Gallery of prints for sale

Monday, 1 August 2016

Walter Vae's etching, “From the Top of the Steeple”

Walter Vaes (late 1800s–1950s)
“From the Top of the Steeple”, 1880? (this date is based on a pencil notation shown verso)
Soft-ground etching on cream laid paper
Inscribed in the plate “Vaes”
Size: (sheet) 30.4 x 24.5 cm; (plate) 19.9 x 15 cm
Condition: richly inked impression in near pristine condition. There are explanatory pencil notations verso.

I am selling this visually arresting etching for a total cost of AU$190 (currently US$136.44/EUR120.54/GBP104.01 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this marvellous print, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

Although the back of this print assigns the etching to the artist, Walter Vaes, and proposes the date, “1880” with a question-mark, I have not been able to find any other information about the creator of this stunning image. I have seen one other print by the hand of this superb printmaker and—from memory—it featured a young girl descending what is likely to be a spiral staircase in the steeple, but this is all I know about the mysterious printmaker who signs his print with the engraved letters “Vaes.” I am hoping that a fellow Blogger will recognise the artist and give me some valuable information to share.

What I find remarkable about this print is not just its unusual composition, but also the frozen moment in time as a bell rings. This feature may seem minor at first, but there are very few images where a portrayed feature connotes sound. In short, for those who seek special images, this one is fits well in terms of representing the non-visual world of sound.

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