Last week we showed you these two etchings by Rembrandt, that depict scenes from daily life, called genre etchings. They belong together, illustrating how two peasants discuss the weather. The farmer on the left calls out: “it’s damned cold”, to which the farmer on the right responds with: “that’s not.” Rembrandt looked at the etchings of another – older – artist as an example for these two peasants. Our Fact Friday question was: Do you know what artist we’re referring to?
On the left: Rembrandt, A peasant calling out: ‘tis vinnich kout’ (it’s damned cold), 1634. Etching, only state. The Rembrandt House Museum, Amsterdam. | On the right: Rembrandt, A peasant, replying: ‘dats niet’ (that’s not), 1634. Etching, only state. The Rembrandt House Museum, Amsterdam.
The answer to this question is the German artist Sebald Beham (1500-1550). In 1542, he made two prints in which the same conversation takes place. A big difference between the prints by Sebald Beham and the etchings by Rembrandt, is the composition. The former shows the two peasants facing one another, whereas in the latter they are standing back to back.
On the left: Sebald Beham, A peasant calling out: ‘Es ist kalt weter’, 1542. The Rembrandt House Museum, Amsterdam. | On the right: Sebald Beham, A peasant, replying: ‘Das schadet nit’, 1542. The Rembrandt House Museum, Amsterdam.