Frederick Bloemaert (1610–69) after Abraham Bloemaert (1564–1651) from “Het Tekenboek” (Artistic drawing book)
“Plate 130: Study of three heads, one wearing a turban, and a hand”, 1650–56
Engraving on fine laid paper and margins as published.
Size: (sheet) 30.6 x 19.7 cm; (plate) 20 x 14.8 cm; (image borderline) 19.1 x 14.2 cm.
Inscribed in the lower-right corner with the plate number: “130”
Roethlisberger 1993; Hollstein 186–231 (Frederik Bloemaert); Hollstein 94–213 (prints after Abraham Bloemaert).
Condition: crisp and well-inked impression with full margins and binding holes on the left (as published). There is age-toning/darkening towards the edges, light surface dustiness, a few minor spots and signs of use such as light pencil marks from the former life of the print as a teaching aid; otherwise the sheet is in good condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, significant stains or foxing).
I am selling this spectacularly beautiful engraving showing the highest order of technical skill for [deleted] at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
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This print has been sold
This print is from one of the most famous and earliest instructional books on drawing designed for artists: “Het Tekenboek”, first published in the mid-1600s. I am uncertain which edition of the book this print is from, but clearly this is an early impression. The reason that I can arrive at such a determination is simple: the lines are crisp indicating that the printing plate is fresh (i.e. it has no sign of wear). Moreover, the paper has the tell-tale attribute of an early print: chain-lines (i.e. watermark-like lines which can be seen when laid paper is held up to a light revealing widely-spaced lines—the chain-lines—intersecting at 90 degrees with narrowly-spaced lines—the laid lines) signifying a paper created before machine-made paper (i.e. wove paper that was purportedly first manufactured in 1807).
Mindful that there are impressions in the reverse direction to the original designs, again, I am not certain if this is a mirror impression or not. What I am certain about is that this impression is engraved by the hand of a master showing exquisite use of cross-hatching, especially the famous “dotted lozenge”, in modelling light and shade in a fluid way.
Interestingly, the fluidity of this tonal treatment is a hallmark of the Utrecht Mannerists, like Hendrik Goltzius and Bartholomaus Spranger, who cast a strong influence over the Bloemaerts’ workshop. Of course, my judgement may be misguided and I look forward to comments from historians with information regarding the likely edition of this particular impression.
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