With everything that has been happening in politics lately, I felt frivolous going uptown to look at art, but because Hercules Segers is an artist whose work I have loved for years I decided I would go.
I am so glad I did.
The Mysterious Landscapes of Hercules Segers is the largest and most comprehensive retrospective of Segers’ prints and paintings ever done. Segers, according to 17th century records, was a prolific artist but very few of his works remain. The Rijksmuseum states there are 183 impressions from 54 plates and 15 paintings total.
There are no remaining plates.
The exhibit at the Metropolitian Museum of Art has 112 prints and paintings on display. This show originated at the Rijksmuseum last October before coming to The MET, where it will be until May 21, 2017.
The Rijksmuseum owns the majority of Segers’ work, 74 prints, 2 oil sketches and 1 painting. Some forty of their prints came from the Amsterdam collector Michiel Hinloopen (1619–1708) who is thought to have acquired them from the artist’s estate after his untimely death. New research by Rijksmuseum experts shed light on Segers’ materials and techniques. They were able to authenticate several paintings and two oil sketches. The museum has created a two volume Catalogue Raisonne Hercules Segers: Painter, Etcher.