv