Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Daubigny’s etching, “Les Ruines du Château de Crémieu”

Charles-François Daubigny (1817–78)
“Les Ruines du Château de Crémieu” (The ruins of the Château at Crémieu [Isère]), 1850
Etching with aquatint and roulette on cream wove paper, dry stamped with the seal of the Louvre Chalcographie.
Size: (sheet 26.4 x 29.3 cm; (plate) 12 x 19.7 cm; (image borderline) 9.4 x 17.4 cm
State ii (of ii), Chalcographie edition
Ber. 5, H. 71, Del. 77
Michel Melot (1978) in ”Graphic Art of the Pre-Impressionists” notes that there is a related drawing in the Cabinet des Dessins (the Louvre) and that the plate is held in the Louvre Chalcographie under the title of “Les Ruines” and interesting advises that the plate is “a reused plate, already engraved on the reverse by another engraver” (p. 277).
For a brief and very interesting biographical summary of Daubigny as well as a description of this print, see see also

Condition: marvellously rich and crisp impression with large margins and dry-stamped by the Louvre Chalcographie below the plate mark (towards the lower centre of the margin). The sheet is in excellent condition with a few scattered flecks of dirt/stains and the back of the sheet is darken with oxidisation/age-toning.

I am selling this gem of a landscape by one of the leading artists of the Barbizon School for AU$178 in total (currently US$133.99/EUR120.11/GBP102.05 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this etching, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This seemingly simple panoramic etching of the old ruins of the Château de Crémieu in Isère (about 40 km east of Lyon) is a true nugget of information for printmakers, as it showcases an interesting array of Daubigny’s—one of the foremost printmakers in nineteenth century France—techniques. For instance, note how he employs a dot roulette to give tone and atmospheric substance to the cloudy sky. By contrast to the layered and multidirectional matrix of dots rendering the sky, Daubigny varies the length and character of his lines describing the rugged terrain of the region from long and emphatically laid, return-stroke lines (i.e. a natural “z”-like formation of aligned strokes made quickly) in the foreground to much shorter, carefully laid hatched lines in the far distance. Of special interest to me is how Daubigny portrays the single tree shown on the far right. Here, he expresses the effects of distance by defining some of the tree’s silhouette outline and softening other lines with dots. For me this is fascinating to see a great artist in control of how a landscape is perceived.

Theodore Fourmois’ etching, “Près d'Ardenne”

Theodore Fourmois (1814–71)
“Près d'Ardenne”, 1850
Etching chine collé trimmed near the platemark at the top and right sides.
Size: (sheet) 20.3 x 26.2 cm; (plate) 18.1 x 25.6 cm
Lettered below the image borderline (lower right): "T. Fourmois"
Hippert & Linnig 1874-9 I (Hippert, T & Linnig, J N, Le Peintre-Graveur Hollandais et Belge du dix-neuvième siècle, 3 vols, Brussels, 1809)
The British Museum offers the following description of this etching:
“Landscape of a hill with rocks, a path in the centre descending from left to right, two figures walking up along the path, a farmhouse in the centre with trees behind it, a village in the right background; plate 23 of the catalogue 'Album de la fête artistique à Bruxelles' (1850)” (

Condition: marvellously crisp impression with printer’s creases/unevenness (?) in the chine collé. The verso is lined with a fine washi support sheet. The sheet is in excellent condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, stains or foxing).

I am selling this loosely drawn landscape for AU$78 in total (currently US$58.53/EUR52.56/GBP44.66 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this landscape etching by a leading 19th century Belgium printmaker, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

Fourmois is best known for his landscapes of the Ardennes and Campine—although he did venture into countryside of Dauphiné (south eastern France) and Switzerland. This view of the rugged terrain for which the Ardennes is famous is captured beautifully with Fourmois’ signature-style of building up an image with a layering of tiny curved marks. 

What I especially like about this print is the way that Fourmois spotlights an almost diamond-shaped area in the near foreground. For a moment, when I was gazing at this spot-lit area, I had difficultly rationalising how he achieved this effect—as if a shaft of light had illuminated the ground. But then I realised that the artist has left a faint trace of plate tone (i.e. grey) over the plate and had thoroughly wiped clean the plate tone from this particular area until it gleamed.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Henriquel-Dupont’s engraving after Raphael

Louis Pierre Henriquel-Dupont (1797–1892)
“La Vierge et l'enfant Jésus” after Raphael, 1854, printed and published by Goupil (active 1827–1919)
The curator of the British Museum advises that this print is “after a drawing which is now in the Cabinet des Dessins, Louvre and which is believed to be a study for a lost painting known as the ‘Madonna Sergardi’.” (
Etching and engraving on chine collé trimmed within the platemark.
Size: (sheet) 32.1 x 22.7 cm; (image borderline) 25.6 x 18.9 cm
Lettered below the image’s borderline (lower centre): “Gravé par Henriquel Dupont, 1854 / LA VIERGE & L'ENFANT JÉSUS / D’ápres Le Defsin original, de Raphael appartenent au Museé Imperial”
Beraldi 1885-92 86 (Beraldi, Henri, “Les Graveurs du dix-neuvième siècle”, 12 vols plus supplement, Paris, 1885); IFF 87 (Inventaire du Fonds Français: Bibliothèque Nationale, Département des Estampes, Paris, 1930)

Condition: beautiful impression but in poor condition with restorations to the chine collé, trimmed within the platemark and with slight wrinkling. There glue residue at the outer edges (recto) and the back of the sheet is unevenly discoloured with oxidation/age-toning.

I am selling this amazingly delicate and finely executed engraving for AU$61 in total (currently US$45.91/EUR41.14/GBP35.01at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world. (Note that this print has condition issues, as outlined above, and the low price reflects these issues.)
If you are interested in purchasing this exquisite print, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

Although this may not be the finest copy on the market of this very beautiful print, the delicacy and loving attention to detail that the master engraver is able to give to this translation of Raphael’s study of the now lost painting, “Madonna Sergardi”, is very evident.

What is remarkable about engravings by Henriquel-Dupont is the care and conspicuous amount of time that he took to make his prints. For example, his most famous engraving, which reproduces Delaroche's decoration for the Hémicycle of the École des Beaux-Arts, took ten years to execute. Such dedication …

Daubigny's etching, "Lever de Lune"

Charles-François Daubigny (1817–78)
"Lever de Lune" [Moonrise], 1871
Originally published in "Gazette des Beaux -Arts", 1871. (Vol. IV, pp. 446-47)
Etching with drypoint printed on chine-collé mounted on white wove paper with full margins
Size: (sheet) 21.1 x 29.9 cm; (plate) 14.8 x 21 cm; (image) 9.5 x 16.6 cm
Inscribed with signature under the image borderline (lower-left) and at plate edge (lower-left) "Les chefs -d'oeuvre _ 47"; the title (lower-centre); and the printer’s name (lower-right) "Imp. Chardon-Wittman."
Melot 98
(See description of same edition not listed by Melot:
Condition: Rich impression with full margins as published. There is light foxing, age-darkening at the edges and an area of lightening of the paper margin at the top-right; otherwise the print is in good condition.

I am selling this beautiful etching by Daubigny which epitomises the Barbizon School that changed the course of printmaking for a total cost of AU$145 (currently US$109.35/EUR97.93/GBP83.42 at the time of posting this listing including postage and handling to anywhere in the world. If you are interested in purchasing this etching please send me an email and I will email you a PayPal invoice.

This print has been sold

Prints like this very romantic image of the evening settling upon the rural landscape as a farmer attends to his cows followed by a woman carrying a child and holding another by the hand (no doubt his family) exemplifies the famous Barbizon School of artists. Although the print is small in size it is (without wishing to sound too pompous) epic in scale in terms of the layering of meanings it projects. What I mean by this grand statement is that at the time the print was executed there was an exodus of country folk heading out of the rural pastures to the greater fortunes of the newly industrialised cities. Essentially, this print is like a bucolic icon created to stand as an image evoking a fading era. How sad and deeply significant this print must have been for Daubigny as he drew what may well have been the last true souls of the rural landscape before industry changed everything.

Daubigny’s etching, "Le Berger et la Bergerer”

Charles-François Daubigny (1817–78)
"Le Berger et la Bergerer” [The Shepherd and Shepherdess], 1874
Published in "L'Art", vol. LXIII, 1904, p. 560, to illustrate an article by Henriet about Daubigny.
Etching on laid paper
Size: (sheet) 43.2 x 29.6 cm; (plate) 28.9 x 21.9 cm; (image) 25.4 x 19.5 cm
State v (of viii)
Inscribed with signature under the image borderline (lower-left); the title (lower-centre); and the printer’s name (lower-right)
Melot 122v (of viii), Delteil 122v (of viii)
Condition: Superb impression in pristine condition with full margins (and remnants of tissue-guard) as published.

I am selling this rare, original and arguably Daubigny's most famous etching for a total cost of AU$230 (currently US$173.35/EUR155.27/GBP132.23 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this etching in top condition please send me an email and I will email you a PayPal invoice.

This print has been sold

This is one of the last prints made by Daubigny. In the previous six years Daubigny had dedicated himself, almost exclusively, to painting as (according to Melot in "Graphic Art of the Pre-Impressionists") he was "much in demand as a painter" (p. 282). Beyond the visual poetry that Daubiigny captures in this print of light filtering through trees and the romance of embracing lovers, what is especially beautiful is the lively line work that he employs. Interestingly, Melot proposes that this and the other five of Daubigny's final plates "were increasingly close to the style of the Impressionists in their use of delicate and vibrating small strokes" (p. 282). Indeed, etchings like this earn Daubigny the title of a "Pre-Impressionist."

Contemporary Indian miniature executed over an early book leaf

Unidentified artist
Contemporary Indian miniature executed over an early book leaf.
My belief that this is not an antique painting is based on the fact that the image appears to be painted over the text and that the uppermost surface of the paint is smooth rather than slightly abraded as would be the case if the painting had been an original image in an illuminated book.
Tempera and gouache with gold leaf on fine India paper
Size: (sheet) 20 x 10.3 cm
Condition: worm holes in the sheet and the painted image has small losses (i.e. very tiny flakes of paint are missing).

I am selling this exquisite hand-painted Indian book-leaf for AU$300 in total (currently US$226.48/EUR202.74/GBP172.98 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this fine example of the Mogul style of painting, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

I was shuffling through my prints last night and I came upon this exquisite painting that I collected about thirty years ago when travelling through India in an inappropriate vehicle: a double-decker London bus. At the time that I purchased the painting I knew (or at least I suspected) that it was unlikely to be an original Mogul illuminated leaf from a book but I wanted the page regardless, simply because it was so well executed and it fitted well with my vision of Indian painting: the use of stacked space where the portrayed subjects are layered on top of one another rather than disposed using the Western convention of perspective and the arrangement of key pictorial elements in separated “wells” of space.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Aegidius Sadeler’s etching (with engraving) after a lost drawing by Roelant Savery

Aegidius Sadeler II (also Egidius or Gilles) (1568–1629)
“Waterfall with Shepherd and Four Goats”, c.1610–13, from a series of six landscapes after drawings by Roelant Savery (1576–1639) (note that the Savery’s drawing for this print is now lost).
Etching and engraving on fine laid paper trimmed to the image borderline.
Size: (sheet) 21.1 x 28.3 cm
I am unable to determine the state of this impression (there are six states in total) as the publication details have been trimmed off. Nevertheless, the impression is richly inked and crisp showing very little, if any, wear suggesting that this is an early impression and no doubt a lifetime impression.
Bartsch 72 (1998: Part 2, Supplement) 7201.39; Nagler 1835–52, no. 228; Le Blanc, no. 204–09 ; Wurzbach, no. 106; Hollstein 1980, vol. 21, no. 231
 (see description of this print that is also trimmed to the borderline in Museum of San Francisco:

Condition: Crisp and strong impression of this extremely rare print in superb condition (i.e. there are no stains, holes, folds or foxing). The print is trimmed to the image borderline and on the back there are remnants of mounting hinges and a strip of reinforcing (?) paper at the top centre.

I am selling this print of the utmost rarity by Aegidius Sadeler (so rare in fact that even the British Museum does not possess a copy) for AU$534 in total (currently US$403.31/EUR360.93/GBP308.49 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this remarkably fresh early impression of an extremely rare print that is seldom (if ever) seen on the market, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

This is a print of exceptional rarity. It is part of a series of six landscapes of similar size that Aegidius Sadeler II executed after drawings by Roelant Savery.

From my standpoint, what makes this image particularly interesting is that it is a fine example of the notion that was current in the 16th century—and is possibly still current—of animism (i.e. the attribution of a living soul to plants, inanimate objects, and natural phenomena). For instance, artists often featured caves, chasms, natural rock arches and similar formations were the earth exposes a secondary world below the surface terrain. Going further, artists like Savery and Sadeler, leaned towards the insignificance of man compared to God’s handiwork in creating the landscape by ensuring that staffage figures were small in comparison to the surrounding landscape. As is also the case with landscape images at this time, the notion of vanitas (i.e. all things must pass/die) pervades the scene. Note, for example, that this scene is littered with broken old trees with fresh growth surrounding them—a visual code of symbolism that most folk at the time would have understood to mean that life is a continuum and nothing is permanent.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Piranesi’s etching of “Fragments of a pilaster and a column”

Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–78)
“Fragment of an ornamental pilaster with detail of a column found on the Tiber Island”, 1768-78, from the series, “Vasi, candelabri, cippi, sarcofagi ...” (Vases, candelabra, grave stones, sarcophagi)
Wilton-Ely (1994) advises: “The pilaster is in the Villa Medici; the column is in the Jenkins Collection” (p. 1003).

Etching on heavy laid paper attached to a washi archival support sheet
Size: (sheet) 70.4 x 48.6 cm; (plate) 66 x 41.5 cm
Lettered above or beside each fragment with the title and details of the provenance or ownership of the object. Lettered below the fragments with the dedication “All'Illustrissimo Signor Erdmansdorff Cavaliere Sassone amatore e seguace delle belle arti in atto d'Ossequio il Cavaliere Gio. Batt[ist]a Piranesi. D.D.D.”
Focillon 1918 638; Wilton-Ely 1994 925; Ficacci 2011 770

References: Lugi Ficacci (2011) “Piranesi: The complete Etchings”, 2 vols; Henri Focillon (1918), “GBP essai de catalogue raisonné”; John Wilton-Ely (1994), “GBP, the complete etchings”, 2 vols; AM Hind (1922), “G.B.Piranesi a critical study”, (cat. of Views of Rome); Andrew Robison (1986), “Piranesi, early architectural fantasies, a catalogue raisonné of the etchings”; see also the British Museum’s description of this print:

Condition: strong, well-inked impression. There are two large tears or either side of the central fold of the sheet but these have been stabilised/mended with an archival support sheet of fine washi paper (millennium quality). Beside these “mended” tears the sheet is in excellent condition (i.e. there are no stains, holes or foxing).

I am selling this stunning etching by GB Piranesi—one of the most famous printmakers of the 18th century—for AU$400 in total (currently US$302.36/EUR270.44/GBP230.36 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this superb, early impression, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

Few printmakers match the technical ability and sustained focus on portraying architectural ruins like the great 18th century master, GB Piranesi. Not only was he able to showcase the artefacts and views of ruins that he portrayed in a way where each feature could be examined in minute detail, but Piranesi was also able to portray them as if they were more than architectural renderings. To my eyes, his images seem to have an inexplicable aura of strength and grandeur about them. Arguably, this aura stems from the formal symmetry of his compositions, the rich oily-black of the ink or the proportional balance between the amount of drawing in the print to the area of untouched white paper—and the list of driving attributes could go on and on.

Regarding this particular print, Piranesi was a consummate seller of prints and even a trader in antique artefacts as well. At the time that he executed this print, his principal client, Clement XIII, had passed away in 1769 along with his Rezzonico patronage and he needed to ensure that his finances were secure. To shore up his financial standing, Piranesi embarked on an ethically questionable path: he made the classical antiquities that he was selling more desirable to passing foreigners by reconstructing them with odd fragments (i.e. he made them “better” from his personal viewpoint). Most interesting to me, in terms of questionable practices, he also dedicated his prints to potential clients in the hope that on seeing their name festooned on a print, the line of dedication would induce them to purchase the artefact depicted and—of course—an edition of the print bearing their name. This print, for instance, is dedicated to the “Illustrious Mr. Knight Erdmannsdorff Saxon lover and follower of Fine Arts …” 

As a side note regarding my personal fascination with Piranesi, I thought I might show a photo of a sculpture (reproduced on the left face of the book) that I made for a fish tank that once graced the end of my bed. This sculpture and the series of drawings of it (shown on the right) were directly inspired by Piranesi’s reconstruction of ancient ruins

For those who may be interested in the brown colour of the drawings, I used lemon juice as an ink which became a honey-brown once the drawings were heated.