Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Jan Collaert’s engraving, “The Parable of the Mote and the Beam”, after Ambrosius Francken, 1693


Jan Collaert I (aka Hans Collaert) (c.1525/30–1580)

“The Parable of the Mote and the Beam”, 1585, after Ambrosius Francken (c.1544–1618), from the series “Thesaurus Novi Testamenti elegantissimis iconibus expressus continens historias atque miracula do[mi] ni nostri Iesu Christi”, originally published by Gerard de Jode (1516/17–1591) and later by Claes Jansz. Visscher (1587–1652). This impression is from the second edition by Visscher (c.1606). (Note: my attribution of the date of publication by Visscher is based solely on when he commenced publishing.)

Engraving on fine laid paper with watermark and a line of hand-written text in ink by an old hand in the lower margin.
Size: (sheet) 27 x 32.6 cm; (plate) 27.7 x 19 cm; (image borderline) 20.8 x 27.5 cm
Lettered within the image borderline at the lower-left corner, “H.C.F”; numbered at the lower-right corner, “1” and lettered with “G” at the upper-left corner.
Lettered below the image borderline (left) “Non videmus mantice quod in tergo est.”; (right0 "[monogram for Claes Jansz. Visscher] excudebat. Luc. .6. 41."
State ii (of ii?) (Note: my attribution of this impression to the second state is based on the earlier Gerard de Jode edition having the different line of text: “Ipse trabem...nosse”

New Hollstein (Dutch & Flemish) 290.I (The Collaert Dynasty)

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“The parable of the mote and the beam. To left, a man with a mote in his eye, to right, a man with a beam in his eye; the man to right, trying to remove the mote from the eye of his neighbour; behind, to right, a herd of wild pigs.” http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1639966&partId=1&searchText=Hans+Collaert&page=2)

Condition: excellent impression with margins (varying but approximately 2 cm). The print is in good condition (i.e. there are no holes, abrasions or foxing) but there are signs of use (i.e. the sheet is not pristine and has few minor spots, marks, partly backed minimal tears at the edges and age toning). There is a line of hand-written text in ink by an old hand below the platemark.

I am selling this visually arresting print for the total cost of AU$157 (currently US$119.59/EUR105.17/GBP92.22 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this bizarre illustration of a parable, 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


I originally purchased this somewhat bizarre image because it exemplifies how an illustrator can take the words of a parable too literally. I must admit, I remember very well listening to a sermon when this parable was being addressed and I recall that the picture in my mind’s eye of having a beam in one’s eye sounded exactly like what is portrayed here. Being a sensible young boy at the time, however, I KNEW that the word “beam” was not meant to be the size of the squared-off log as shown here.

For those who may wish to read the parable in context, the following is Christ’s words:

“1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."

(Matthew 7:1-5 KJV (Matthew 7:1-5 other versions) Note that the lettered reference on this print, “Luc. .6.41”, is to the same/similar parable.







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