Skip Navigation

Landscape with a Hay Barn and a Flock of Sheep

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

European Art

Though small, Rembrandt’s landscape etchings contain worlds—the sweeping horizontal Dutch landscape as well as the tiny figures and habitations within it—all rendered with astonishing spontaneity and specificity. In Landscape with a Hay Barn and a Flock of Sheep, a moment of rural life unfolds, with the city of Amsterdam just visible on the distant horizon. Sheep return from grazing—etched strokes behind them mark their path through the vegetation—as a horse rolls on its back in the field nearby, adding a dash of humor.

Rembrandt’s mastery of the drypoint technique is evident in Clump of Trees with a Vista, particularly in the dark, gestural lines of the trees on the left. The sketchy handling of these variegated lines and marks, set against an expanse of unmarked paper, highlights the expressive possibilities of etching, and demonstrates why Rembrandt remained the exemplar of the “painter-printmaker” for all subsequent practitioners.

Titus Kaphar: I did some etchings called drypoint. The lines came out finer, but it felt less direct to me. It felt like a translation of the lines a little bit. Whereas, going directly on the plate and then printing that just like that and rolling it up with ink and running it through—that felt like the right way to do it. . . . The thing that surprises me about it is how much the technique hasn’t changed. This is Rembrandt. Rembrandt and I are doing exactly the same thing.

MEDIUM Etching and drypoint on laid paper
  • Place Made: Netherlands
  • DATES 1652
    DIMENSIONS Plate: 3 5/16 x 6 7/8 in. (8.4 x 17.5 cm) Sheet: 3 15/16 x 7 11/16 in. (10 x 19.5 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signed, lower left center "Rembrandt f. 1652"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Mrs. Horace O. Havemeyer
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (Dutch, 1606–1669). Landscape with a Hay Barn and a Flock of Sheep, 1652. Etching and drypoint on laid paper, Plate: 3 5/16 x 6 7/8 in. (8.4 x 17.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Horace O. Havemeyer, 54.35.9 (Photo: , 54.35.9_PS9.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 54.35.9_PS9.jpg., 2019
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
    This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement. You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form (charges apply). The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act. The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals. For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.