The great experimental printmaker Hercules Segers (Dutch, ca. 1590–ca. 1638), one of the most fertile artistic minds of his time, created otherworldly landscapes of astonishing originality. With a unique array of techniques whose identification still puzzles scholars, he etched extraordinary, colorful landscapes and still lifes. Rejecting the idea that prints from a single plate should all look the same in black and white, he produced impressions in varied color schemes—painting them, then adding lines or cutting down the plate. Segers turned each impression of his evocative landscapes into unique miniature paintings that seem out of their time. He was a favorite artist of Rembrandt, who owned eight paintings and one printing plate by Segers.
This exhibition is the first to display almost all of Segers's prints in varying impressions alongside a selection of his paintings, and is the first large selection of his fascinating work to be shown in the United States.
Learn more about Hercules Segers's highly innovative techniques and the works on display in this exhibition in a series of articles written by exhibition curator Nadine Orenstein.
"Captivating ... Segers's imaginative genius resounds throughout this show." —Wall Street Journal
"One of the dreamiest, most immersive presentations of the year." —New York Times
"Astonishing ... The larger mystery of this visually challenging and immensely rewarding exhibition is why this wonderful artist isn't familiar to us all." —New York Review of Books
The exhibition is made possible by the Diane W. and James E. Burke Fund and The Schiff Foundation.
It is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
Banner image: Hercules Segers (Dutch, ca. 1590–ca. 1638). Ruins of the Abbey of Rijnsburg from the South (detail), ca. 1625–30. Line etching printed with tone and highlights in yellow-white, on a dark brown ground, 7 7/8 x 12 9/16 in. (20 x 31.9 cm). Kupferstichkabinett. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Inv. no. 961-13). Blog series promo: Hercules Segers (Dutch, ca. 1590–ca. 1638). Houses near Steep Cliffs (detail), ca. 1619–23. Oil on canvas, 27 9/16 x 34 1/8 in. (70 × 86.6 cm). Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam Inv. no. 2525