Saturday, 17 June 2017

Stefano della Bella’s etching of two camels and a pyramid, c.1641


Stefano della Bella (1610–64)
“Two camels, a seated figure and a pyramid” (descriptive title only), c.1641, plate 18 from the series of 24 plates featuring various animals, “Diversi Animali”, published either in 1772 by Pierre François Basan (1723–1797) Paris or in 1818 by HR Young (fl.c.1820).

Note that the curator of the British Museum advises that the series, “Diversi Animali” was “thought by De Vesme [see Alexandre De Vesme’s catalogue raisonné, “Stefano della Bella”, revised by Phyllis D Massar, 1971] to date to c.1648, the series appears to actually date from c.1641 as it is mentioned in an inventory of that year” (see curator’s comment for BM number 1871,0513.560).

Etching on fine laid paper trimmed at the platemark and lined onto a conservator’s support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 8.8 x 10.9 cm
Lettered below image with production detail: "S. della Bella fecit Cum privil."
State iii (of iii).

Regarding the states, the curator of the BM advises that there “are three states of this series: first, without lettering, second with the address of Mariette and third, with the name of Mariette erased and some retouching” (see BM number 1871,0513.560). I understand that there were two editions published in the third state of this print. The first was the 1772 Pierre François Basan edition when he owned the plates and the second was the H.R. Young edition of 1818 (see Alexandre de Vesme’s catalogue raisonné, revised by Phyllis Dearborn Massar (1971), “Stefano della Bella”, pp. 201–02).

De Vesme/Massar 1971 707.III; Charles Antoine Jombert 1772 Cat 140-18

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Plate 18; camel standing, seen from behind, with another camel standing behind to right and a man seated on the ground, and a pyramid behind to left. c.1641” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1498329&partId=1&searchText=della+bella+camel&page=1); see also the description of the print at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/377027

Condition: crisp and well-printed impression, trimmed along the platemark. The sheet is in excellent condition and has been laid onto a conservator’s support sheet of millennium quality washi paper.

I am selling this remarkable etching by one of the famous old master printmakers of the late Renaissance/Mannerist period for AU$152 (currently US$115.76/EUR103.63/GBP90.65 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this rare early illustration of a camels near a pyramid, with the camel in the foreground clearly in need of a good drink—based on my reading of its deflated water tanks/humps—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






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