Saturday, 18 November 2017

Lucas Vorsterman 1’s engraving, “Carolus de Mallery”, 1630–1645, after Anthony van Dyck


Lucas Vorsterman I (aka Aemilius Lucas Vorsterman) (1595–1675)
“Carolus de Mallery”, 1630–1645, from the series after Anthony Van Dyck (1599–1641), “Icones Principum Virorum” (aka “'Icones Principum Virorum Doctorum Pictorum Chalcographorum Statuariorum nec non amatorum pictoriae artis numero centum ab Antonio Van Dyck Pictore ad vivum expressae, eiusq[ue] sumptibus aeri incisae”), published in the Hendrick and Cornelis Verdussen (Antwerp) edition of 1720. 

Engraving on fine laid paper with full margins as published
Size: (sheet trimmed unevenly) 36.8 x 25.2cm; (plate) 24.2 x 15.7 cm; (image borderline) 21.9 x 15.2 cm
Lettered below the image borderline: (lower left) "Ant. van Dyck pinxcit / LVorsterman Sculp”; (centre) "CAROLVS DE MALLERY / CALCOGRAPHVS ANTVERPIÆ."; (lower right) "Cum priuilegio."
 State vii (Note: the mount into which this print was once displayed has a pencil inscribed notation that this impression is from the Hendrick and Cornelis Verdussen (Antwerp) edition published in 1720.)

Hollstein 179 (Vorsterman); New Hollstein (Dutch & Flemish) 73.VII (Van Dyck); Mauquoy-Hendrickx 1991 86.VII (Marie Mauquoy-Hendrickx 1991, “L'Iconographie d'Antoine Van Dyck, Catalogue raisonné”, 2 vols, Brussels, Bibliotheque Royale Albert Ier)

Condition: rare, superbly crisp, and well-printed impression with full margins as published in excellent condition for its age (i.e. there is slight age-toning at the edges of the sheet, but there are no tears, folds, holes, abrasions, significant stains or foxing). There is a collector’s reference note in pencil (lower left recto), remnants of mounting hinges and a collector’s ink stamp (verso).

I am selling this exceptionally rare engraving by one of the most important printmakers of the 17th century for AU$198 (currently US$150.01/EUR127.19/GBP113.52 the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this key print from one of the greatest—or at least the most historically significant—series of portraits ever engraved, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


The British Museum offers the following description of this print from the slightly later Arkstée & Merkus (fl.1750–1759) edition:
“Portrait of Carel van Mallery, half-length in front of a broken column base, turned slightly to left, with mid-length hair, a moustache and beard, wearing a ruff and cuffs, doublet and cloak covering the right side of his torso, his left hand grasping the cloak at the level of his chest; seventh state with initials of Gillis Hendricx burnished; after Anthony van Dyck; from a 1759 bound edition containing a series of 125 portraits, mainly of Van Dyck's Iconography (Arkstée & Merkus: Amsterdam and Leipzig)”

Note: The BM also holds another state vii impression (see BM no. 1863,0509.913) featuring the number “95” inscribed by hand in ink at the upper right corner, which most likely indicates the position of this print in the 1759 edition of 125 portraits.

The curator of the BM offers the following background information concerning this print:
“The copper-plate is kept in the Chalcographie, Musée du Louvre, inv.no.2344. The portrait is based on Van Dyck's grisaille, now kept in the collection of the Duke of Buccleuch, Boughton House, inv.no.199, see S. Barnes, N. de Poorter, O. Millar and H. Vey, 'Van Dyck: A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings', Yale & London, 2004, cat.no.III.157. See also Van Dyck's fully worked up portrait of the sitter, now kept in the Nasjonalgalleriet, Oslo, inv.no.3201, ibid., cat.no.III.104, with the angle of the head adjusted, and without a ruff. A preparatory drawing is in the collection of the Duke of Devonshire at Chatsworth, inv.no.1001, (Vey 277). An unfinished proof by Vorsterman is in the Fondation Custodia, Paris, inv. no. 6334.” (see BM no. R,1a.175)


The curator of the British Museum offers the following insight regarding the series, “Icones Principum Virorum”, of which this print is a part:
"Following the success of his portrait paintings and in the tradition of Italian and Flemish portrait series, Van Dyck decided to organise a print publication containing portraits of the most prominent men during his lifetime, divided into three categories: princes, politicians and soldiers (16), statesmen and scholars (12), artists and art connoisseurs (52). The initial idea could have been that Van Dyck would etch the faces (a process possibly learnt from Vorsterman) while others would finish the plates in engraving. Designs were needed for the plates and several drawings and oil sketches (grisailles, sometimes in different versions) have survived. Van Dyck only etched 17 plates himself, while he commissioned others to complete the set, overseen by Lucas Vorsterman I (especially after Van Dyck settled in England in the Spring of 1632)” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1422752&partId=1&people=101862&peoA=101862-1-6&page=10








I bought one of these machines and it's a "lemon."
It worked for an hour and it hasn't since. 

Friday, 17 November 2017

Master of the Die’s engraving, “Putti Playing”, 1530–60


Master of the Die (fl.1522-33) (purported by the “Benezit Dictionary of Artists” [2005] to be Bernardo Daddi [fl.c.1530–60], but the BM also argues that the artist may be Tommaso Vincidor [1493–1536])

“Putti Playing” (TIB title) 1530–60, from the series of four prints published by Antoine Lafréry (c.1512–77). The curator of the BM advises that the series were “taken from part of a set of eight tapestries of games of putti woven for Leo X in Flanders in 1521 under the supervision of Tommaso Vincidor …The designs have been ascribed to Giovanni da Udine, using ideas from Raphael.” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1468125&partId=1&searchText=1874,0808.272&page=1)

Engraving on heavy laid paper printed in a warm grey-black ink.
Size: (sheet) 19.5 x 29.3 cm; (plate) 18.7 x 28.5 cm; (image borderline) 18.3 x 28.2 cm.
Signed with master's monogram “B” on a dice at the feet of the putti second from the right.
Lettered at lower edge: (left) “Tapezzerie del Papa”.
State iii (of iii).

TIB 29 [15]. 30- [III] [206]) (Suzanne Boorsch [Ed.] 1982, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Italian Masters of the Sixteenth Century”, vol. 29, Abaris Books, New York, p.187); Bartsch XV.206.30 (Adam Bartsch 1803, “Le Peintre graveur”, vol. 15, Vienna)

The British Museum offers the following description of this print: “Eight putti, the one in the middle holds an apple to his eye, one at the right goes to throw an arrow and in the lower left two make a garland” (BM number: 1875,0710.141)

Condition: crisp, and well-printed impression with small margins in excellent condition for its age (i.e. there is slight age toning but there are no tears, folds, holes, abrasions, stains or foxing).

I am selling this exceptionally rare engraving by the 16th century printmaker whose work is signed with a symbol of a dice—hence the artist’s descriptive title, “Master of the Die”—for AU$520 (currently US$392.30/EUR332.52/GBP296.31at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world. (Note: this is the second copy of this rare pint that I have listed … the earlier listed copy has been sold)

If you are interested in purchasing this highly romantic engraving from the Renaissance era created only a few decades after the death of Raphael upon whose designs they are based, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


Based on my reading of Thomas P Campbell’s (Ed.) (2008) “Tapestry in the Baroque”, there is a distinction between images of little boys running amuck and little boys with tiny wings running amuck. They are definitely not the same: their motivations may be equally mischievous but perceived differently. For instance, Guilio Romano’s designs showing naked boys picking fruit and playing among trees I understand are “poetic” while the putti—naked boys with wings—are “sensuous.” Although I am not completely certain what attributes mark naked boys as being “poetic.”







Thursday, 16 November 2017

Master of the Die’s engraving, “Envy Driven from the Temple of the Muses”, c1530


Master of the Die (fl.1522-33) (purported by the “Benezit Dictionary of Artists” [2005] to be Bernardo Daddi [fl.c.1530–60], but the BM also argues that the artist may be Tommaso Vincidor [1493–1536])

“Envy Driven from the Temple of the Muses” (TIB title), c1530 (1530–2), after Baldassare Peruzzi (1481–1536) after a woodcut by Ugo da Carpi (1486–1532), published by Philippe Thomassin (1562–1622).

Engraving on laid paper trimmed near the platemark with thread margins.
Size: (sheet) 25.5 x 18.3 cm
Inscribed within the image borderline: (lower left) “Baltazar Perutius Senen. Inuetor”; (right) the artist’s monogram 'B' on a dice
Lettered below the image borderline in two columns of four lines of Latin descriptive text: Quella che'l secol ... batte e’,  scopiglia”; (lower edge at centre) “Phts Thornassinus exc.”

State ii? (of ii?) Note that this impression with Thomassin’s name shown as the publisher is described by Bartsch (XV.195.17). The curator of the BM advises that this is a later state with the address of Lafreri as publisher erased and replaced with “Baltazar Perutius Senen. Inuetor” (see BM no. V,6.67). The impressions reproduced in TIB (29.17) and the BM (no. V,6.67) with the address of Lafreri are not mentioned by Bartsch.

TIB 29 (15). 17(195) (Suzanne Boorsch [Ed.] 1982, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Italian Masters of the Sixteenth Century”, vol. 29, Abaris Books, New York, p.174); Bartsch XV.195.17 (Adam Bartsch 1803, “Le Peintre graveur”, vol. 15, Vienna)

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Envy (or Avarice) at the right being driven from the temple of the Muses by Hercules who raises a club in his right hand while the Muses look on”

Condition: richly inked and well-printed impression trimmed with thread margins. The sheet shows age toning but is in excellent condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, abrasions, stains or foxing).

I am selling this engraving of the utmost rarity by the 16th century printmaker whose work is signed with a symbol of a dice—hence the artist’s descriptive title, “Master of the Die”—for AU$400 (currently US$303.86/EUR258.07/GBP230.28 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this superb print from the Renaissance era created in collaboration with Ugo da Carpi—falsely claimed to be the first printmaker to employ multi-plate (chiaroscuro) woodcut prints—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


The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers the perfect explanation of what this print illustrates:
“... Hercules, symbolizing virtuous strength, drives away Avarice—a woman holding a hoard of precious objects—from the temple of the arts. The traditional protectors of artistic pursuits, Apollo and Minerva, look on with satisfaction, surrounded by the Muses. The nine muses, of which eight are visible here, were also associated with learning, particularly with poetic inspiration. The message is that avarice undermines the cultivation of the arts.”

The Met also advises:
“The drawings of Peruzzi were often engraved by the Master of the Die. In this case, he collaborated with Ugo da Carpi. Ugo da Carpi was an important early practitioner of the multiblock colored woodcut, a technique known as chiaroscuro (literally, 'light-dark'), which he falsely claimed to have invented.” (ibid)

What I love about this image is the mask-holding muse in the right foreground who unambiguously looks at me/the viewer. The psychological shock of being drawn into the portrayed scene by this lady’s meaningful gaze turns me into an active participant in the scene rather than a passive observer. This fascinating and rare use of such a visual device to provoke a reflexive response is marvellous.








Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Louis Jean Désiré Delaistre’s engraving, “The Fall” (pub.1863), after Jean-Jacques Flatter


Louis Jean Désiré Delaistre (1800–1871)
“The Fall”, 1839? (pub.1863), after the painting by Jean-Jacques Flatter (aka Hohann Jakob Flatters) (1784–1845) as the frontpiece illustration to Chateaubriand's translation of Milton's "Paradise Lost", printed by F Chardon Ainé (fl.1820–1863). 

Etching and engraving on heavy wove paper
Size: (sheet) 44.4 x 32 cm
Lettered on the plate at lower margin (left) “FLATTERS PINXT”; (centre) “Imp. F. Chardon ainé, 30 r. Hautefeuille, Paris.”; (right) DELAISTRE SCULPT”

Condition: faultless impression in pristine condition.

I am selling this mass of falling men with tight curly hair for AU$101 (currently US$77.20/EUR65.75/GBP58.90 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this graphically arresting engraving, 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


Today is a VERY special day in Australia as the same-sex marriage referendum shows that 61.6% of Australians support the right of gays to marry: marriage equality! Yay! Love wins!






Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Charles Emile Jacque’s etching, “Troupeau de Porcs” (Herd of Pigs), 1850


Charles Émile Jacque (aka Charles Jacque; Charles-Emile Jacque) (1813–1894)
“Troupeau de Porcs” (Herd of Pigs), 1850, Plate 11 from the series “20 sujets composés et gravés à l'eau-forte par Ch. Jacques”

Etching on chine collé on thick laid paper lined onto a conservator’s support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 24.9 x 34.4 cm; (plate) 16.3 x 24.5 cm; (chine collé) 15.4 x 23.4 cm; (image borderline) 14.6 x 22.8 cm
Signed and dated on the plate at upper right: “Ch. Jacque 1850”
Numbered on the plate below the image borderline at left: “11”
This state, with the plate number, is not recorded by Guiffrey.

Guiffrey 1866 92 (undescribed state) (J-J Guiffrey [Mlle Lemaire, Éditeur] 1866, “L'Oeuvre de Charles Jacque: catalogue de ses eaux-fortes et pointes seches”, Paris, p. 65); IFF 239 (Inventaire du Fonds Français: Bibliothèque Nationale, Département des Estampes, Paris, 1930)

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Landscape with on the right a man brandishing a stick, herding pigs to the left; with plate number. 1850 Etching on chine collé”

Condition: richly inked, crisp and well-printed impression with full margins as published in pristine condition (i.e. there are no tears, abrasions, holes, folds, stains or foxing). The sheet has been laid upon a fine washi paper conservator’s support sheet.

I am selling this masterpiece capturing the spirit of rural France executed by one of the pivotal artists of the Barbizon School for AU$161 (currently US$123/EUR105.53/GBP93.94 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this remarkable print revealing in its bold organisation of light and shadow the artist’s indebtedness to Rembrandt, 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


Sometimes I wonder if I should say anything at all about a print and simply let it “speak” for itself, but then the thought occurs to me that everyone sees what is in front of them with slightly different eyes and so I thought I might as well share my view of this print.

For me this print has impact. What I mean by this almost “throw away” observation is that Jacque has simplified what must have been a plethora of information with each pig literally screaming for attention and only kept the visual essentials to focus upon. For instance, I see a big separation in the pig herd between those pigs in the light—the ones on the left—and those in shadow—the ones on the right. This bold differentiation of pigs in light and pigs in shadow separated by the herdsman waving his stick, makes me think of Rembrandt and his “Hundred Guilder Print” (a title based solely on the fact that it cost that much in Rembrandt’s day) in that Christ is portrayed at the visual fulcrum between the relatively healthy folk shown in the light on his right and the bevy of predominantly incapacitated folk in shadow on his left.








Monday, 13 November 2017

Jaspar Isaac’s engraving, “Description des Anciens Bains Romains”, c1620


Jaspar Isaac (publisher) (aka Gasper Isac; Jaspar Isac; Gaspard Isac; Jaspar Isacsz; Jasper de Isaac) (1585–1654)

“Description des Anciens Bains Romains”, c1620, published by Jaspar Isaac.

Copper engraving on cream laid paper lined onto a conservator’s support sheet
Size: (sheet) 20.4 x 42.8 cm; (plate) 16.3 x 40 cm; (image borderline) 15.8 x 9.3 cm
Inscribed within the image borderline: (lower left) ”Jaspar Isac ex”; (lower centre) “DESCRIPTION DES ANCIENS BAINS ROMAINS”
Lettered below the image borderline in six columns of four lines : “Voicy Le tableau ueritable ….Et met fin à tous Leurs esbȃs.”

Condition: an exceptionally rare early impression (based on the lack of wear to the plate) with generous margins in very good condition for its age (i.e. beyond minor tears in the margins and a few light marks on the lower-right corner, there are no holes, folds, abrasions, stains or foxing). The sheet has been laid upon an archival washi paper support sheet.

I am selling this graphic treasure from the Renaissance period for AU$302 (currently US$231.60/EUR198.72/GBP175.61 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this incredibly rare, eye-opening fantasy of a Roman orgy set in an ancient bath house, 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


I guess that this engraving sums up my childhood fantasies of what the ancient communal Roman baths might have been like: a big orgy. From what I have been able to discover about this very long and action-filled print, the location of this particular bath house is somewhere around Bagnères- de- Bigorre. Sadly what remains of the structure is only to be viewed in tantalising glimpses in local archaeological sites (see http://monuments.loucrup65.fr/thermesdebagneres.htm).

Although there is enough lewd behaviour on show to keep one’s eyes wide open, I need to point out one figure that might make an art historian’s jaw drop. This is the figure seated in the centre foreground, just to the right of the building’s right column, with a garland in her hair and her chin resting on her right hand.

Once this damsel and her partner is located I can imagine that most viewers will dumbstruck. After all, this lady and those around her—including the chap spraying water at an exposed backside—are those adapted for Édouard Manet’s famous painting,Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe” (1863/4). Of course this composition was appropriated by Manet from Raimondi’s engraving after Raphael (see my earlier post featuring Marco Dente’s copy of Raimondi’s print http://www.printsandprinciples.com/2016/10/marco-dentes-judgement-of-paris-after.html). Alternatively, Manet may have appropriated the composition from Giorgione or possibly Titian or even from the source that all these artists had (perhaps unknowingly) taken their various adaptations: the bas-reliefs on the ancient Roman sarcophagi held in Villa Medici and Villa Doria Pamphilj, Rome.






Sunday, 12 November 2017

Enea Vico’s engraving, “Candlestick with a Faun and a Bacchante”, 1552


Enea Vico (1523–1567)

Note: TIB lists this print (30.493-Copy [368]) as a copy after the original print by Enea Vico (30.494 [368]), but current opinion has reversed the attribution and this print is now viewed to be the original and the print catalogued by Bartsch as the original is now viewed as the copy. See the curator of the BM’s comment for the candlestick BM no. Nn,7.16.6.

“Candlestick with a Faun and a Bacchante”, 1552, plate 4 from a series of four designs for candlesticks (Note that there is actually five designs in the series but the fifth plate is unnumbered but bears the publisher’s Salamanca's address (see BM no. 1873,0111.68)

Engraving on laid paper (with water mark) trimmed along the image borderline
Size: (sheet) 25.1 x 17.8 cm
Hand-inscribed in brown ink at lower-right corner: “4” (Note: I suspect that the hand inscription is to “replace” the missing plate number where the sheet has been damaged)

Berlin 1939 1126 (under Vico) (P Jessen 1939, “Katalog der Ornamentstichsammlung der Staatlichen Kunstbibliothek Berlin”, Berlin); Guilmard 1880/1 289.24 (under Vico) (Désiré Guilmard 1801, “Les Maitres Ornemanistes: Écoles Française, Italienne, Allemande et des Pays-Bas (Flamande et Hollandaise)”, Paris, E Pron et Cie); TIB 30.493-Copy (368]) (John Spike & Walter L Strauss [Eds.] 1985, “The Illustrated Bartsch:Italian Masters of the Sixteenth Century [Enea Vico]”, New York, Abaris Books, p. 330); Bartsch XV.368.494 (as copy after Vico) (Adam Bartsch 1803, “Le Peintre graveur”, 21 vols, Vienna)

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Plate 4: candlestick decorated with mascarons and, below, a figurative scene representing a youth and a bacchante playing music. 1552 Engraving”

Condition: an exceptionally rare early impression (based on the lack of wear to the plate) trimmed along the image borderline. The upper and lower right corners are missing and have been restored. The sheet shows signs age toning appropriate to a print that is close to 500 years old. There may be areas of light abrasion but the tonal unevenness in the image—especially in the treatment of the background—is very similar to the unevenness exhibited in the copy reproduced in TIB (1985) p. 330.There are pencil notations, two collectors’ ink stamps and remnants of mounting hinges (verso).

I am selling this Renaissance period engraving that has excited many contemporary scholars to verify who the real master is that executed it—currently the argument and evidence points to one of the truly great masters, Enea Vico—for AU$349 (currently US$267.64/EUR229.65/GBP202.94 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this finely executed engraving that embodies the spirit of the Renaissance in the use line and subject portrayed, 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


Sometimes the gate-keepers of history change their minds about the attribution on artworks. This is certainly the case with this elegant engraving of a candlestick holder. What makes it “special” in terms of a change in attribution is that the evidence is simply that the line-work is too good to be a copy of an engraving by the great Renaissance master, Enea Vico. As a corollary, what was once considered to be the original engraving by Vico of the candlestick holder is now relegated to being the copy of this print. The reason: the exhibited line-work in the former “original” Vico is too perfunctory to be by the hand of the master. Fascinating!

(The curator of the British Museum outlines the dispute with appropriate citations in reference to another candlestick holder from the same series: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1514546&partId=1&searchText=Nn,7.16.6&page=1)

If I may contribute my own thoughts regarding the attribution, I agree with the scholars who believe that this is the original Vico, but my reason is slightly different to the inherent quality of the draughtsmanship. Based on the convention that arose during the Renaissance period of portraying subjects lit from the top-front-left and that engraved plates were based on preliminary drawn studies, the engraving which to my mind is likely to be the original is the one that is a mirror image of the lighting convention because the printing process “reverses” images: this print.