Friday, 15 December 2017

Claude Lorrain’s etching “Le Toupeau à L’abreuvoir”, 1635


Claude Lorrain (aka Claude Gellée, Claude; Claude Le Lorrain; Claudio di Lorena) (1600–1682)

“Le Toupeau à L’abreuvoir” [The Herd at the Watering Place], 1635, related to painting on copper in the Musée du Louvre (cat. no. P9).

Etching on wove paper (trimmed at the time of publication by McCreery in his 1816 edition of “200 Etchings” printed from the original plate).
Size: (sheet) 10.3 x 17 cm; (image borderline) 9.9 x 16.5 cm
Inscribed below the image borderline: (left) “C 4 [?] CLAV”
State iii (of iii)

Mannocci 16; Blum 11; Robert-Dumesnil 4; Knab 123; Duplessis 41; Russell 25

The British Museum offers the following description of this print: “The herd at the watering-place; a man watching cows and a goat drinking at a river. 1635 Etching”

Condition: crisp, near faultless impression in superb/museum quality condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, abrasions stains or foxing). The verso shows traces of the early glue marks (removed) when the print was mounted in McCreedy’s (1816) folio edition of “200 Etchings”. The verso also features a fragment image from “Stirpes Novae” which was used by McCreedy as the paper stock for the “200 Etchings” folio as discussed by Lino Mannocci (1988) in “The Etchings of Claude Lorrain” (p. 28) and by H. Diane Russell (1982) in “Claude Lorrain 1600–1682 “(p. 300).

I am selling this original etching from the 1816 edition by McCreery, executed by the one of the most famous of the early landscape artists, for a total cost of AU$378 (currently US$290.12/EUR245.76/GBP216 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this seemingly rapidly drawn composition by one of the major old masters, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold


Before McCreedy trimmed this print for his 1816 publication, “200 Etchings”, this impression would have had exceptionally wide margins (approximately 3 cm on each side) between the platemark and the image borderline. I know this to be a fact as I have another impression, also pulled by McCreedy, which retains the curiously wide margins.

Tonight, when researching this print I discovered a sensible explanation offered by H Diane Russell (1982) in “Claude Lorrain 1600–1682 “ (exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington) for the large margins that were once an integral part of this print: “The answer is obviously speculative, but … the print suggests a fresco on a wall, in the manner of antique wall painting and of frescoes by Tassi and his assistants at the Villa Lante, where Claude was possibly employed as a garzone” (p. 147).  Wow! This argument sits well with me as I see the loose manner of the drawing and the composition itself as having a connection to the flat surface of a wall.

For those that are wondering about the verso side of the print which features lines from another image, McCreedy was like many of the 19th century printmakers in seeking out the “best” paper stock to use for his prints. Interestingly, McCreedy had a love affair with the paper stock on which “Stirpes Novae” was printed and he chose to use the back of these prints for some (all?) of his etchings pulled from the old master plates. Even some of Rembrandt’s prints pulled from the original plates by McCreedy feature lovely flowers printed on their backs (see my earlier blog post on Rembrandt where I list one of these).







Thursday, 14 December 2017

Jan van de Velde II’s engraving with etching, “Tobias and the Angel”, 1620–41


Jan van de Velde II (c1593–1641)

“Tobias and the Angel”, 1620–41, plate 3 from the series of four etchings, “The Story of Tobias”, after Moyses van Wtenbrouck (aka Moses van Uyttenbroeck) (1590/1600–c1647)

Etching and engraving (with significant areas of restorative retouching) on laid paper trimmed along the image borderline (with loss of the lines of text) and lined onto a conservator’s support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 15.3 x 20.8 cm
As the lines of text have been trimmed from this impression, I am unable to determine whether this is a first or second state impression (the second state has the plate number inscribed at the lower right). Nevertheless, the impression is very crisp and the tonal contrasts are strong and this suggests that the print is from the first state.

Franken & van der Kellen 1883 45.47 (D Franken & J P van der Kellen 1883, “L'oeuvre gravé de Jan van de Velde II”, Amsterdam); Hollstein 9.I (F W H Hollstein 1949, “Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts c.1450–1700”, Amsterdam)


Condition: crisp impression with numerous areas of significant restorative retouching, trimmed along the image borderline and laid upon a support sheet of washi paper. Evidence of the brown staining is still apparent on those areas of the print that have not been restored.

I am selling this genuine etching by Jan van de Velde II for AU$167 (currently US$127.89/EUR107.94/GBP95.25 at the time of this listing including postage to anywhere in the world) more as a document of how it might once have looked like, rather than as an original print executed entirely by the hand of the artist. This is definitely not a print that I recommend for purchase by a collector seeking a pristine/museum quality impression as the amount of restoration is significant.

If you are interested in purchasing this rapturously beautiful image despite the areas of restoration, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


Although I envisage that some collectors will be disheartened that I am showcasing a significantly restored print, my reason is simple: this is an exceptionally beautiful composition.

For those unfamiliar with the biblical story of “Tobias and the Angel” the following very abridged timeline sequence of events may be helpful:

- Tobias’ father, Tobit, becomes blind after bird droppings landed in his eyes when he slept;

- Tobit directs Tobias to embark on a trip to distant Media with the mission of collecting money that has been deposited there;

- an angel, named Raphael (shown here), chooses to accompany Tobias on his journey along with Tobias’ dog (shown barking at geese);

- Tobias almost loses his foot to a fish (shown here in Tobias’ hand) when he tries to bathe in the river;

- Raphael (the angel) advises Tobias to catch this fish, remove its heart, liver and gall bladder;

- after arriving in Media, Raphael suggests that Tobias should marry a demon-troubled lady named Sarah who has the misfortune that all her previous husbands die on their wedding night;

- on the wedding night, Tobias cooks the fish guts (the heart, liver and gall bladder) and, not surprising for some, the dreadful fumes drive the demon away;

- Tobias returns to his father after securing the requested money and decides to rub the fish guts (the gall, to be specific) into his father’s eyes to see if this would cure his blindness … it does!

(My apologies to those who know the full story of Tobias and the Angel)






(before restoration)

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Léonard Gaultier’s engraving, “The Prophet Jeremiah”, c1622/49


Léonard Gaultier (aka Léonard Gautier) (c1561–c1635)

“The Prophet Jeremiah” (Le Prophete Jeremie), c1622/49, from the series of 17 engravings, “The Prophets”, published by Jean Messager (c1572–1649).

Engraving on fine laid paper with printed text verso lined onto a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 13.7 x 13.2 cm; (image borderline) 12.3 x 12.3 cm
Lettered on banner at upper left: “LE PROPHETE IEREMIE.”
Inscribed: (lower left) “I. Messager excudit.”; (lower right) “L. GauLtier incidit.”

Condition: crisp impression with margins and printed text verso (as published) laid onto a support sheet of washi paper. The sheet is in pristine condition for its age (i.e. there are no tears, holes, abrasions, stains, folds or foxing).

I am selling this spectacularly well-executed image of the Prophet Jeremiah—famous for his liturgical writings around the time of Nebuchadnezzar— for AU$89 in total (currently US$67.35/EUR57.37/GBP50.43 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this early engraving in superb/pristine condition, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print is reserved pending confirmation about its purchase


Sadly, my knowledge of the prophets at the time of Nebuchadnezzar (the famous king of Babylon) is alarmingly thin and so my explanation of Jeremiah’s role as a prophet in communicating God’s words is bound to be flawed. Nevertheless, I understand from a very brief stint of bible study this evening that he is remembered for confronting false prophets and for wearing a yoke—the type fitted to oxen—to symbolically demonstrate that God controls his people (like oxen) and those that please God by siding with Nebuchadnezzar will be blessed, whereas those that are not appropriately subservient will be sliced and diced by the sword, or die by famine or plague (see Jer. 27: 4–8).







Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Adriaen van Ostade’s etching, “Slaughter of a Pig”, c1652


Adriaen van Ostade (aka Adriaen Jansz. van Ostade) (1610–1685)

“Slaughter of a Pig” TIB title (aka “Le Charcutier” Bartsch Title), c1652

Etching on 18th century laid paper trimmed along the platemark and lined onto washi paper inlaid into archival wove paper.
Size: (re-margined sheet) 31.1 x 29.7 cm; (plate) 11.7 x 11.7 cm; (diameter of circular image borderline) 11.3 cm
Signed on plate at lower left within the circular image: “AV. ostade”
State vi (of viii) before the addition of the seven “short, horizontal strokes on the lower left of the pole on the left side of the composition”, signifying the seventh state, and the horizontal strokes covering the whole pole, signifying the eighth and final state (see Leonard J Slatkes et al., 1994, “Adriaen van Ostade: Etchings of Peasant Life in Holland’s Golden Age”, exh. cat., Georgia Museum of Art, p. 204; see also an example of the eight state at the British Museum, no. 1980,U.1680).

TIB 1.41-III (373) (Walter L Strauss & Leonard J Slatkes [eds.] 1978, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Netherlandish Artists”, vol.1, p. 352); Hollstein 41; Bartsch I.373.41; Godefroy 41; Boon-Verbeek 41; Davidsohn 41

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“The Pigkillers. Night scene with a group of peasants standing at centre, and watching a pig being slaughtered by a man who kneels on its flank, a woman holding a pan ready to receive the entrails; in a circle.” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3093835&partId=1&searchText=ostade+pig&page=1

Condition: well-inked, crisp and well-printed impression in excellent condition within the circular image borderline, but with significant abrasions and restored losses in the square margin area. The sheet has been laid upon a washi paper support sheet and re-margined with the washi paper support sheet having been laminated over a cradle of archival quality wove paper.

I am selling this crisp and luminous impression with strong tonal contrast for AU$360 (currently US$272.62/EUR231.49/GBP204.05 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this graphically strong image, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold


This image of a peasant family killing a pig in the evening may seem horribly gruesome and confronting to contemporary eyes—at least to my delicate eyes unaccustomed to seeing such a scene. Nevertheless, to early Netherlandish viewers acculturated to such an everyday rural activity, the slaughter may have been perceived not as a backyard bloodbath as I see it, but as a celebration of and/or anticipation of the annual holiday of Slachtmaand (the slaughtering month)—November. In fact, I understand from reading Leonard J Slatkes et al., 1994, “Adriaen van Ostade: Etchings of Peasant Life in Holland’s Golden Age”, exh. cat., Georgia Museum of Art (p. 205) that the subject was not simply a scene of slaughter by candlelight. Instead, it expresses the dual notions of prudentia (prudence) and vanitas (life’s brevity), as expressed by other printmakers who also depicted this scene, such as Rembrandt and Pieter Breugel the Elder.







Monday, 11 December 2017

Jean-Alexis Achard’s etching, “Grands Arbres”, 1867


Jean-Alexis Achard (1807–1884)

“Grands Arbres” (title from Joconde), 1867, plate 7 from a series of eight etched landscapes (see description of these prints at Joconde—Portal of the Collections of the Museums of France—inventory numbers: MG 2005-0-37 to MG 2005-0-44: http://www.culture.gouv.fr/public/mistral/joconde_fr?ACTION=CHERCHER&FIELD_98=AUTR&VALUE_98=ACHARD%20Jean&DOM=All&REL_SPECIFIC=3), printed by Auguste Delâtre (1822–1907).

Etching with light plate tone on heavy wove paper with large margins as published.
Size: (sheet) 33 x 24.6 cm; (plate) 15.8 x 12.4 cm; (image borderline) 14.6 x 11.4 cm
Inscribed on the plate below the image borderline: (left) “J. Achard”; (right) “Imp Delâtre Paris”


Condition: a superb impression with generous margins in pristine condition.

I am selling this exceptionally luminous and finely executed etching by one of the less well-known artists in the circle of the Barbizon School for the total cost of AU$147 (currently US$110.59/EUR93.78/GBP82.61 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this stunningly beautiful etching capturing in a very believable way the midday light shimmering on trees that was no doubt observed and drawn directly on the plate in front of the subject, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold


Achard was friends with Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot and many of the other artists lightly connected with the Barbizon School. I mention this fact as the influence of the Barbizon group of artists on Achard—and perhaps Achard’s reciprocal influence on them—is unmistakable in his beautifully executed etching. What I mean by this undercurrent of shared interests is summed up by Achard’s approach to composition: he has chosen to draw the group of trees shown here as he observed them without obvious artful manicuring of their forms and without arranging them according to academic formulas. In short, Achard, undoubtedly drew these rather scruffy trees—elegantly scruffy (if I may use an oxymoron)—directly on the etching plate standing out in the field.

One of the marvellous things about looking at prints like this is that the artists’ mindsets are literally etched into the images that they create. When I look at this image, for instance, I see in my mind’s eye Archard standing (as opposed to sitting) in an open field in full sun without a hint of shade to protect him. This motivation to draw on the etching plate from what was probably a fairly uncomfortable position suggests that Archard was an artist driven by his need to capture a very specific/special point of view. By comparison to artists who make themselves comfortable first—usually seated in the shade (unless the weather is cold)—and then “find” a suitable subject, the significance of the particular subject chosen by Archard becomes more apparent: Archard preferred open spaces observed from an elevated viewpoint … dare I suggest that he may have been extrovert based solely on his choice of subject?







Sunday, 10 December 2017

Anthonie Waterloo’s etching, “Landscape with Pan and Syrinx”, 1640–90


Anthonie Waterloo (aka Antoni Waterlo) (1609–1690)

“Landscape with Pan and Syrinx” (TIB title) (aka “Pan et Syrinx”), 1640–90, plate 4 from a series of six upright landscapes with scenes from Ovid's Metamorphoses.

Etching on laid paper lined onto a conservator’s support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 40.2 x 26.1 cm; (plate) 29.7 x 24.7 cm; (image borderline) 29.2 x 24.2 cm
Inscribed on the plate: (upper left) "4" / "AW. in. et f."; (lower right) "A.W.f."
State i (of iii) Note: the inscriptions at the upper-left are erased in state ii. The TIB (Vol. 2, Commentary, Part 1) offers a description of the Basan edition of the third state; see pp. 157–8. As TIB does not advise that the erased inscriptions of state ii were reintroduced in the Basan edition, I assume that this impression is from the first state.

TIB 2 (2).128 (130) (Walter L Strauss, Mark Carter Leach & Peter Morse [eds.] 1978, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Netherlandish Artists”, vol.2, p.119); Hollstein 128.I (Hollstein, F W H 1949, “Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts c.1450-1700”, Amsterdam,); Bartsch II.130.128 (Adam Bartsch 1803, “Le Peintre graveur”, 21 vols, Vienna)

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Plate 4: Pan and Syrinx; Syrinx crossing a pond towards the reeds at far left as she is pursued by the half-man, half-goat figure of Pan at centre; from a series of six plates.” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1627837&partId=1&searchText=Waterloo+pan+syrinx&page=1)

Condition: first state, lifetime impression, richly inked and well-printed impression in museum quality condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, abrasions or significant stains and handling marks). The sheet is laid upon a support sheet of washi paper.

I am selling this superb impression by Waterloo—one of the well-known masters from the 17th century—for the total cost of AU$398 (currently US$299.16/EUR254/GBP223.47 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this large, lifetime/first state, rare and very beautiful etching, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold


In my earlier explanation about the three states of this print, I argue that this impression is from the first state as it shows the inscriptions at top left that are erased in the later states.

Although this argument may seem like an “open-and-shut” case in clarifying that this impression is from the first state, sadly to my mind it is not. My concern has to do with the width of the chain-lines that I can see when I hold the print up to the light. Of course all prints pulled before 1755 must have these lines, because wove paper (i.e. paper that does not have chain-lines) had not been invented, but there are many factors involved in reading the age of paper that can be determined by these lines. For example, later laid paper was manufactured with less thickening at the edges of the chain-lines when compared to early papers which show an accumulation of paper pulp at the lines.

Regarding the third-state Basan edition of “Eighty-Eight Landscapes of Different Sizes” printed on forty-nine sheets published in 1776/7, most of the papers on which this edition were printed had chain-lines averaging 31 millimetres apart with the smallest width between the lines averaging 29 millimetres (see TIB, Vol. 2, Commentary, Part 1, pp. xvii). Herein lies my conundrum: this impression is printed on paper with chain lines averaging 30 millimetres, suggesting that the impression may be from the Basan edition.







Saturday, 9 December 2017

Bernard Picart’s etching, “Pan et Syrinx”, 1724, after Nicolas Poussin


Bernard Picart (1673–1733)

“Pan et Syrinx” (or as inscribed on the plate, “Pan et Sirinx”), 1724, after a painting by Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665), plate 42 from the series, “Impostures innocentes, ou Recueil d'estampes d'après divers peintres illustres”, published in Amsterdam in 1734.

Etching in brown ink and plate tone on wove paper
Size: (sheet) 27.9 x 42.9 cm; (plate) 20.8 x 28.5 cm; (image borderline) 19.2 x 27.6 cm
Inscribed on the plate outside the image borderline: (upper-right corner) “42”; (lower left) “N, Poussin pinxit, B. Picart sculpsit 1724.”; (lower centre) “Pan et Sirinx. Ovid, metam. Livr. 1.”

Andresen 1863 359 (A Andresen 1863, “Nicolaus Poussin - Verzeichniss der nach seinen Gemälden Gefertigten...”, Leipzig)
The British Museum offers the following description of this print: “Plate 42: Pan and Syrinx, after Nicolas Poussin; Pan pursuing Syrinx on a reed-fringed river bank; in the foreground, at right, two river gods. 1724” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1669560&partId=1&searchText=picart&people=110986&page=1)

Condition: well-inked impression showing slight wear to the plate and with generous margins. There is scattered, very pale spotting and age tone showing in the outer edges of the margins; otherwise the sheet is in excellent condition for its age.

I am selling this masterpiece of interpretative etching of a painting by Poussin for AU$130 in total (currently US$97.71/EUR82.99/GBP72.99 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this etching by one of the world’s master printmakers, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold


For those unfamiliar with the story of Pan and Syrinx explained in “Metamorphoses of Ovid” (Book 1 Verses 689–713), I will offer my version ...

Syrinx, the loosely dressed young lady seen being chased by the lust driven satyr, Pan, through the reeds, is best known as a wood nymph famed for her chastity. Her father, Ladon, is the river god shown in the lower right foreground with his mate/companion, Artemis.

Heeding Syrinx’s pleas for help, Syrinx is metamorphosed into a handful of marsh reeds just as Pan grasps hold of her. In his dismay, Pan sighs rather strongly and the rush of air from his lustful anguish groan causes the reeds that were once Syrinx to resonate a mournful sound. The next part of the story is that Pan decides to mould the reeds he holds into his namesake musical instrument—the pan-pipe—so that he may carry the haunting sound of Syrinx with him forever.

What I love about this freely drawn etching is how Picart has translated the expression of movement captured in Nicolas Poussin’s oil painting using a rhythm of zigzag horizontal hatched lines following Pan as he chases after Syrinx. This expression of movement using “flowing” lines behind Pan—what illustrators describe as agitrons—is made more effective by the contrast of these quickly laid “movement” marks with the tightly controlled use of contour and shading strokes rendering the trees on the far right of the composition.