Saturday, 17 December 2016
Keizer’s mezzotint of St Hieronymus (aka St Jerome) after Sandbach
I. Kreizer (18th century)
“St. Heronimus” (aka St Hieronymus and St Jerome), c. 1720 (date proposed by the previous collector/dealer), after a painting by I. Sandbach showing St Jerome in the wilderness, penitent over a book and a cross.
Mezzotint on laid paper (with watermark?)
Size: (sheet) 29.8 x 24.8 cm; (plate) 26.2 x 21.3 cm
Inscribed below the image borderline: (lower left) “I. Sandbach Pinxt’”; (lower centre) “S. Heronimus.”; (lower right) ”I. Kreizer fecit.“
Condition: rich and well-printed impression with margins varying from 1.8 to 2 cm. The sheet is in a good condition with minimal spots and signs of handling. There are remnants of hinges verso.
I am selling this arresting image with its clear lineage to Mannerist style of exaggerated gesture and dramatic lighting for the total cost of AU$122 (currently US$89.06/EUR85.33/GBP71.37 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this remarkable and early mezzotint of St Jerome, please contact me (email@example.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy
Sometimes I really should do my homework before buying a print and this is a case in point. This print is stunning as an image and it is also stunning as a superb example of a mezzotint, but the printmaker (I. Kreizer) and the artist whose painting is reproduced in this beautiful print (I. Sandbach) are both unknown to me. At the time of purchasing the print I was sure that I would have no difficulty finding information about both artists as the print is so well executed. Alas, this was not the case. I even asked the reputable dealer from whom I acquired it whether he had information about the artists. Again, both artists are a mystery as he had no information to give. What is certain for me is that both artists are of a top calibre despite the shortfall in information about them. The mystery surrounding them and their contribution to this print is such a shame and serves to illustrate how there are real masters yet to be discovered and documented by the gatekeepers of history.
The date of the print, c. 1720, was provided by the dealer and his attribution to the early 18th century has all the hallmarks for this time period.
In terms of technical issues, I would like to point out the printmaker's use of his burnishing tools to describe the contours of the saint’s body with the subtlest of curved strokes. Note also how he has phrased the tone surrounding the saint’s silhouette (for example around his right shoulder) so that where light illuminates—“hits”—his body the background is slightly darker than those areas where the body is in shadow and the background is slightly lighter.