Louis Marvy (1815 - 1850)

Louis Marvy was a French master engraver known by numerous prints, mostly copies after Old Master works. He was one of the first to copy a significant number of Rembrandt etchings finding, a new audience for Rembrandt’s timeless etchings. 

Roaming selling platforms (on-line) auctions, flea markets car boots etc… it can be great fun to find quality etchings like this. And compare them at home with Rembrandt’s originals. 

It is hard to realise how many etchings of such great quality he produced in his short life. His copies are shown here with the original by Rembrandt. It is still puzzling why some etchings are true copies while others were printed in a mirrored version. 

Clump of trees with a vista (1652) - Bartsch 222

Dwellings. After a drawing by Rembrandt.  Bartsch ?

Three gabled cottages with a road, 1650) - Bartsch 217

 Fisherman, Mill and boats.  Scribled “B 143” is not referring to the original  possibly drawing by Rembrandt.  The original example not found. 

Landscape , farmhouse and haystack , Diemerzeedijk (1636). Bartsch 224

“Effet du soleil lévant”. 

These 2 print by Marvy created a nice puzzle. Marvy’s (mirrored version) print is printed with a verso (unmirrored) version much more ”in tone” with the original (dark) painting: “effect of sunrise”. The original publication where it came from has not yet been established but there’s a blindstamp so I am confident it will be. It is hard to believe but it seems I am trotting in unchartered territory. The verso etching (photogravure ?) looks very similar to a (1920, 75 years later !) print by British-American etcher Timothy Cole (1852-1931). But his name is underneath. 

The actual painting is showing a romanticised view of the windmill near Gorkum. Today the painting is in the collections of the Washington National Gallery of Art. Without going into length and detail about the actual attribution: it is probably not by Rembrandt. But that was unknown in Marvy’s times when he possibly saw the painting in Paris. 

“Effet du soleil lévant”. 

If Cole created his engraving directly after the painting when in America, could not be affirmed. Marvy’s copies were probably widely known and to complicate things even more: of this painting an older graphic copy is known by French engraver Francois Dequevauviller (1745-1807) for the “Doc d’Orléans” who actually possesed the painting then.  


These 13 Louis Marvy examples of copies after Rembrandts landscape etchings have come to my knowledge following auctions etc. It is not impossible there are more. Marvy also copied after Rembrandts paintings and drawings. 

De Omval.  Bartsch 209. 

Drie bomen - Onweer. Bartsch 212

Gezicht op Haerlem. Bartsch 210

Boerderij met toren. Bartsch 218

Boerderij met banpaal. Bartsch 227

Boerderij. Bartsch 219