Tuesday, 17 January 2017

engraving after Raphael Sadeler’s “Saint John the Hermit”


Unidentified 17th century engraver
“Saint John the Hermit”, 17th century engraving in reverse after the engraving of the same title by Raphael Sadeler I (1560/61–1628/32) , from the series,Trophæum Vitæ Solitariæ” (see also “Oraculum, Anachoreticum ...”), after a drawing in the Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin (inv. 79B17, pl. 13), by Maarten de Vos (aka Marteen de Vos; Marten de Vos; Maerten de Vos) (1532–1603) published by Jean Leclerc IV (aka Jean Le Clerc) (1560–1621/22)

Engraving on fine laid paper with margins and lined on a conservator’s support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 18.9 x 23.5; (plate) 15.4 x 19.1 cm
Inscribed within the image at lower right: “I. Le Clerc excud”
Lettered within the text box with two columns of Latin: "Dæmone quam ... humo". Numbered below centre "15".

The British Museum offers the following description of Raphael Sadeler I’s engraving of which this is a copy in reverse:
“St Joannis, with long hair and beard, crawling from a hole in the side of a rocky mountain with two dogs sniffing around nearby; at the mouth of the hole are some vegetables; beyond are two hunters with their dogs; plate 15; after Maarten de Vos. 1598” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1548811&partId=1&searchText=de+Vos&page=2)

Bartsch (2006) 7101.121C3 (vol. 71 Part 1 [Supplement], p. 168); Hollstein 1039 (Maarten de Vos); Hollstein 139

Condition: excellent impression with margins in good condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, stains or foxing but there are very light surface marks) lined on a support sheet of fine washi paper.

I am selling this fascinating engraving for the total cost of AU$147 (currently US$110.79/EUR103.59/GBP90.45 at the time of posting this print) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this beautifully executed engraving featuring two superbly drawn dogs, 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


Saint John (aka St Joannis) the Hermit died in c.881. For those who may be unfamiliar with this saint, he was sadly separated from his holy companions who had retired to Azogires in Crete (with advice from God), but found a way to catch up with them (with advice from God) by placing his coat on the sea and floated to his friends supported on their prayers. Upon arrival, St John retreated to a cave in the neighbourhood of Koukoustiana. From my understanding, this cave was not entirely suitable and after seeing a vision of the holy plane-tree he moved to a fresh cave at Akrotiri in Gouverneto. Here he performed the miracle of turned two snakes inside his cave into stone.

This print illustrates St John’s final days in his cave when he was too old to walk and had to crawl on all fours. As this scene is about to unfold, St John's evening meal is to be disturbed when he is shot with an arrow by a farmer who mistook him for a predatory animal. The farmer, after realising his mistake, sought St John’s forgiveness, and was forgiven on the proviso that he tells his holy companions that he is dying and that they must die too. Interestingly, when the farmer goes to fulfil his duty of telling the holy fathers that they must die he discovers that they had already died earlier in the day.







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