Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Abraham Genoels' etching, “Le Pays Stérile”


Abraham Genoels (aka Archimedes; Abraham II Genoels; Abraham Genoel; A.G.) (1640–1723)
“Le Pays Stérile” [Barren Countryside] (1675–1691), from a series of six landscapes published by Adam François van der Meulen (1632–90)
Etching on fine laid paper trimmed within the platemarks, but showing some of the lettered publication details
Size: (sheet) 13 x 15.5 cm
Lifetime impression (?); state ii (of ii)
Lettered in the lower margin (partly trimmed): "A. Genoels fe." and "V.Meulen, ex. Cum privilegio Reg."
The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Landscape with cascading river in the centre, trees to the right, rocks and mountains in the background; from a series of six prints showing landscapes” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1667513&partId=1&searchText=Genoels+meulen&page=1)
Regnault-Delalande 1817 149.33; Weigel 1843 211.33.II; Hollstein 33.II; Bartsch 5.33 (4.345), p, 322

Condition: strong and well-inked impression trimmed close to the margin line. The sheet is in excellent condition apart from very faint traces of red lines that are virtually invisible to the naked eye. Verso has surface sheen from traces of glue.

I am selling this very rare old master etching from the 17th century for a total cost of AU$159 (currently US$117.96/EUR106.71/GBP88.12 at the time of posting this print) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this etching exemplifying the principles of classical landscape drawing, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


Although this finely executed etching by Genoels displays many of the attributes associated with classical landscape composition—especially the arrangement of trees and rocks on the left and right sides framing a view into the far distance following the course of a stream—what puzzles me about such an image by a Flemish master is that the countryside that he portrays is not part of his home region.

From my recent experience of seeing the city and surroundings of Antwerp, where Genoels was born, trained and died, the countryside does not have the Alpine peaks that he represents, even if there seems to be an abundance of streams. No doubt Genoels travelled far beyond Antwerp and may have ventured into rugged terrain similar to which he has drawn, but I suspect that the images that he found most pleasure in portraying were those that he was not accustomed. In short, like most artists, he drew everything that he was not.



Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Bernard-Romain Julien’s lithograph, "Etude aux deux crayons N° 33, after Monvoisin"


Bernard-Romain Julien (1802–71)
"Etude aux deux crayons N° 33” (after Raymond Auguste Quinsac Monvoisin [1790–1870])
Lithograph on cool grey heavy wove paper (vellum)
Size: (sheet) 45.2 x 31.1 cm
Inscribed in the plate below the image with the artist's signature, the title and publication details: (lower left) "Paris (Mon.Elumont [?]) FRANCOIS DELARUE Succ, rue JJ Rousseau 10"; (lower right) "Imp. Lemercier a Paris / London pub. By Gambart, Junin 8 Cr [?], 25 Berners St. Oxf. St."

Condition: strong impression in excellent condition for its age but with surface dust and signs of handling. Verso has a light pencil drawing that traces the image recto and surface soiling.

I am selling this superb (and rare) lithograph exemplifying the highest order of drawing for a total cost of AU$136 (currently US$100.78/EUR91/GBP75.60 at the time of posting this print) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this remarkable original lithograph, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


As is the case with most of Julien’s lithographs, this beautifully executed study of a saint was designed for budding artists to copy. Julien’s early training under Baron Antoine-Jean Gros (1771–1835) could have led him down the path following in the stylistic footsteps of his master as a grand history painter. Fame as a lithographer who could draw like an angel, however, led Julien on the different artistic trajectory. Like this print, Julien focused his considerable talent on executing highly finished images that lightly touched the imagination of a public that was eager to subscribe to ongoing publications of his lithographs..

This lithograph is based on a drawing by the French artist, Raymond Auguste Quinsac Monvoisin (1790–1870). Monvoisin’s reputation was forged when he travelled to Argentina and later briefly settled in Chile. In Chile, Monvoisin became the director of the newly created Chilean “Academy of Painting.” As a man of his time, Monvoisin invested in Chilean mines, established a ranch and was a fashionable painter in the local society. Sadly, when Monvoisin returned to France his fame in Chile did not return with him and he died in poverty at Boulogne-sur-Mer.




Monday, 27 June 2016

Maarten van Heemskerck's engraving from "“Acta Apostolorum”


Maarten van Heemskerck (aka. Maarten van Veen; Martin Heemskerk; Martinus Heemskerck) (1498–1574), from the series “Acta Apostolorum” (Acts of the Apostles)”, published in Antwerp by Philips Galle (1537–1612).
“St Peter healing raising Tabitha at Joppa, after Heemskerk”, 1575.
Engraving on fine laid paper
Size: (sheet) 22.7 x 29.2 cm; (plate) 21.3 x 27.3 cm.

Inscribed within the image (lower centre) 'Martinus Heemskerck Inventor” and numbered (lower right) “18”; (below the image borderline) four lines of Latin with the source shown (lower right) “Ac. Cap. 9.” New Hollstein (Dutch & Flemish) 205.II (Philips Galle); New Hollstein (Dutch & Flemish) 410.II (Maarten van Heemskerck)

Condition: rich, well-inked impression in good condition with small margins. There are minor signs of soiling, otherwise the sheet is in remarkably good condition for its age

This print has been sold


Early biblical illustrations, such as this one, invariably portray several scenes from the relevant verses rather than focusing on a single scene. In this engraving designed by one of the most famous artists of the 16th century, Maarten van Heemskerck, the image is broken into three distinct cells containing different narratives ultimately leading to Saint Peter healing—resurrecting in truth—Tabitha. (I have proposed the specific text in the first post about this print.) To my eyes, this treatment of the multi-narratives in this illustration has all the elements of a theatrical stage production’s set design, in the sense of using missing walls to reveal the action within.

Beyond the management of the small narrative, what I find fascinating is the way that Heemskerck portrays the age of the building. For example, note how the columns and pedestals on the far left are portrayed in a state of deterioration. For me, they almost look like some masonry-eating rats had a good gnaw at them.



Hermann Burmeister's lithographs of mammal fossils


Drawn by Karl Hermann Konrad Burmeister (aka Hermann Burmeister) (1807–92)
Mammal Skeleton Fossils:

(upper image) “Plate XIII: II Mammifères”, 1883;
(lower image) Plate XVI: II Mammifères”, 1885

Published in Herman Burmeister’s (1876–86) "Description Physique de la Republique Argentine”, Buenos Aires & Paris
Colour Lithographs on thick wove paper
Size: (large folio) 36 x 56 cm
Condition: strong, crisp (faultless) impressions in good condition. There is faint scattered foxing verso (not visible recto) with light signs of use (i.e. minor creases and soft corners).

I am selling this pair of nineteenth century lithograph illustrations of fossil bones by Burmeister for AU$125 in total (currently US$92.17/EUR83.51/GBP69.57 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing these stunning antique scientific prints, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.







Henri Le Riche, “Une Vue de Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris”


Henri Le Riche (aka by pseudonym “Hirné”)  (1868-1944)
“Une Vue de Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris”, early 1900s
Etching, engraving and drypoint with plate tone on very thin China paper
Signed in pencil by the artist (lower right)
Size: (sheet) 22.2 x 14 cm, (plate) 17.4 x 10.2 cm
Condition: pencil signed, superb impression, delicately wiped to achieve slight variations of plate tone, in near faultless condition.

I am selling this poetic etching of the famous Notre Dame Cathedral by Le Riche for AU$98 (currently US$72.49/EUR65.91/GBP55.04 at the time of posting this print) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this very romantic view of the Notre Dame by a prominent sculptor, painter and printmaker at the dawn of the twentieth century—in the sense that he was a full member of the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts and, in 1922, he was awarded both a Gold Medal and the Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur from the French government— please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


Le Riche studied under Bourguereau and Robert-Fleury but the simple visual poetry of this view across the Seine to the Notre Dame in the distance is far from the style of his teachers. This is an unpretentious image but one that has been executed with subtlety and knowledge. It presents the artist’s very personal response to seeing the cathedral with all its familiar attributes of flying buttresses, dual towers and sky-piercing spire, clouded in mist on a grey day in Paris.

What I love about this print is the artist’s use of contrast. For instance, note how the dark tones of the moored boat in the foreground, along with the dark leaves dangling from above, create pictorial depth by their contrast with the much lighter tones of the distant cathedral and sky.

In one sense the leap between the two tonal extremes of dark foreground and light background expresses space. In a very different reading, however, the suggestion of space is modified by the vertical orientation of the marks. To my eyes, the constraint posed by the use of vertical lines lends the print a spiritually transcendent quality. Or to express this differently, instead of a viewer reading INTO the image the viewer reads UP the image to heaven above: a contrast between the temporal world and the spiritual world. 





Sunday, 26 June 2016

Castiglione from the series “Small Oriental Heads“


Giovanni Benedtto Castiglione (1616–1670)
from the series “Small Oriental Heads“
“Head in profile to right with two feathers in hat”, c1645/50
Etching on very fine (almost transparent) laid paper trimmed on, or within, the platemark.
Size: (sheet) 10.9 x 8.1 cm.
Inscribed with the artist’s etched signature (upper right) “GB Castilione Genovese”
Bellini 1982 24; Bartsch XXI.28.33
See also the description of this print at the British Museum:

Condition: slightly grey impression (suggesting a later edition—perhaps McCreery’s 1816 edition) in near pristine condition. There is the remnant of a mounting hinge (verso).

I am selling this small and precious etching by Castiglione—the artist claimed to have made the first monotype—for AU$125 in total (currently US$92.58/EUR83.96/GBP69.05 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world. If you are interested in purchasing this fine vignette portrait by an old master, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


There are so many purported “facts” about Castiglione that are so interesting to address. Indeed, the facts are so tantalising that they make finding where to start in a brief discussion about him hard to navigate. So … rather than be level-headed I will simply layout a few of these facts for those interested in the genius of Castiglione to engage with.

Purported fact Number 1: Castiglione invented the monotype process (i.e. “A single print taken from a design created in oil paint or printing ink on glass or metal.” Oxford Dictionary)

Purported fact Number 2: Castiglione “discovered” Rembrandt and “is the first artist in Italy known to have borrowed directly from the Dutch master” (Timothy J Standring & Martin Clayton, 2013, “Castiglione: Lost Genius”, Royal Collection Trust, p. 43)

Purported fact Number 3: He threw his sister off a rooftop. (Standring & Clayton, 2013)

Purported fact Number 4: Accused his brother of being a thief and an assassin and sent him to jail. (Standring & Clayton, 2013)

Purported fact Number 5: Almost killed his nephew with relentless punches. (Standring & Clayton, 2013)

Purported fact Number 6: The “most innovative and technically accomplished Italian draughtsman of his time” and “one of the most original artists of the entire seventeenth century.” (Standring & Clayton, 2013)

Purported fact Number 7: Castiglione “pioneered the development of the oil sketch” (Wikipedia).



Pierre-François Basan after Pierre Antoine de Machy



Pierre-François Basan (1723–97) after Pierre Antoine de Machy (aka. Pierre-Antoine Demachy) (1723–1807)
“Vie Ruine” [City Ruins], published in Amsterdam by Pierre Fouquet (1729-1800)
Etching on with narrow margins, (size of sheet) 30.2 x 37.7 cm.
Inscribed below image borderline (lower left) “P Machy inv”; (lower centre) “Vie Ruine.” / “A Paris chés Basan Graveur rue St. Jacques” “Inventée par P. Machy Pientre du Roy.” “à Amsterdam chés Pl Fouquet Junior.”; (lower right) “F. Basan Sculp.”

Condition: superb richly inked impression with narrow upper and lower margins and cut on the plate edge at left and right sides but still retaining the complete image; otherwise the sheet is in very good condition for its age. There are remnants—paper and minor glue stains—of past mounting (verso).

I am selling this historically significant and visually arresting view of Roman ruins executed in the 18th century for AU$133 in total (currently US$98.48/EUR89.34/GBP73.54 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world. If you are interested in purchasing this quintessential 18th century fantasy of what architectural ruins should look like, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


At the time that Pierre-François Basan (1723–97) was translating Pierre-Antoine Demachy’s (1723–1807) design into this etching, there was a strong interest in ancient ruins for the print buying public. The interest was not so much in seeing meagre bits of architectural remains, what the public wanted to see were remnants of architectural magnificence. Moreover, where the glory-days of portrayed site could be comprehended and the “feel” of the ruins could be experienced. This desire naturally led many of the documenters of what could be seen in the various sites to add a dash of theatrical splendour to their depictions. Even the most famous of these (pseudo) scientific documenters of what could be seen at the various ruins, such as the amazing Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–78), goes further than simply depicting the forms. For instance, they added drama to their portrayal with strong lighting and curious viewpoints. Going further, they also project the idea that the featured architecture is in a state of transience (the notion of vanitas that was popular at the time) by focusing on cracks, crumbling edges and vegetation taking root within stonework.




De Demanne after Deshayes


De Demanne after the illustration by Deshayes
published in Paris by Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Duchesne in "Guide de la Culture des Bois, ou Herbier Forestier," (the atlas contains 64 lithographs), 1826
“Pin à Pignon” [Pinyon Pine], 1825–26.
Lithograph on wove paper, (sheet) 42.2 x 27 cm.
Inscribed (lower right) “Deshayes delt.”; (lower centre) “Pin à Pignon.”; (lower right) “Lith: de Demanne.”
Condition: rich impression with generous margins. There is very light spotting, otherwise the sheet is in excellent condition for its age.

I am selling this exceptionally fine lithograph along with the lithograph shown below, which is also of a fir/pine specimen by the same artist, (i.e. two lithographs by Demanne after Deshayes) for AU$110 in total (currently US$81.56/EUR74.09/GBP60.86 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world. If you are interested in purchasing this pair of botanical drawings, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


Sometimes when looking at drawings by a master the subtle principles underpinning the artist’s approach to portraying a subject can be overlooked. Mindful of this potential, I thought I would share a few of the principles that caught my eye that makes this drawing wonderful.

First, note how the artist—actually there are two artists involved in this study: Deshayes who made the original drawing and Demanne who translated/copied his drawing for this print—has used “white” lines to portray the individual pine-needles when they are clumped as a dark mass and “black” lines to show the pine-needles at the outer rim of their clumps.

Second, note how the artist has applied the principle of only showing details, such as contour marks (i.e. lines that are drawn to show the curving form of the subject), in the half lights in the rendering of the cone. By this I mean that the darker areas of the cone towards its base are not encumbered with contour lines; the half-lit areas around the cone’s middle have contour marks, while the more lit aspects of the cone towards its tip have very few contour marks.

Third, note how the artist uses small lines and dots to punctuate spots of deepest shadow (e.g. deepest points in the abutting segments of the cone) and critical textures (e.g. the spiky nodes at the base of the lower branch).




De Demanne after the illustration by Deshayes
published in Paris by Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Duchesne in "Guide de la Culture des Bois, ou Herbier Forestier," (the atlas contains 64 lithographs), 1826.
“Sapin Épicéa” [Spruce Fir], 1825–26.
Lithograph on wove paper, (sheet) 42.2 x 27.4 cm.
Inscribed (lower right) “Deshayes del.”; (lower centre) “Sapin épicéa.”; (lower right) “Lith. de Demanne.”
Condition: rich impression with generous margins. There is very light spotting, otherwise the sheet is in excellent condition for its age.



Jan Both, "River Crossing"


Jan Both (aka. Jan Dirksz Both) (1618/22–52)
"River Crossing” [Le Trajet], 1636-1652
from “Six Horizontal Landscapes” (Bartsch) and “Views of Rome and its surroundings” (BM)
Etching on fine laid paper.
Size: (sheet) 22 x 30 cm; (plate) 19.9 x 28 cm; (image) 19.4 x 27.5 cm
Inscribed below the image borderline (lower left) "Both fe." The British Museum offers the following description of this print: “View of the Tiber Valley. Landscape with two men travelling on horseback on the country road at left in conversation with the skippers of the barge which carries passengers and cattle on the river at right, a male figure with a mule approaching in left background; from a series of six plates” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3060228&partId=1&searchText=jan+both&page=1)
Hollstein 7.IV; Bartsch (1803) V.209.7; Bartsch (1978) VII.209.7

Condition: strong impression with minimal wear and with small margins. There is very light spotting, and remnants of mounting (verso) otherwise the sheet is in remarkably fine condition for its age.

I am selling this rare, historically important and very beautiful etching for AU$226 in total (currently US$167.36/EUR152.09/GBP125.01 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 an old master please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.




Jan Both made a significant impact on the way that 17th century artists looked at the landscape. Prints like this one, showed a fresh vision of how black and white etchings could express atmosphere and—perhaps surprisingly—colour.

Clifford S Ackley in “Printmaking in the Age of Rembrandt,” for instance, proposes that the artist was “searching for the black and white equivalent of the golden haze of southern light that vaporises or makes the forms of the landscape translucent …” (p. 176).


Ackley also summaries Both’s method of achieving this effect of a golden haze in his prints that is so much a part of his paintings: “[using] … slanting open parallel shading lines … [to] suggest not only the translucency of the shadows but the path of the sun’s rays. Passages of bitten granular tone comparable to that which occurs in some of Rembrandt’s etched landscapes of the 1640s combine with Both’s masses of fine scribbling lines to lay stress on the broader patterns of southern light and shadow rather than on contour drawing.” (ibid).

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Haden "Grim Spain"


Francis Seymour Haden (1818­1910)
“Grim Spain”, 1877, printed by Goulding for the Fine Art Society, and published in Frederick Wedmore's 'Four Masters of Etching' (London, 1883)
Etching on wove paper (Japanese vellum) in an edition of 250
State i of ii
Size: (sheet) 22.8 x 31.6 cm; (plate) 15.1 x 22,5 cm
Inscribed in the plate with signature and date, bottom left
The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“An entrance to a fortification in Burgos, seen in perspective, to left, with two bell towers; a small house behind; below, seen from a distance a partial view of the town.” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3245183&partId=1&searchText=seymour+haden+grim+spain&page=1)
Schneiderman 1983 173.I; Harrington 1910 186.I

Condition: well-printed and rich impression in near pristine condition.

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I am selling this original etching by Haden for AU$155 AUD (currently US$114.01/EUR101.74/GBP80.82 at the time of posting this print) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world. If you are interested in purchasing this powerful image by one of the most famous English printmakers, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.





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Haden offers the following fascinating words of advice to those interested in prints:
“Every stroke the etcher makes tells strongly against him if it be bad, or proves him to be a master if it is good. In no branch of art does a touch go for so much. … one stroke in the right place tells more for him than ten in the wrong, … His great labour is to select, to keep his subject open, to preserve breadth, to establish his planes, and to secure for them space, light, and air” (Richard S Schneiderman [1983] “A Catalogue Raisonne of the Prints of Seymour Haden”, Robin Garton, Wilshire, pp. 7–8).