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COLOUR PRINTING – NETHERLANDS: Gezicht op de dijkbreuk en overstroming te Bemmel bij Nijmegen. Links het opgekruide ijs en doorbraak van de dijk.




A rare large view, made in the technique of colour aquatint and etching – one of the most demanding printing techniques in the history, showcases a flood in Bemmel, in the Netherlands, in 1799. 



A beautiful large view showcases the breaking of the damp and flood in the town of Bemmel in the Netherlands. The print was made in an elaborate combination of etching and colour aquatint by an Amsterdam based artist, publisher and collector Christian Josi and was based on a draft by Jacob Cats.

The view shows the flood, which happened in 1799 in the town Bemmel in the south east part of the Netherlands, close to the German border. The dramatic view with cliffs, icebergs, storm and drowning people was more likely based on an imaginary composition than on a realistic presentation of a flood of a flat Dutch countryside.

The etching is based on a draft by landscape painter Jacob Cats (1741-1799), a German born artist, active in Amsterdam. The elaborate etching in colours was made by Christiaan Josi (1768-1828), a Dutch painter, engraver, publisher, art dealer and art-historian.

The technique of etching, combined with colour aquatint is considered to be one of the most demanding printing techniques up to this date.

We could only find one other copy of this print in colour in public institutions (Atlas van Stolk, Rotterdam. Inv. No. 5432 – 3 (prent/tekening, diepdruk, kleur), Selectie Atlas Van Stolk – 18e eeuw, Atlas Van Stolk) and two copies in black and white (Rijksmuseum and the British Library, Maps K.Top.108.65).

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