Sunday, 31 July 2016

Kono Bairei’s two-panel woodcut

Kono Bairei’s two-panel woodcut 


Kono Naotoyo Bairei (Aliases: Choando; Hoppo; Kakurokuen; Kinsen Charryo; Koun Shinsho; Kumo no Ie; Musei Shioku; Nyoi Shansho; Rokuryu; Sanshu Kashitsu; Seika Zembo; Seiryukan; Shijun; Shumpuro; Zaigoan) (1844–95)
“Bird at a Stream” (descriptive title only) (diptych), 1890
from ehon [book], Bairei Hyakucho Gafu Zokuhen [Album of 100 birds], 1890
colour woodcut
(each sheet) 24.7 x 16.6 cm
Condition: both panels are crisp impressions and the paper is in good condition (considering the age of the prints). The right panel has two dot specks in the margin. Each of the two panels has four pin holes from their original binding.

I am selling both prints (i.e. the two panels of the diptych) for a total cost of AU$98 (currently US$74.45/EUR66.72/GBP56.31 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing these original woodcut prints by Kono Bairei, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


I can imagine that some viewers—hopefully not too many—would prefer to see the wonderful two-panel woodcuts by Bairei trimmed, glued and abutted so that the two panels can be seen as a single uninterrupted image (as shown in my digital abutment above). Often in the marketplace Bairei's prints—like this fine pair—are merged with glue to satisfy such a desire. For me, however, the trimming and gluing of Bairei’s prints is a shame, as they were originally designed to be two facing pages in a bound book that, when opened, would appear as a single image.
From my standpoint, the borderlines separating a viewer’s reading of the two panels is not a significant hurdle impacting upon looking at the prints. In fact, I believe that the borderlines may even help to articulate a viewer’s reading, in the sense that the visual interruption posed by the borderlines helps to slow down a viewer’s reading.






Saturday, 30 July 2016

Bernard Picart’s etching after Le Brun


Bernard Picart (1673–1733)
“Ligue de l'allemagne, de l'Espagne et de la Hollande contre la France en 1672: Plate 49“, c1724–25/33, after Charles Le Brun (1619–90), from the series, “Impostures innocentes, ou Recueil d'estampes d'après divers peintres illustres”, 1725.
Etching in brown ink with plate tone on wove paper
Size: (sheet) 27.8 x 42.9 cm; (plate) 21 x 41 cm
Lettered below image with production detail and title (Note: this impression is not lettered with the Plate number unlike the impression in the British Museum.)

The British Museum offers the following description of this print: “Plate 49: historical allegory, with, slightly to the left, the personifications of Spain, Holland and Germany joining hands to signify their alliance against France; after a preparatory drawing for the decoration of the Salon de la Paix, in Versailles. c.1724/33” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3030944&partId=1&searchText=1868,0612.1397+&page=1)
Condition: crisp and impression with margins (as published) in excellent condition for its age. There are faint marks and the upper right corner is chipped.

I am selling this large etching by Picart for a total cost of AU$92 (currently US$69.90/EUR62.63/GBP52.86 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this finely executed print, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


One of the problems facing artists when they set out to portray a narrative with a cast of thousands is how they can sustain a viewer’s interest without overwhelming the brain with too much visual information.

Many of the old masters, like Titian, sustained the viewer’s interest by creating a grid-like pattern of lights and darks where attention is drawn to “important” areas of bright light where figures can be easily seen juxtaposed with areas of shadows where the visual engagement with the portrayed figures is minimised (i.e. “played down”).

In this image, Picart, in his translation of Le Brun’s composition, also employs such a formula. Picart, however, goes a stage further. He uses the format (i.e. the image’s shape) of a lunette to create a bridge-like tension to pictorially “hold” the mass of figures into an arrangement that is visually digestible.

In my reading of this image—and I need to stress that this is my personal reading that others may not share—I scan from the weighted mass of figures on the lower-left and then progress through the turmoil of figures along an arch-like rhythm passing through the centre of the image to the lower-right side. For viewers with a mindset to read from the opposite direction (i.e. from right-to-left), I can envisage that such a reading would lead along an even more interesting path where the eye is taken on an almost spiralling journey into the centre of the image following a pattern of lights and darks.





Friday, 29 July 2016

Etching by Jacques-Louis David’s son, Charles-Louis Jules David, “Marat, Membre de la Convention”


Charles-Louis Jules David (1783-1854)
“Marat, Membre de la Convention”, 1882, after a painting of the same name executed in 1793 by his father, Jacques-Louis David (1748–1825).
Etching on chine-collé washi paper on cream wove paper
Size: (sheet) 36.2 x 27.5 cm; (plate) 18.9 x 14.8 cm; (image) 16.8 x 12.9 cm
Lettered on the plate below the image: (left) “L. David. prinx.”; (centre) “1793”; (right) “J. David. sc.”
Condition: a well-printed, crisp and richly inked impression with wide margins. The sheet has few faint traces of foxing towards the far edges of the margins, otherwise the sheet is in very good condition.

I am selling this delicately executed print for the total cost of AU$65 (currently US$48.75/EUR43.93/GBP36.97 at the time of posting this print) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this masterly translation of Jacques-Louis David’s painting into etched line, 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


This is the second etching that I have posted recently by Charles-Louis Jules David (the son of the grand Neo-Classical painter, Jacques-Louis David). I suspect that all folk would know this image very well as it has risen to fame as an icon of French culture even if Marat himself may not be a cherished figure by everyone.

Sometimes a reproductive etching of a painting executed solely in black line is more than a mimetic representation. This is certainly the case with this small masterly print. Like the work of a master, the use of line replicates more than the tones of the painting. From my way of looking at the etching, the black lines also suggest passages of translucency and opacity of the painting’s colour. For example, the curved crosshatched lines describing the contours of Marat’s flesh capture the luminosity of the transparency of the glazed colours of the painting in this area in contrast to the straight lines of crosshatching rendering the opaque depth of the background colours. If I may go a little further with this proposal, the mixture of loosely hatched strokes laid over a field of vertical lines describing the textures of the crude table on which the bottle of ink rests projects a solid opaque surface that is very different to the attributes of Marat’s flesh and the far distance.

In terms of black lines representing colours, this notion is not as vague as one might imagine. The code of heraldic representation of colours (e.g. blue is horizontal, red is vertical and black is a combination of horizontal lines over vertical lines … amongst the other colours signified by heraldic code) is still used in electrical engineering—so I am told. Consequentially, at a subliminal level, the arrangement of the different hatched strokes suggest colours. In this reading of the print, the hatched strokes of the background express black, the angled strokes rendering Marat’s body express the heraldic colours of green and purple, and the mixture of strokes rendering the table express a yellow-red.





Thursday, 28 July 2016

Etching by Jacques-Louis David’s son, Charles-Louis Jules David, “Bélisaire et l'Enfant”


Charles-Louis Jules David (1783-1854)
“Bélisaire et l'Enfant”, 1882, after a painting of the same name executed in 1780 by his father, Jacques-Louis David (1748–1825).
Etching on chine-collé washi paper on cream wove paper
Size: (sheet) 27.2 x 36 cm; (plate) 8.1 x 11 cm; (image) 7.1 x 9 cm
Lettered on the plate below the image: (left) “L. David. prinx.”; (centre) “1780”; (right) “J. David. sc.”
Condition: a well-printed, crisp and richly inked impression with wide margins. The sheet has few faint traces of foxing towards the far edges of the margins, otherwise the sheet is in very good condition.

I am selling this delicately executed print for the total cost of AU$60 (currently US$44.81/EUR40.76/GBP34.21 at the time of posting this print) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this masterly translation of Jacques-Louis David’s painting into etched line, 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


The reason that I originally purchased this small etching was not because the printmaker was the son of the great Neo-Classical painter, Jacques-Louis David, but rather because I admired the graphic translation of the painting, “Bélisaire et l'Enfant” (1780), into line.

Many reproductive printmakers of the nineteenth century had the skill to duplicate the broad tonal effects of a painting into a network of crosshatched lines, but this print is special in that there is great subtlety in portraying light and shade. For instance, compare the variations of tone ranging from the bright light illuminating Bélisaire’s forehead to the softer lights illuminating the figures’ hands. In this variation of tone, each hand is rendered with a slightly different tonal key and within this tonal key (i.e. a very limited range of tones) the artist is still able to portray fine details and tonal gradations. Such mastery is uncommon, especially in a small image.





Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Daniel Hopfer’s etching, “Claus Stürtz den Becher”


Daniel Hopfer (1471–1536)
“Kunz von der Rosen” (Bartsch title)/“Claus Stürtz den Becher” (BM title), c1515, possibly after Hans Burgkmair the Elder (1473–1531), published by David Funck (fl. 1682–1709) in the late 17th century (Soldat allemande assis) F27 (see “The Illustrated Bartsch”, Vol. 17, p. 163).
Etching on fine laid paper trimmed at image borderline with a partial watermark (coat of arms and three crescent moons?)
Size: (sheet) 29.3 x 21.6 cm
Signed with monogram at lower left. The Funck number 27 added there.
Lettered at upper centre: “Claus Stürtz den Becher” and in lower margin: “Ich Stürtz den Becher und die Kandel/ und hab damit ein guten Handel./ Auch finde ich meiner Brüder viel/ Die eben das Liben was ich will.” [Babylon 10 translation of this text from German to English: “I drop the cup and Kandel/ and have a good trading./ I also find my brother much/ The Liben what I want.”]
Hollstein 97.III; Bartsch 17(8).87(493)
The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Portrait of Conrad von der Rosen, jester at the court of Maximilian I; half-length, seated, turned slightly to left, the head in three-quarter profile; impression from the Funck series. c.1515” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1520794&partId=1&searchText=Hopfer+&page=40)  
(Note: the Funck number on this print signifies that it was published in the seventeenth century by David Funck (fl. 1682–1709) at Nuremberg)
Condition: marvellous crisp and richly inked impression of exceptional rarity trimmed at the image borderline. The sheet is in splendidly clean condition, but with a faint trace of tone (visible on the left side verso) and two minor spots of restoration (visible verso). This print is in a remarkable condition for its age.

I am selling this museum-quality etching by the first artist to use etching for an artist’s print, for the total cost of AU$2000 (currently US$1506.60/EUR1367/GBP1146.60 at the time of posting this) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this highly significant old-master print, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


This is a print of exceptional historical importance and rarity. It is so important, in fact, that it should be in a museum as a key exhibit!
There are two reasons for its importance. The first reason is in regard to Daniel Hopfer’s historical significance as an artist: he was the first artist to use the medium of etching to create images designed to be “stand alone” artworks (as opposed to using etching to decorate armour). Or, as the British Museum explains: “He [Daniel Hopfer] was the earliest artist to adapt the practice of etching on iron to printmaking and to make a significant profession out of it” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/search_the_collection_database/term_details.aspx?bioId=120691). The second reason is that this print is one of his best known/most reproduced images.
From a personal standpoint, this is a visually arresting image. Certainly, my attention is caught by the cactus-like spikes on the figure’s costume—the portrayed figure is Maximilian I’s court jester and advisor, Conrad von der Rosen—and his “hands on hips” pose, but there is more to this image than spikes and body language which give the figure a confronting prickly appearance. What I find visually riveting is the pictorial cropping of the figure by the image’s borderline. For me the cropping of the figure’s right elbow and his legs by the borderline, and the almost tangential contact of his left elbow with the borderline, subliminally suggests that he is in my private personal space (i.e. “in my face”). This feeling of unease is heightened by the puff-ball clouds floating on either side of the figure’s head that I read like an miniature storm clouds arising from the figure’s disquieting demeanour. 






Monday, 25 July 2016

Karel Dujardin’s etching, “Mule with a Bell”


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Karel Dujardin  (aka Carel Dujardin,; Carel du Jardin; Karel Du Jardin; Bokkebaart) (1626 –78)
“Le Mulet aux Clochettes” [Mule with a Bell], 1653
Size: (sheet) 19.7 x 16.2 cm
Etching on laid paper trimmed on, or within, the platemark
Lettered in lower margin: "K. DV. IARDIN.1653 fe". With the number 29 in the lower right corner.
Bartsch 1.182.29; Hollstein 29.II
The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
The hinny with the little bell. Landscape with a mule standing at centre, in profile to right, wearing a halter from which two bells hang, two other asses resting in right background, trees enclosed within a straw fence beyond; second state with number. 1653” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1617819&partId=1&searchText=Dujardin+mule&page=1)

Condition: crisp impression trimmed on, or within, the platemark. The sheet is in very good condition for its age (i.e. there are no tears, folds or holes), but there are a few scattered dots and there are remnants of mounting hinges (verso).

I am selling this well-preserved original Dujardin etching for the total cost of AU$164 (currently US$122.76/EUR111.67/GBP93.48 at the time of posting this print) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this remarkable print showcasing Dujardin’s skill in representing light, space and subtle differences of texture, 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


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Dujardin is famous for his “warts and all” representations of rural life—sheep and cows pissing and pooping accompanied by flies—he is also remembered as a true master of suggesting light, space and mimetic treatments of a full range of textures. For example, note how Dujardin describes the contours of the mule in the foreground (actually a hinny rather than a mule) using only line while simultaneously expressing the surface textures of the mule’s hair. Note also how Dujardin’s treatment of the foreground mule is quite different from his rendering of the mules further back and how well he suggests the spatial distance separating them. Such skill is rare and is the hallmark of great artist.




Sunday, 24 July 2016

Samuel Palmer’s etching, “The Early Ploughman”


Samuel Palmer (1805–81)
“The Early Ploughman”, or, “The Morning Spread Upon the Mountains”, 1858–60, from the first published state, as issued by Hamerton in “Etching & Etchers,” 1868.
Etching on cream wove paper, printed within the platemark (or trimmed) for publication in “Etching & Etchers”.
Size: (sheet) 16.8 x 25 cm; (image) 13.1 19.8 cm
The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Ploughman drives his team of four oxen towards the fields as the sun rises. 1858/60 Etching (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1417049&partId=1&searchText=palmer+Early+Ploughman&page=1) Lister 1988 E.9.v/ix (Lister, Raymond, “Catalogue raisonné of the works of Samuel Palmer”, Cambridge, 1988); Alexander 9 iv/viii
Condition: crisp impression with red edges to the sheet as published in “Etching & Etchers”, 1968. There are a few light spots on the upper margin (recto) and a few pale touches of foxing visible verso; otherwise the sheet is in very good condition.

I am selling this extremely rare, original Samuel Palmer etching for the total cost of AU$698 (currently US$520.99/EUR475.06/GBP397.58 at the time of posting this print) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing a print by one of Britain’s most famous artists, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


An interesting feature of this deeply romantic image—and a feature that my eyes keep returning to—is the portrayed standing woman with a pitcher resting on her head. From what I understand about this curious figure is that her pose is likely to have its origin in William Blake, Edward Calvert and Palmer’s fascination with antique carved gems and coins. Blake, for instance, is known to have copied poses for his figures from Roman bas-reliefs and this particular pose may be found in his watercolour, “Jacob’s Ladder”. Similarly, Calvert’s interest in such a classic pose may be seen in his wood engraving, “The Brook.” Regarding Palmer's interest in antique carvings, he had a plaster cast collection of them and offered one of his students, Miss Wilkinson, the following advice in a letter dated 29 May 1862:

“Mr Newman made me eight or ten of his cedar colour-boxes without partitions, and a little deeper than usual, in which I possess a fine sculpture-gallery, having filled them with casts from the finest antique gems. These are most useful for reference, when working out lines caught from nature. …I would advise you to collect casts from the best antique gems whenever you can get them” (Cf Hardie, Martin, 1928, “Samuel Palmer”, London, p. 13).





Saturday, 23 July 2016

Lithograph by Prud'hon, “Une Lecture”


--> Pierre Paul Prud'hon (aka Pierre Paul Prudhon) (1758–1823), printed by Bertauts (1830s–80 fl.), published in “Gazette des Beaux-Arts”, 1870
"Une Lecture", c1822
Lithograph on chine-collé on wove paper
Size: (sheet) 26.6 x 17.4 cm; (image) 18.6 x 14.8 cm
Lettered with production detail: 'Prud'hon inv. et del.', title, and name of printer.

State iv (of iv) 
Goncourt 7 (IV/IV), Béraldi 2, Sanchez & Seydoux 1870-4.
The British Museum curator offers the following description of this print: “woman sitting in an armchair near a window with open book on her knees, turns round and kisses a dove.” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1365644&partId=1&searchText=Prud'hon+lecture&page=1)
The curator of the British Museum offers the following information: "Dated c.1822 by Clément; the present copy of the print was published at a later date in the 'Gazette des Beaux-Arts'." (ibid)

Condition: crisp impression in near pristine condition with small margins.

I am selling this extremely rare, curious and highly romantic original lithograph for a total cost of AU$126 (currently US$93.94/EUR85.76/GBP71.77 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world. If you are interested in purchasing this intriguing image, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make your payment easy.
(Note that Southby's in their 2015 Bernheimer Day Sale, item 431, offer auction estimate of GBP500 — 700 for this print; see http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/2015/bernheimer-day-sale-l15043.html)




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Although my knowledge about the meaning of this allegory is cloudy I can at least share the broad symbolic meaning of what a girl holding or intimately engaging with a dove means: lost innocence.
Perhaps the significance of this image relates to Prud’hon’s personal life. For instance, I know that he had a traumatic love affair with one of his ex-pupils, Constance Mayer, who committed suicide in his studio by slitting her throat with a razor after learning that Prud’hon intended to honour his former wife’s wish by choosing to never marry again. I also understand that they are now buried together in the same tomb and so this tragic story may have relevance to this image, but I really don’t know for certain.
For those who may concur that the image may be linked to Prud’hon’s tragedy, the woman portrayed in the print also bears a striking resemblance to Constance Mayer.  It’s all so sad …





Friday, 22 July 2016

Bernard Picart’s etching after Guido Reni


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Bernard Picart (1673–1733) 
Erigone et Bachus en Grape de Raisin: Plate 30 “, after Guido Reni (1575–1642), from the series, “Impostures innocentes, ou Recueil d'estampes d'après divers peintres illustres”, 1725
Etching in brown ink with plate tone on wove paper
Size: (sheet) 22.2 x 28 cm; (plate) 11.7 x 13.3 cm
Numbered on plate: “30”; lettered with title and production detail, “Guido Reni invenit / B.Picart sculp.'”
Condition: crisp and delicate impression with generous margins in excellent condition for its age.

I am selling this exquisite etching by Picart for a total cost of AU$62 (currently US$46.33/EUR42.05/GBP35.35 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this remarkably beautiful and finely executed print, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


 
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Picart was a prolific printmaker and the reason for his fame is clear to see with this exquisitely rendered etching. Note for example how he uses crosshatched lines with the tiniest dot at the ends of the lines to represent the gentle curves of Erigone’s arm.