Gallery of prints for sale

Saturday 1 October 2016

Boetius Adams Bolswert’s engraving after Abraham Bloemaert

Boetius Adams Bolswert (aka Boëtius Adamsz. Bolswerd; Boëtius Adamsz. Bolswert) (1580–1633)
 “Rest on the Flight into Egypt”, 1612–5, after Abraham Bloemaert (1564–1651)
Engraving on fine laid paper trimmed to the image borderline and lined on conservator’s washi paper support.
Size: (sheet) 29 x 21.5 cm
Inscribed within the image (lower left): “A. Bloemaert Inventor/ B. A. Bolsuerd. Sculp. et excudebat.”
Lettered below the image borderline with four lines of verse in two columns: “Quid mortem Infanti…potest. I. Semmius“

See description of this print at the Rijksmuseum:
Reference: Wurzbach 4; Hollstein Dutch 5; Roethlisberger 220

Condition: a rare and marvellously rich impression (suggesting that it is an early impression) with almost invisible restorations of tears and folds as a result of the print having been laid on a support sheet of paper.

I am selling this old master print of exceptional quality for AU$405 in total (currently US$309.95/EUR276.13/GBP239.03 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world. If you are interested in purchasing this beautriful engraving, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

Bolswert’s beautifully executed engraving is arguably based on Bloemaert’s equally beautiful painting which is now in the Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza collection ( (Note that there are variants of this scene executed by Bloemaert including a small painting on copper in the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne.) The subject of the holy family escaping Herod’s edict for all young male children around Bethlehem to be killed—described in the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 2:13-23)—has been a favourite for artists (e.g. Giotto, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Adam Elsheimer and the wonderful series of etchings on the subject by Tiepolo).

What makes Bloemaert’s version of the subject especially appealing to me, however, is the way that he uses the large form of a tree to connote a broad view of landscape without having to add what otherwise might have been distracting landscape details. Or, as the curator of the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection describes this compositional arrangement: “The landscape is reduced to the monumental tree, the main feature of the scene, and a luminous sky in which angels and cherubim flutter in varied postures.”

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