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Sunday 26 March 2017

Antonius Wierix’s engraving, “Jonah cast on shore by the fish”, 1585

Antonius Wierix (1555/1559–1604)
“Jonah cast on shore by the fish”, 1585, from a series of four plates (by the Wierix family) after Maarten de Vos (1532–1603), published by Gerard de Jode (1516/17–1591) in “Thesaurus Sacrarum Historiarum veteris testamenti, elegantissimis imaginabus expressum excellentissimorum in hac arte virorum opera: nunc primum in lucem editus” (Treasure holy history of the Old Testament elegant imaginabor expressed in this excellent works of art, now for the first time to light). The curator of the BM advises that the related drawings for the four plates are in the Musée du Louvre, Paris (Lugt 1968, 401-402).

Engraving with margins on fine laid paper lined on a conservator’s support sheet
Size: (sheet) 23.3 x 29.3 cm; (plate) 19.3 x 25.3 cm
Lettered beneath image in Latin: 'Euomit absorptum caeco de gutture caetus, Redditur et terre qui modo praeda fuit. Ionas Cap. 2. Anto. Wierinc fecit  3“.

Alvin 1866 112 (L. Alvin 1866, “Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre des trois frères Jan, Jérome et Antoine Wierix”, Brussels);Hollstein 160 (Maarten de Vos); Mauquoy-Hendrickx 1979 40 (Marie Mauquoy-Hendrickx 1978, ”Les Estampes des Wierix ... catalogue raisonné”, 4 vols., Brussels, Bibliotheque Royale Albert Ier);Hollstein 55.I (Wierix)

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Jonah cast on shore by the fish; a monstrous fish seen to left vomiting the unharmed Jonah on shore, to right; behind, a rocky landscape with a castle and other buildings” (

Condition: crisp and well-printed impression with margins and laid onto a conservator’s support sheet. There is a central crease mark and flattened fold marks at the upper right corner.  There are also small losses and repaired tears in the margins.

I am selling this exceptionally rare engraving by arguably the most famous of the Wierix family of engravers for the total cost of AU$378 (currently US$288.11/EUR266.91/GBP230.96 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this visually riveting print, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

For those unfamiliar with the story of Jonah, be advised that the Latin text lettered below the image may be unhelpful and misleading if one copies it into Google Translate: “'Virus has been absorbed dark throat assembly is returned to the earth which are now prey.” I must admit that I thought Jonah was swallowed by a whale rather than a “fish” but after consulting I found the relevant text in “Iona” (Jonah) (chapter 2), “Prayer for deliverance of Jonah” with no mention of a whale, again based on Google’s translation:

“1. God has commanded a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. 
2. Where the fish's belly Jonah prayed to the Lord his God, saying: 
3. "I Called Lord in my distress, and he heard me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried to him, and he hearkened to my voice! 
4. Thou hast cast into deep within the sea waves surrounded me; all your waves and your billows passed over me. 
5. and thought: thrown are before your eyes but you see the holy temple again thine 
6. the waters surrounded me on the whole, the deep surrounded me, sea grass coiled around my head 
7 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains, the earth bars were pulled on me forever, but you took my life from corruption, O Lord my God! 
8. When I finally my spirit to the Lord I remembered, and my prayer came to thee, in thy holy temple! 
9 Those who serve worthless idols despise Your grace; 
10. But I I will bring thee offerings voice of praise and all my promises will fulfil them, for salvation is of the Lord!
11. And the Lord commanded the fish and the fish threw up Jonah ashore!"

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