Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Picart’s engraving after Cornelis Bloemaert’s “Sisiphe” (Sisyphus), after the design by Abraham van Diepenbeeck

Bernard Picart (1673-1733)
“Sisyphus’s Stone”, 1730 (as engraved on the plate), after Cornelis Bloemaert (1603–92) , after Abraham van Diepenbeeck (1596–1675), published in Amsterdam by Chatelain (1733) as plate LVIII in “Le Temple des Muses.”
Etching and engraving on fine laid paper with margins (as published) and lined onto a conservator’s support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 45.6 x 28.5 cm; (plate) 35.5 x 25.8 cm
Lettered with production detail: “B. Picart dir.” and title in French, English, German and Dutch; frame lettered with production detail: “B. Picart del. 1730”.

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Sisyphus in Hades, rolling a stone up a hill, with demons pushing it back; in ornate frame, with dragons, owls and snakes, printed from a separate plate; plate LVIII to 'Le Temple des Muses' (first published Amsterdam: Chatelain, 1733). c.1730/33” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1540177&partId=1&searchText=picart+bloemaert&page=1)

Condition: marvellous, richly inked impression. The sheet has two closed tears on the left margin which have been addressed by the print having been lined onto a conservator’s support sheet; beyond these tears the sheet is in fresh and near pristine condition.

I am selling this stunning illustration by Picart for a total cost of AU$105 (currently US$78.54/EUR73.95/GBP61.83 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this fascinating engraving after Bloemaert’s print shown in the previous post, 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

In my previous post I discussed how Picart may not have fully understood Cornelis Bloemaert’s use of reflected light in his rendering of Sisyphus’ body. Essentially, I proposed that Bloemaert only employed reflected light on those features of Sisyphus’ body that were close to the rock, whereas Picart scatters reflected light more liberally. Although such criticism may seem harsh—and perhaps even wrong—the art of comparing two master engravers is fascinating and reveals the strengths and weaknesses of each artist for future reference. For example, in my reading of these artists’ different approaches to rendering form, I can see that Picart focuses on superficial contours by using a layering of strokes in different directions. By contrast, Bloemaert focuses more on the whole form with a fundamental alignment of strokes and then adds an additional contours to define superficial details. Of course, not every viewer would agree with my assessment—heaven forbid!—but the point that I am getting at is that by careful comparison and personal critiquing of what can be seen, a vision of differences between artists can be established.

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