Thursday, 9 February 2017

Two illustrations by Dirk Stoop for "The Fables of Aesop"


Dirk Stoop (aka Rodrigo Stoop; Thierry Stoop; Theodorus Stoop) (1610–c.1686)
“Plate 68: Jupiter and the Ass”, 1665, from a series of twenty-four illustrations for John Ogilby's (1600–76) "The Fables of Aesop" (London: 1665)

Size: (sheet) 26.6 x 18 cm; (plate) 25.9 x 17.3 cm; (image borderline) 22.3 x 16.5 cm
Signed within image at lower left: "R. Stoop f."; numbered in the lower right corner: "68".
Weigel 1843 162.48 (Rudolph Weigel 1843, “Suppléments au Peintre-Graveur de Adam Bartsch”, Vol.I, Leipzig, Rudolph Weigel); Hollstein 57 (F W H Hollstein 1949, “Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts c.1450-1700”, Amsterdam); Dutuit 1881-5 VI.329.48 (E Manuel Dutuit 1805, “de l'Amateur d'Estampes”, 4 vols, Paris)

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Plate 68: Jupiter and the Ass. An ass being loaded with hides by his master in foreground, a tanner preparing hides at right, the same ass carrying bottles in background, Jupiter in top right, a walled garden in left background; large empty lower margin; soiled plate; illustration to John Ogilby's "The Fables of Aesop" (London: 1665) Etching” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3101494&partId=1&searchText=dirk+stoop&images=true&page=1)

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco offers the following information about this print:
“Illustration for Fable 68, Of Jupiter and the Ass, opposite page 171 in the book The Fables of Aesop Paraphras'd in Verse...by John Ogilby (London: Thomas Roycroft, 1665); [bound with] Aesopicus or a Second Collection of Fables...(London: Thomas Roycroft, 1668), and incomplete portions of Androcleus (n.d.) and The Ephesian Matron [London:1666]” (https://art.famsf.org/dirk-stoop/illustration-fable-68-jupiter-and-ass-opposite-page-171-book-fables-aesop-paraphrasd)

Condition: excellent impression with narrow margins. There are pencil and ink notes by a previous collector (verso); otherwise the sheet is in near pristine condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, losses, foxing or stains).

I am selling this superb quality etching for the total price of AU$142 (currently US$108.37/EUR101.63/GBP86.23 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this marvellous 17th century illustration to "The Fables of Aesop", 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




Dirk Stoop (aka Rodrigo Stoop; Thierry Stoop; Theodorus Stoop) (1610–c.1686)
“Plate 70: The same Ass and his lion's skin”, 1665, from a series of twenty-four illustrations for John Ogilby's (1600–76) "The Fables of Aesop" (London: 1665)

Size: (sheet) 26.4 x 18.2 cm; (plate) 25.7 x 17.5 cm; (image borderline) 22 x 16.7 cm
Signed within image at lower left: "R. Stoop f."; numbered in the lower right corner: "70".
Weigel 1843 163.50 (Rudolph Weigel 1843, “Suppléments au Peintre-Graveur de Adam Bartsch”, Vol.I, Leipzig, Rudolph Weigel); Hollstein 59 (F W H Hollstein 1949, “Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts c.1450-1700”, Amsterdam); Dutuit 1881-5 VI.329.50 (E Manuel Dutuit 1805, “de l'Amateur d'Estampes”, 4 vols, Paris)

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Plate 70: The same Ass and his lion's skin. An ass wearing a lion's skin in foreground, his master standing next to him with a club, dead or wounded horses and city walls in background; large empty lower margin; illustration to John Ogilby's "The Fables of Aesop" (London: 1665) Etching” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3101544&partId=1&searchText=dirk+stoop&images=true&page=1)

Condition: excellent impression with narrow margins. There are pencil and ink notes by a previous collector (verso); otherwise the sheet is in near pristine condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, losses, foxing or stains).

I am selling this superb quality etching for the total price of AU$142 (currently US$108.37/EUR101.63/GBP86.23 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this marvellous 17th century illustration to "The Fables of Aesop", 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




When discussing an illustrator’s craft from the standpoint of how they composed an image, such as this pair of etched illustrations, I usually find myself drawn into the role of the devil’s advocate in discussing the shortfalls rather than those elements that work successfully. After all, I assume that the virtues of a well-crafted image are usually self-evident and weaknesses should be exposed, but this may not be the most helpful approach. Mindful of this dreadful leaning to see problems rather than successes, I have resolved to only find positive things to say about these prints by Dirk Stoop.

As a way ahead on my mission, I am applying a few tried and tested principles of illustration to clarify Stoop’s achievements.

The first principle to a good illustration is to ensure that the image is free of irrelevant features. This approach of cleansing an image of unnecessary information helps a viewer to see clearly and to focus on what is pictorially important. In both of these prints I can say unequivocally that everything portrayed serves a purpose in projecting the point of the illustration.

The second principle is to find an appropriate angle of view that helps to contextualise the incident portrayed. To ensure that the viewer not only sees the interaction between the figures and donkeys, Stoop has raised the angle of view to encompass a broad expanse of incidents occurring beyond the subjects of primary interest in the foreground.

The third principle is to choose the “right” moment to in a sequence of events to be illustrated. Regarding Stoop’s choice of “frozen” moment here, I wish to propose that these images are like a pendant pair in that both focus attention on a moment of interaction between man and donkey wherein the action of the man is pregnant with potential for future movement and a trace of what has happened in their interaction a second before.

Of course, the list of principles with which to evaluate an illustration is extensive but I hope that the few rules that I have briefly examined here help to show the 17th century craft behind Stoop’s illustrations. 

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