Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Lucas Vorsterman II’s etching, “Porta Suda Paleo in Candia” (the second version), c1665


Lucas Vorsterman II (1624– fl.1666)

Note: this print is VERY similar to the one shown in the previous post but close examination reveals distinct differences. In short, this impression is from a different plate.

“Porta Suda Paleo in Candia” (second version), c1665, after the design by Jan Peeters I (aka Johannes Peters) (1624–c1677), from the series of ten plates featuring Mediterranean islands, “Insula di Candia del Mare Mediteranea”, published by Jan Peeters I. This is a first state impression before lettering with the publication details.

Note: The BM advises that the publisher was the same as the designer of the composition (Jan Peeters I). This information may be incorrect and the publisher may be Jacobus Peeters (1637–95) instead who published the series in the third edition.

Etching on laid paper lined onto a support sheet of fine washi paper.
Size: (sheet) 19.5 x 29.1 cm; (plate) 11.5 x 27.7; (image borderline) 10.5 x 26.8 cm

Inscribed within the image borderline: (above the third mountain from the left) “Canca”; (right of centre) “Suda”.
Monogrammed within the image borderline at lower right corner: “VL”.
Lettered below the image borderline: (left) “Ioannes Peeters delineavit"; (centre) “Porta Suda Paleo in Candia.”; (right) "Lucas Vorstermans fecit."

State i (of iii?) My attribution of this print to the first state is based on the lettered details that match the first state impression held by the BM (no. F,1.121). I assume that as the previous print that I have listed was from the same series and it had three states that this print also has three states commensurate with the lettering of the different publishers.

Hollstein 44-53 (under Conrad Lauwers) (F W H Hollstein 1949, “Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts c.1450-1700”, Amsterdam); Hollstein 56.I

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“View of the harbour of Souda; battle scene with soldiers in a fort in left foreground firing cannons at the fleet of ships advancing rightwards, the Souda island in centre middleground, a row of ships seen at left, mountainous landscape in the background. c.1665” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3086844&partId=1&people=103947&peoA=103947-2-60&page=1)

Condition: richly inked and crisp impression in near pristine condition (but there is a tear in the margin on the left). The sheet has generous margins (possibly as published) and has been laid onto a conservator’s support sheet. There is a collector’s ink stamp at the lower right corner.

I am selling this spectacularly fine, pre-publication, lifetime impression of Vorsterman II’s etching from the mid-1600s of a battle scene in Crete for the total cost of AU$179 (currently US$140.91/EUR119.28/GBP106.18 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this marvellously detailed depiction of the naval battle in the harbour of Heraklion (Crete), 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 the previous discussion I mentioned that I thought (but wasn’t certain) that I had another version of Vorsterman’s naval battle at the port of Heraklion in Crete in the 17th century, well I did as can be seen here. Both prints are surprisingly similar but they are not prints from different states of the same printing plate. Close examination shows that they are offer different angles of view of the harbour and the features of the battle portrayed.








Monday, 16 October 2017

Lucas Vorsterman II’s etching, “Porta Suda Paleo in Candia”, c1665


Lucas Vorsterman II (1624– fl.1666)

“Porta Suda Paleo in Candia”, c1665, after the design by Jan Peeters I (aka Johannes Peters) (1624–c1677), from the series of ten plates featuring Mediterranean islands, “Insula di Candia del Mare Mediteranea”, published by Gaspar Huberti (aka Gaspar Huybrechts) (fl. 1685–1724) and later by Jacobus Peeters (1637–95). This impression is from the first state of the print before the published editions by Huberti and Peeters.

Etching on laid paper trimmed along the platemark and lined onto a support sheet of fine washi paper.
Size: (sheet) 11.7 x 27.4 cm; (image borderline) 10.5 x 26.8 cm
Inscribed within the image borderline: (centre of the left side) “Paleo”; (left of centre) “Canca” and “Suda”.
Monogrammed within the image borderline at lower left corner: “VL”.
Lettered below the image borderline: (left) “Ioannes Peeters delineavit"; (centre) “Porta Suda Paleo in Candia.”; (right) "Lucas Vorstermans fecit."

State i (of iii?) My attribution of this print to the first state is based on the lettered details that match the first state impression held by the BM (no. F,1.120) before the lettered production details of Gaspar Huberti (see BM no. 2AA+,a.43.82) and Jacobus Peeters (see BM no. 2AA+,a.43.80).

Hollstein 44-53 (Conrad Lauwers) (F W H Hollstein 1949, “Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts c.1450-1700”, Amsterdam); Hollstein 55.I; Landwehr 1970 82 (J Landwehr 1970, “Romeyn de Hooghe as book illustrator”, Amsterdam)

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“View of the harbour of Souda; a row of ships in foreground, the Souda island with the harbour at centre, a town ('Paleo') on a hill at left; mountainous landscape in the background.” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3086845&partId=1&searchText=vorsterman+porta+suda&page=1)

Condition: richly inked and crisp impression in near pristine condition. The sheet is trimmed along the platemark and has been laid onto a conservator’s support sheet.

I am selling this spectacularly fine, pre-publication, lifetime impression of Vorsterman II’s etching from the mid-1600s of a battle scene in Crete for the total cost of AU$179 (currently US$140.91/EUR119.28/GBP106.18 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this marvellously detailed depiction of the naval battle in the harbour of Heraklion (Crete) and, interestingly, shows cannon fire from the fortress of Paleo Castro—a place that I understand is now only in ruins—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


I’m presently experiencing one of those moments when my brain tells me one thing but reality tells me another. The issue for me right now is that I know—or rather I think that I know—that I have another variation of this same scene. Hopefully I can find it and feature it tomorrow night.

Regarding this image, what is missing in the BM’s account of what is featured here is far more than “a row of ships in foreground, the Souda island with harbour at centre” (see BM no. F,1.120). What is REALLY going on here is a battle in the harbour of Heraklion in Crete. On the left, the fortifications at Paleo Castro (inscribed, “Paleo”) are enlivened with puffs of smoke from the cannons firing on the attacking ships which are clearly responding with their own puffs of cannon smoke. From what I understand (based on information gleaned from http://www.cretanbeaches.com), the Fort of Paleo Castro was originally built by the Venetians to protect the harbour. Interesting the fort was soon abandoned and was in ruins well before 1668, according to the Turkish traveller Evliya Celebi (1611–82). This means that Vorsterman II’s etching which was executed circa 1665 shows the final days of the old fort.













Sunday, 15 October 2017

Pieter Rodermondt’s etching, “Johannes Secundus Hagiensis”, 1639–43


Pieter Rodermondt (aka Peeter Rodtermondt; Peter Rottermond; Peeter Rottermondt; Piete Rodermondt) (fl. 1639–1706 or a little after)

“Johannes Secundus Hagiensis”, 1639–43. Portrait of the Neo-Latin poet and numismatist (1511–36) (aka Janus Secundus; Johannes Everaert).

Etching and engraving on fine laid paper trimmed along the platemark.
Size: (sheet) 16.5 x 14.3 cm; (image borderline) 15.7 x 13.9 cm
Inscribed within the image borderline at lower left: “Rodermont / fecit"
Lettered below the image borderline at centre: “IOHNNES SECVNDVS HAGIENSIS. / Poeta"
State iii (with the addition of the artist’s signature). For a first state impression see BM no. 1865,0708.102

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Portrait of the poet Joannes Secundus with short dark beard, half-length slightly turned to the left, wearing a doctoral cloak and a necklace, on his head a cap decorated with a pearl band, holding a paper in his right hand and touching his chest with his left hand, a patterned curtain beyond at right; third state with signature”

Hollstein 11.III (F W H Hollstein 1949,”Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts c.1450-1700”, Amsterdam; Rovinski 1894 77.79.II (Dmitri Rovinski 1894, “L'oeuvre gravé des élèves de Rembrandt”, St Petersburg); Bartsch-Claussin 1797–1828 II.137.79 (Adam von Bartsch 1797, “Catalogue raisonné de toutes les estampes de Rembrandt” (plus Supplement), 2, Vienna and Paris)

Note: there is a deceptive copy of this print made by William Young Ottley (1771–1836)  in 1828 (Hollstein 11 [copy]) which may be distinguished from the original (this impression) by the shape of the triangular shadow pattern on the upper left (see http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3284153&partId=1&searchText=1880,0807.93&page=1)

Condition: richly inked impression showing areas of wear in the printing plate addressed by light retouching. The print is trimmed along the platemark and there is (old) restoration of the lower left corner where there is a replenished loss. The sheet has minor handling marks appropriate to the age of the print, remnants of earlier mounting (verso) and thin areas (visible verso).

I am selling this marvellously evocative portrait executed in the early 1600s of a Renaissance poet cast in a dramatic pose and in theatrical lighting (chiaroscuro) for the total cost of AU$198 (currently US$156.47/EUR132.33/GBP117.76 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this remarkable early portrait of a poet—an absolutely stunning portrait seldom seen on the market although copies of it abound—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


Although there are translations of the texts written by Dutch humanist poet, Janus Secundus Nicolai Hagiensis, currently available (e.g. Paul Murgatroyd’s translation [2000], “The Amatory Elegies of Johannes Secundus” and Gale Ecco’s [2010], “Kisses: A poetical translation …”), I must admit that I haven’t read any of his texts. Arguably, this should exclude me from making pithy comments about poets at the time that this etching was executed. Sadly, I feel duty bound to offer a few insights regardless.

As a starting point, I will begin with written texts of Leonardo da Vinci—simply because my cook is presently reading what seems to be an interesting tangential account about him in Dianne Hales’ (2014), “Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered.” 

At the time of Leonardo, if one were to be born illegitimate—as is the case with Leonardo—then the choice of which university one could attend was limited, as one was not permitted to attend ANY university. Essentially if you were illegitimate your life was to be spent ignorant of the words of the great scholars simply because you would not be trained to read and speak Latin: the key hallmark of a “good education”. Leonardo could do neither. Another hallmark of a “good education” during the Renaissance was that EVERYONE (or everyone as far as I am aware) had to write as a right-hander. Again, Leonardo “failed” on this account of being “well educated” as he was very proficient at writing with his left hand.

With regard to texts written by Renaissance scholars, such as those by Hagiensis (which I repeat that I haven’t read), there was a leaning to move away from classical Latin, which I understand was somewhat restricted to the ecclesiastical domain, to a fresh use of Latin and the formation of new words termed “Neo-Latin”.

When I look at this portrait of Hagiensis, mindful that he would be trained as a scholar to be right-handed, I love the idea that he is holding a page of his poetry in the left-hand thus leaving his right hand free for the business of writing. From a very personal standpoint, what I also love about this portrait is that he is portrayed midway between a contextual duality of two extremes: the hard geometry of the vertical corner of a room on his right side and the soft curves of a curtain on his left.






Saturday, 14 October 2017

Adolphe Appian’s etching, “Bords du Ruisseau à Rossillon (Ain)”, 1867


Adolphe Appian (1818–98)
“Bords du Ruisseau à Rossillon (Ain)” (Banks of the Stream at Rossillon [Ain]), 1867, from the series of 30 plates, "Paysages avec animaux". This impression is from the second state (of five) and was published in “L’Artiste” (The Artist) in May, 1867. The print was later published again in “L’Illustration Nouvelle” (Year 5) in May, 1873.

Etching on light grey chine collé on wove paper
Size: (sheet) 17.8 x 26.9; (plate) 13.8 x 23.2 cm; (image borderline) 11.9 x 22 cm
Inscribed at the upper left corner: “APPIAN 1867
State ii (of v)
Jennings 21; Curtis & Prouté 24ii
See description of this print at University of Michigan Museum of Art: http://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/musart/x-1997-sl-1.274/*   and at http://www.oldmasterprint.com/appian3.htm

Condition: faultless richly inked and well-printed early impression (2nd state of 5) with small margins in near pristine condition, but there is a light fold on the right side and pencil inscriptions (verso).

I am selling this rare museum quality early impression of what I see as an absolute gem in Appian’s oeuvre as an artist associated with the influential Barbizon school for the total cost of AU$182 (currently US$143.83/EUR121.64/GBP108.24 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this visually unassuming but graphically memorable etching by one of the major printmakers of the 19th century, 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 a print that printmakers are very likely to love. It shows a masterly balance between of areas of high energy, such as the web-like treatment of the tree’s foliage on the right that I read as an analogue representation of the artist’s inner personal nervous energy, and broad areas of visual understatement, such as the almost mark-free treatment of the sky which on close examination reveals Appian’s skill in describing clouds with the lightest of strokes so that they become mere suggestions of clouds.

Beyond the attraction of this print with its exhibition of a highly refined sense of aesthetic balance between “worked” and “unworked” areas (i.e. areas where there is a lot of drawing and areas where there isn’t), I also love Appian’s ability to achieve blacks within blacks. What I mean by this strange comment is that he is one of the few artists that can almost match the ability of Frans Hals to represent 50 shades of black in an image. Of course, what I am saying is an exaggeration, but the point here is that he is such a subtle artist that close examination of each centimetre of a print like this small masterpiece is rewarding.






Friday, 13 October 2017

An interpretative etching after Angelica Kauffman’s painting, “Lodovica Hammond” (aka “Louisa Hammond”), c1781



A pair of interpretative etchings executed using different techniques after Angelica Kauffman’s (aka Angelica Maria Catherine Kauffman; Maria Anna Angelika Catharina Kauffman; sometimes misspelt Angelica Kauffmann) (1741–1807) painting, “Lodovica Hammond” (aka “Louisa Hammond”), c1781.

The attribution of the date is based on a stipple etching by Francesco Bartolozzi held in the Rijksmuseum of the same composition dated in the plate: 15 Sept. 1781 (see http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.collect.75292).

Note: although I am not aware of the present whereabouts of the painting by Kauffman (if anyone can help that would be marvellous) I assume that the design of the two prints is based on a painting because of the inscription on the plate: “Angelica Kauffman pinxit" (i.e. Kauffman painted the original composition).


J. Louis. L. *** (the name of the engraver inscribed on the plate) possibly
Louis-Joseph Le Lorrain (1715–60) or Louis Legrand (aka Louis Claude Legrand; Louis Le Grand) (1723–1807)

“Lodovica Hammond”, the British Museum proposes a date between 1781 and 1873, after Angelica Kauffman.

Etching and stipple/dot engraving in red-brown coloured ink on laid paper with small margins lined onto a support sheet of fine washi paper.
Size: (sheet) 39.7 x 30.8 cm; (plate) 38 x 29.2 cm
Lettered below the image borderline: (left) “Angelica Kauffman pinxit"; (centre in three lines) “Lodovica Hammond / If mio Fratello é Vostro Amico è dunque partito (Google transl. from Italian: “If my brother is your friend then he left”) / Vedette, Emma Corbell, ower [.], de Miserie delle Civili Guerre. Lettera XXXIII me di, S. I. Pratt.” (Google transl. from Italian: “He saw, Emma Corbell, ower[.], of Misery of Civil Wars. Letter XXXIII with, S. I. Pratt."); (right) “J. Louis L. *** Sculp.”

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“A woman writing in a landscape, sitting on a stone ledge and leaning on a board in her lap, an inkwell in her left hand, with a dog curled up alsleep [sic] in the foreground, mountains in the distance; oval design; after Kauffman Etching and engraving”

Alexander 1992 110 (after) (David Alexander 1992, “Chronological checklist of singly issued English prints after Angelica Kauffman”)

Condition: crisp impression in marvellous condition for its age (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, abrasions or significant stains) with small margins (varying slightly in size but approximately 7 mm) and laid onto a conservator’s support sheet.

I am selling this very beautiful example of line and stipple engraving printed in red-brown ink in a combined sale with the mezzotint and etching printed in black ink for the total cost for the pair of prints of AU$186 (currently US$146.76/EUR123.67/GBP110.26 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this pair of related prints after a painting by one the major female artists of the 18th century, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This pair of prints have been sold







D.P. (the initials of the engraver inscribed on the plate) (active in the late 18th century)

“Louisa Hammond”, late 18th century, after Angelica Kauffman.

Mezzotint and etching on laid paper trimmed to the edge of the oval image borderline and lined onto a support sheet of fine washi paper.
Size: 37.7 x 25.9 cm
Lettered below the image borderline: (left) “Angelica Kauffman pinxit / My Brother and your Friend, then, is gone?” "; (centre) “LOUISA HAMMOND.”; (right) “DP fc / Mon Frére et votre Ami est donc parti!”

Condition: richly inked impression trimmed within the image borderline on the left and right sides with a red collector’s stamp at the lower centre of the margin. There is light watercolour retouching in the image and margin of blue ink stains and abrasions, otherwise the print is in good condition.

I am selling this very beautiful print in a combined sale with the stipple etching shown previously for the total cost for the pair of prints of AU$186 (currently US$146.76/EUR123.67/GBP110.26 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this pair of related prints after a painting by one the major female artists of the 18th century, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.







Although worldly wise and tough spirited viewers may wince at the saccharine coating of social politeness expressed by the subject of these two prints, the reason that I chose to share these prints is not really about the subject at all. Instead my interest is all about the subtle shift in meanings projected by the different techniques employed—etching and engraving in the print on the left and etching and mezzotint in the print on the right.

Before I propose how I perceive this shift in the interpretative translation of a painting into the graphic medium of print, I had better offer a few insights into Kauffman’s vision of genteel feminine charm underpinning this composition featuring a glamorously dressed and unchaperoned young lady from the Louis XVI period engaged in the multi-tasking activity of writing a letter with a goose feather while simultaneously balancing a writing board on her knee and holding an inkpot.

Perhaps the essence of Kauffman’s vision may be summed up by her original career choice to be a painter-printmaker rather than pursuing a career in the opera: Kauffman chose to be an artist because she was advised by her priest that the opera “was a dangerous place filled with ‘seedy people’” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angelica_Kauffman). (My apologies to opera folk!) What I am implying by mentioning her decision to be a visual artist is that Kauffman’s mindset was geared at a very fundamental way towards social politeness and inoffensive charm. In short, her composition here is flavoured with the same sweet tastes.

Mindful that the two prints are designed to showcase the social niceties of Kauffman’s vision, I see a conceptual gap separating the way that these prints express the same meaning. In the print on the left, the use of stippled dots gives a pictorial lightness and airiness to the scene. By comparison, the densely worked surface of the mezzotint shading of the print on the right draws attention to the physical attributes of the portrayed subject: the surface sheen and transparency of fabric and lace, the solidity of the tree limbs and, importantly, the spot lit effect of the figure set against a dark background. Going further, the colour of ink chosen for each print also helps to articulate the difference of meanings expressed. In the left print, the red-brown adds the dimensional of otherworldliness matching the expression of transcendent lightness of the stippled lines. By contrast, the warm greys of the right print complements the feeling of solid tangible reality suggested by the mezzotint modelling.


Thursday, 12 October 2017

Antonio Tempesta’s etching, “Lion Hunt”, 1609


Antonio Tempesta (1555?–1630)
“Lion Hunt”, 1609, plate 6 from the series, “Hunting Scenes VI”, published by Callisto Ferranti (fl1626-47)

Etching on laid paper trimmed along the platemark
Size: (sheet) 10.8 x 28.4 cm; (image borderline) 18.8 x 28.1 cm
Inscribed with what I assume to be the artist’s name, “ANT-TEM”, along the blade of the sword worn by the figure on the rearing horse at right.
State before the inscribed plate number “VI” featured at lower left on the plate held by the BM (?).

The British Museum offers the following description of the numbered plate:
“Plate 6, a hunter on a rearing horse at right watches a lion hunt at the left. 1609 Etching” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1496757&partId=1&searchText=tempesta+lion+hunt&page=1)

TIB 37(17).1145 (167) (Walter L Struss & Sebastian Buffa (eds.) 1984, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Antonio Tempesta; Italian Masters of the Sixteenth Century”, vol. 37 (Formerly volume 17 [Part 4]); Bartsch XVII.167.1145 (Adam Bartsch 1803, “Le Peintre graveur”, 21 vols, Vienna)

Condition: excellent impression trimmed along the platemark showing the image borderline and narrow/thread margins. The sheet is in excellent condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, stains, abrasions or foxing) with remnants of mounting (verso).

I am selling this marvellous and exemplary image of the Mannerist spirit of the early 1600s epitomising Tempesta’s love of rearing horses and scenes of melee for the total cost of AU$204 (currently US$159.60/EUR134.59/GBP120.63 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this visually arresting image from the beginning of the 1600s 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 print has me fascinated. In one sense it has all the hallmarks of being a pre-publication proof impression, in that it doesn’t feature the number “VI” of the edition published by Ferranti and the impression doesn’t exhibit the telltale signs of plate wear. Nevertheless, the impression is not as strong as I would normally expect of a print pulled from a near virgin plate.

One explanation for this anomaly is that the Italian printmakers tend to prefer slightly grey, carbon-based inks rather the richer, mineral blacks of the German printmakers—attributes that is often seen when comparing Italian and German ink drawings—and the silvery greys preferred by the Netherlandish printmakers. Another explanation and one that is likely to lead me into “big trouble” is that the early Italian printmakers are not noted for exhibiting the same degree of care in pulling prints as their northern neighbours; hence, the impression is slightly over-wiped and dull.

A completely different explanation, and one that I would love to be true, is all about the unseemly practice of early publishers to adulterate plates (i.e. the practice of “refreshing” plates by erasing details of later states so that “doctored” late impressions would seem like early proof states before publication). For those interested in the unseemly practices of dealers in the 1500s, I recommend reading the very interesting catalogue with contributions by Clay Dean, Theresa Fairbanks and Lisa Pon (1999), “Changing Impressions: Marcantonio Raimondi and Sixteenth-Century Print Connoisseurship” published by Yale University Art Gallery. The revelations that these writers offer are amazing.