Monday, 25 July 2016

Karel Dujardin’s etching, “Mule with a Bell”


Karel Dujardin  (aka Carel Dujardin,; Carel du Jardin; Karel Du Jardin; Bokkebaart) (1626 –78)
“Le Mulet aux Clochettes” [Mule with a Bell], 1653
Size: (sheet) 19.7 x 16.2 cm
Etching on laid paper trimmed on, or within, the platemark
Lettered in lower margin: "K. DV. IARDIN.1653 fe". With the number 29 in the lower right corner.
Bartsch 1.182.29; Hollstein 29.II
The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
The hinny with the little bell. Landscape with a mule standing at centre, in profile to right, wearing a halter from which two bells hang, two other asses resting in right background, trees enclosed within a straw fence beyond; second state with number. 1653” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1617819&partId=1&searchText=Dujardin+mule&page=1)

Condition: crisp impression trimmed on, or within, the platemark. The sheet is in very good condition for its age (i.e. there are no tears, folds or holes), but there are a few scattered dots and there are remnants of mounting hinges (verso).

I am selling this well-preserved original Dujardin etching for the total cost of AU$164 (currently US$122.76/EUR111.67/GBP93.48 at the time of posting this print) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this remarkable print showcasing Dujardin’s skill in representing light, space and subtle differences of texture, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


Dujardin is famous for his “warts and all” representations of rural life—sheep and cows pissing and pooping accompanied by flies—he is also remembered as a true master of suggesting light, space and mimetic treatments of a full range of textures. For example, note how Dujardin describes the contours of the mule in the foreground (actually a hinny rather than a mule) using only line while simultaneously expressing the surface textures of the mule’s hair. Note also how Dujardin’s treatment of the foreground mule is quite different from his rendering of the mules further back and how well he suggests the spatial distance separating them. Such skill is rare and is the hallmark of great artist.




Sunday, 24 July 2016

Samuel Palmer’s etching, “The Early Ploughman”


Samuel Palmer (1805–81)
“The Early Ploughman”, or, “The Morning Spread Upon the Mountains”, 1858–60, from the first published state, as issued by Hamerton in “Etching & Etchers,” 1868.
Etching on cream wove paper, printed within the platemark (or trimmed) for publication in “Etching & Etchers”.
Size: (sheet) 16.8 x 25 cm; (image) 13.1 19.8 cm
The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Ploughman drives his team of four oxen towards the fields as the sun rises. 1858/60 Etching (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1417049&partId=1&searchText=palmer+Early+Ploughman&page=1) Lister 1988 E.9.v/ix (Lister, Raymond, “Catalogue raisonné of the works of Samuel Palmer”, Cambridge, 1988); Alexander 9 iv/viii
Condition: crisp impression with red edges to the sheet as published in “Etching & Etchers”, 1968. There are a few light spots on the upper margin (recto) and a few pale touches of foxing visible verso; otherwise the sheet is in very good condition.

I am selling this extremely rare, original Samuel Palmer etching for the total cost of AU$698 (currently US$520.99/EUR475.06/GBP397.58 at the time of posting this print) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing a print by one of Britain’s most famous artists, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


An interesting feature of this deeply romantic image—and a feature that my eyes keep returning to—is the portrayed standing woman with a pitcher resting on her head. From what I understand about this curious figure is that her pose is likely to have its origin in William Blake, Edward Calvert and Palmer’s fascination with antique carved gems and coins. Blake, for instance, is known to have copied poses for his figures from Roman bas-reliefs and this particular pose may be found in his watercolour, “Jacob’s Ladder”. Similarly, Calvert’s interest in such a classic pose may be seen in his wood engraving, “The Brook.” Regarding Palmer's interest in antique carvings, he had a plaster cast collection of them and offered one of his students, Miss Wilkinson, the following advice in a letter dated 29 May 1862:

“Mr Newman made me eight or ten of his cedar colour-boxes without partitions, and a little deeper than usual, in which I possess a fine sculpture-gallery, having filled them with casts from the finest antique gems. These are most useful for reference, when working out lines caught from nature. …I would advise you to collect casts from the best antique gems whenever you can get them” (Cf Hardie, Martin, 1928, “Samuel Palmer”, London, p. 13).





Saturday, 23 July 2016

Lithograph by Prud'hon, “Une Lecture”


--> Pierre Paul Prud'hon (aka Pierre Paul Prudhon) (1758–1823), printed by Bertauts (1830s–80 fl.), published in “Gazette des Beaux-Arts”, 1870
"Une Lecture", c1822
Lithograph on chine-collé on wove paper
Size: (sheet) 26.6 x 17.4 cm; (image) 18.6 x 14.8 cm
Lettered with production detail: 'Prud'hon inv. et del.', title, and name of printer.

State iv (of iv) 
Goncourt 7 (IV/IV), Béraldi 2, Sanchez & Seydoux 1870-4.
The British Museum curator offers the following description of this print: “woman sitting in an armchair near a window with open book on her knees, turns round and kisses a dove.” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1365644&partId=1&searchText=Prud'hon+lecture&page=1)
The curator of the British Museum offers the following information: "Dated c.1822 by Clément; the present copy of the print was published at a later date in the 'Gazette des Beaux-Arts'." (ibid)

Condition: crisp impression in near pristine condition with small margins.

I am selling this extremely rare, curious and highly romantic original lithograph for a total cost of AU$126 (currently US$93.94/EUR85.76/GBP71.77 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world. If you are interested in purchasing this intriguing image, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make your payment easy.
(Note that Southby's in their 2015 Bernheimer Day Sale, item 431, offer auction estimate of GBP500 — 700 for this print; see http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/2015/bernheimer-day-sale-l15043.html)




-->
Although my knowledge about the meaning of this allegory is cloudy I can at least share the broad symbolic meaning of what a girl holding or intimately engaging with a dove means: lost innocence.
Perhaps the significance of this image relates to Prud’hon’s personal life. For instance, I know that he had a traumatic love affair with one of his ex-pupils, Constance Mayer, who committed suicide in his studio by slitting her throat with a razor after learning that Prud’hon intended to honour his former wife’s wish by choosing to never marry again. I also understand that they are now buried together in the same tomb and so this tragic story may have relevance to this image, but I really don’t know for certain.
For those who may concur that the image may be linked to Prud’hon’s tragedy, the woman portrayed in the print also bears a striking resemblance to Constance Mayer.  It’s all so sad …





Friday, 22 July 2016

Bernard Picart’s etching after Guido Reni


-->
Bernard Picart (1673–1733) 
Erigone et Bachus en Grape de Raisin: Plate 30 “, after Guido Reni (1575–1642), from the series, “Impostures innocentes, ou Recueil d'estampes d'après divers peintres illustres”, 1725
Etching in brown ink with plate tone on wove paper
Size: (sheet) 22.2 x 28 cm; (plate) 11.7 x 13.3 cm
Numbered on plate: “30”; lettered with title and production detail, “Guido Reni invenit / B.Picart sculp.'”
Condition: crisp and delicate impression with generous margins in excellent condition for its age.

I am selling this exquisite etching by Picart for a total cost of AU$62 (currently US$46.33/EUR42.05/GBP35.35 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this remarkably beautiful and finely executed print, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


 
-->
Picart was a prolific printmaker and the reason for his fame is clear to see with this exquisitely rendered etching. Note for example how he uses crosshatched lines with the tiniest dot at the ends of the lines to represent the gentle curves of Erigone’s arm.




Thursday, 21 July 2016

Caspar Luyken’s emblem etchings


Caspar Luyken (1672–1708) illustrations from James Basnage’s (et al.), 't Groot waerelds tafereel, waar in de heilige en waereldsche geschiedenissen en veranderingen zedert de schepping des waerelds tot het uiteinde van de Openbaring van Joannes, worden afgemaalt”, published in Amsterdam by Jacob Lindenberg, 1705.

(upper image)  “Unveiling of a world globe”, 1705, etching on laid paper
Size: (sheet) 12.3 x 15.9 cm; (plate) 11.2 x 15.3 cm
Ref: Van Eeghen 3289 (P van Eeghen & J P van der Kellen, 'Het Werk van J en CL', Amsterdam, 2 vols 1905).
The Rijks Museum offers the following description of this print:
“The image of the globe is encased in an ornamental frame with floral motifs and two fishes.” http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.146279)

(lower image) “Faith with Cross and Lion”, 1705, etching on laid paper
Size: (sheet) 12.3 x 16.4 cm; (plate) 11.2 x 14.8 cm
Ref: Van Eeghen 3288
The Rijks Museum offers the following description of this print:
“The effigy of the Faith is encased in an ornamental frame with floral motifs and two lions.” (http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.146278)

Condition: superb impressions with small margins in faultless condition.

I am selling this pair of etchings by one of the significant printmakers of the late 17th and early 18th centuries—Caspar Luyken—for the total cost of AU$140 (currently US$104.90/EUR95.33/GBP79.70 at the time of posting these prints) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this pair of etchings rich in symbolism, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.








One of the key ingredients of symbolism in early prints is the notion of duality. For instance, trees were invariably shown in a cycle of death and regeneration, so that a dead or broken tree is often juxtaposed beside a young sapling or a regenerating tree. In the case of these prints, I suspect that the inherent symbolism of using pairs of fish and lions is similarly about representing opposing dualities integrally linked together. Sometimes the arrangement of paired creatures can connote the unity of male and female forces. In these prints, however, the notion of duality is expressed by the mirrored symmetrical arrangement and symbolically very different objects that the lions hold and the linked shells that the fish swim towards.

My personal interest in the duality posed by symmetrical arrangements of fish arose years ago when I saw a carving of a pair of fish bound together in the portico vaulting of a cathedral in Paris—it may even have been Notre Dame, but my memory is a bit soft these days. At the time I was very excited about this image as it seemed like an ideal image for a tattoo. (I should mention that I have an assortment of tattoos with the nautical theme of mudflats and rudimentary fish traps.) After doing a spot of research about the Pisces symbol (i.e. two fish bound together but swimming in opposing directions) I was thrilled to find that this symbol was all about the body and the soul tugging at each other in opposition but which are inseparably connected. For me, at my present time of life the idea of a battle between what the spirit wishes to achieve and what the body allows is a meaningful reality.

(My apologies to specialists in medieval symbolism who know the exact meaning and significance of these emblematic prints and I welcome your advice.)












Tuesday, 19 July 2016

John Raphael Smith’s 1802 mezzotint, “Rosalind”


John Raphael Smith (1751–1812)
“Rosalind”, 1802, published by Rudolph Ackermann in 1813. The British Museum’s curator advises that this print is one “of six large portraits of women thought to be actresses (D'Oench 329, 337, 371, 373, 381, 382)”.

Mezzotint with hand-colouring in watercolour on laid paper attached to a conservator’s support sheet.
The hand-colouring may have been executed by the Ackermann publishing house as they manufactured “Ackermann's Superfine Water Colours” and advertised their skill at finishing prints and other artworks in the “neatest manner”.

Size: (sheet) 54.6 x 41.2 cm; (image) 51.3 x 40.5 cm
Lettered below the image with the title, and "Engraved by J (I?).R. Smith & Published 1802 by R. Ackermann, No. 101, Strand, London".
Chaloner Smith 1883 191; Frankau 1902 294; D'Oench 1999 371

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Portrait of a young woman, almost life-size, half-length, dressed as an Elizabethan page, with a pointed lace collar, a soft hat with a toggle hanging over on the right, grasping a spear in her right hand. 1802” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1614303&partId=1&searchText=Rosalind&page=1)

Condition: the original mezzotint may have wear but the watercolour conceals any thinness. There are numerous repairs to the sheet that a conservator has disguised well and the delicate state of the sheet is supported by a conservator on fine, millennium quality washi, paper.

I am selling this huge hand-coloured mezzontint engraved by one of the major printmakers of the late 18th and early 19th centuries— John Raphael Smith—for the total cost of AU$140 (currently US$104.93/EUR95.12/GBP79.81 at the time of posting this print) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this magnificent print from the nineteenth century, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


My interest in acquiring this mezzotint by one of the truly great printmakers, who is famous for his skill in using this technically and time demanding medium was originally driven by the eye-catching hand-colouring of the print. After receiving the print through the mail I hadn’t fully appreciated that it was so large and the colour addition made it seem even more monumental.

What is now fascinating to me is that the rich colour may not have been an incidental feature. My research shows that the publisher, Rudolph Ackermann, was also a manufacturer of “Ackermann's Superfine Water Colours.” Moreover, in one of the many advertisements for his publishing company and its subsidiaries, he expresses pride in his workshop’s skills in varnishing, polishing and generally “finishing” paintings, prints and other artworks. Although I cannot be certain that this print was “finished” with watercolour by the Ackermann publishers, I have little doubt about the reason that the print was hand-coloured: the procedure of colouring prints was undertaken when a mezzotint plate began to wear down and the addition of colour was employed to disguise the plate wear.

Regardless, who or why this print is coloured, the effect is magnificent. For those interested in the title of this print, the subject is an actress performing in the role of Rosalind from Shakespeare's “As you like it.”






Monday, 18 July 2016

John Park’s etching, “Strayed — A Moonlight Pastoral”


John Park (1830–91; fl. 1867-91)
“Strayed — A Moonlight Pastoral”, 1864–79, after Cecil Gordon Lawson (1849-82), printed by François Liénard (fl. c.1860s–1880s) and published in the revue “L'Art”
Etching cream laid paper
Size: (sheet) 42.2 x 28.5 cm; (plate) 27.8 x 23.9 cm; (image) 25.7 x 22.4 cm
Lettered below image with title and: "(Grosvenor Gallery)", production detail: "Creil [sic?] Lawson, pinx.", "J. Park, sc.", "Fçois Liénard, Imp. Paris.", and: "L'Art."

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Moonlit view with a herd of sheep in the left foreground, in a field with a bare young tree, boats on the river in the right middle distance, the full moon above; after Cecil Lawson; published in 'L'Art'.” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3425478&partId=1&searchText=john+park+Strayed&page=1)

Condition: richly inked and well-printed impression with full margins (as published) in near pristine condition.

I am selling this romantic evening etching of moonlit darkness in superb condition for the total cost of AU$120 (currently US$91.26/EUR82.50/GBP68.75 at the time of posting this print) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this dark and evocative original print from the nineteenth century, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


Not long ago I discussed another print by John Park which also features an image of the last vestiges of light illuminating a scene. This print, however, is even more romantic, By this I mean that it not only portrays an idyllic evening scene of pastures and sheep that probably has great appeal to city folk who wistfully dream of escape to a similar open countryside, but it also offers an poetic narrative of a solitary sheep that has wandered off from its mates to gaze towards distant harbour lights.

From a technical viewpoint, this is an amazing print in its complexity of layered hatching. What I particularly like about its execution is the way that Park has created tiny rhythms in the darkness so that the image is rich in pictorial energy. Beyond the high level of skill and knowledge shown in the rendering, another quality of this print that I find worthy of close study is the delicate balance of the composition; especially the placement of the softly glowing moon.





Sunday, 17 July 2016

Tanomura Chikuden’s ink painting of plum blossoms



Tanomura Chikuden (田能村 竹田) (pseudonyms: Nakaji, Rogashi, Chikudenroho, Chikudentonmin, Kachikuyusoshujin, Kujosenshi) (1777–1835).

Note: Although I am confident that this is a genuine painting by Tamomura Chikuden, based on the stylistic attributes of the artist that can be seen in the painting, the patina of age and the signature, I am not an expert in the field of Japanese painting. There is a strong tradition in the East of copying old masters artworks and this may—although I doubt it—be such a copy.

“Plum Blossoms” (descriptive title only and I may be wrong with my attribution of the type of flower represented. My understanding is that if this were a cherry blossom there would be a tiny split/nick at the ends of the petals.)
Bush and ink on tan paper supported on a silk faced washi paper inscribed with signature, stamp and lines of calligraphy text (I am unable to translate the text but would be VERY thankful for assistance with a translation).
Size: (sheet) 33.9 x 41.2 cm; (image) 25 x 34.2 cm
Condition: good condition, but with small losses where the painting has been rolled (I suspect that the sheet may once have been as scroll that has been cut to the present shape). The outer silk support sheet has minor light stains with minor fraying at the edges, otherwise in a clean condition.

I am selling this original painting of branches and blossoms by Tanomura Chikuden, famous for his delicate brushwork and capturing melancholic moods, for AU$390 (currently US$295.35/EUR268.12/GBP224.13 at the time of posting this painting) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this painting by a well-documented Japanese artist of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


This lightly executed sketch showcases many of the key attributes that make Tanomura Chikuden’s paintings interesting. For instance, note how the artist has spatially separated the foreground twigs from those further away by changing his stroke from emphatically laid lines of opaque black ink at the front superimposed upon much softer strokes with many breaks laid in light grey ink.

Beyond the knowledge of how to express space through simple changes of brushstroke, there is also the well-known facet to this artist’s work that finds expression here: melancholy. 

Tanomura Chikuden’s paintings are valued for the melancholic mood that they project. In the seemingly simple lines of this painting, for example, note how dots are studded throughout the image. Although not all viewers will sense melancholy through these small jotted marks—after all, I doubt that any picture is ever experienced the same way by everyone—nevertheless, for me these tiny jabbed dots of ink constrain the fluidity of the larger brushstrokes with the feelings of hesitancy and even a smidgen of anxiety.