Saturday, 4 June 2016


Cornelis Bega (aka Cornelis Pietersz Bega) (1620–1664)
"Mother and Child with Peasants in a Tavern” [La mère au cabaret], c.1650

Etching on fine laid paper trimmed to narrow margins and supported on buff coloured card
Size: (support sheet) 16.7 x 13.1 cm; (plate) 15.4 x 11.9 cm

The British Museum offers the following description of this print: “A mother sitting with her sleeping baby in an inn; she is accompanied by a man sitting on the left, and by a man standing between them, who holds a tankard; unfinished Etching” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1608815&partId=1&searchText=S.3702&page=1)
Hollstein 31.I; Bartsch (1803) V.238.31; Bartsch (1978) VII.238.31

Condition: strong impression with minimal wear and with small margins supported on card—possibly from McCreery’s 1816 edition.


I am selling this unfinished oldmaster etching of exceptional rarity for AU$306 in total (currently US$225.40/EUR198.31/GBP155.29 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this print offering a fascinating insight into oldmaster procedures in making an 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


Very seldom does one get the chance to see an old master etching showing the first tentative sketched lines at the commencement of making a print merged with a full tonal rendering of the final stage of the portrayed scene. This is certainly a rare and extraordinary print!

Bega is one of those artists whose prints stand out from his contemporaries, as he has a distinctive style all of his own. From my standpoint, there is an awkward angularity to his portrayed figures who seem somehow compacted into shallow space that is lit with a film-noir type of theatricality—please forgive me if you don’t agree with this broad overview of his style.

Certainly, ES Lumsden in his now classic book, “The Art of Etching” expresses strong enthusiasm for Bega’s vision as he proposes: “His work has a breadth of vision which far surpasses that of his master [van Ostade], and lacks Ostade’s cloying “prettiness. Bold, simple (both in design and execution) and dramatic, it deserves careful study of every serious student.” (p. 186)



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