Gallery of prints for sale

Friday 10 March 2017

Benigno Bossi’s etched portrait of an elderly man, 1760

Benigno Bossi (1727–92)
“Portrait of a bearded man with cloth over his head”, 1760, plate 22 from the series, “Collection of heads created, drawn, and engraved by Benigno Bossi”
Etching on laid paper trimmed to the plate mark and mounted on card.
Size: (sheet) 12.7 x 10.2 xm
Inscribed: (upper left) “Beni[g]no Bossi Sculp. Parma 1760”; (upper right corner) “22”

Thieme-Becker Bd. IV, S. 405
Note: the Rijksmuseum has a copy of this print, but the description offered by the museum is for a different print as this is definitely not an aquatint (mistakes happen!) (see:

Condition: crisp impression trimmed at the platemarks and glued to card.

I am selling sensitive portrait that is worthy of close study, because of the wide range of marks used to render the face, for the total cost of AU$140 (currently US$105.08/EUR99.27/GBP86.46 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this small masterpiece executed in 1760, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

Usually biographical details about artists tend to put me to sleep, but not in the case of Bossi. When I read that Bossi was advised by Christian Wilhelm Ernst Dietrich (1712–74)—commonly referred to as “Dietericy”—to leave his former career as a stucco-plasterer to study engraving, I knew at once who was sitting inside Bossi’s head when he made this print. My "ah-ha" moment when reading about Dietericy’s influence on Bossi is all to do with the extensive range of different textural marks shown in this print: random squiggles overlaid with aligned parallel strokes in the background; wriggly crosshatched lines rendering the cloth hood; curved contour strokes describing the form of the neck; dots and random strokes representing intense light on the forehead (amongst other textural marks). Dietericy may be somewhat underrated as a printmaker—but not by me!—as he is more mimetic in his approach than stylistically unique. Nevertheless, Bossi’s approach to rendering this portrait reflects perfectly Dietericy’s fascination with surface textures and the sparkling effects of light.

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