Sunday, 2 July 2017

Philips Galle’s engraving, “Elephant Hunt” after Jan van der Straet, 1578


Philips Galle (aka Philippe Galle; Philippus Gallaeus) (1537–1612)

“Elephant Hunt”, 1578 (published 1596), from the series of 43 engravings published by Galle in “Venationes Ferarum, Avium, Piscium” dedicated to Cosimo de Medici, after Jan van der Straet (aka Joannes Stradanus) (1523–1605). The curator of the British Museum advises that the number of plates was increased to a total of 104 plates when prints by A. Collaert, J. Collaert, C. Galle I and C. de Mallery were added in the second edition (1634) dedicated to the jurist Henricus van Osthoorn en Sonnevelt (see http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1619537&partId=1&searchText=Venationes+Ferarum%2C+Avium%2C+Piscium+stradanus&page=1 and A. Baroni and M. Sellink 2012, “Stradanus 1523-1605: Court artist of the Medici”, exh.cat. Groeningemuseum Brugge 2008-2009, Turnhout, pp.245–58, cat.nos.32–49).

Engraving on fine laid paper, trimmed along the platemark and lined with a conservator’s support sheet.
Size: (irregularly trimmed sheet) 21.9 x 31 cm; (plate) 20.1 x 30.2 cm
Inscribed within image on tusk: “Iohan Stra. inuen.”
Lettered below the image: “Sic fossis...cuspidis ictu.”

State i (of ii) (?) (Note: The second edition is numbered at lower-left below the image borderline with the plate number “5.” This impression has restoration at the lower-left corner and I am uncertain whether the number was inscribed or not. Based on information from the Rijksmuseum [http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.114973], the number “2” shown in the line of text refers to the plate number in first edition of 43 prints and so I wish to propose that this impression is from the first edition/state and as such it is a lifetime impression—which the crisp quality of the print suggests.)

New Hollstein (Dutch & Flemish) 422.III (Johannes Stradanus); New Hollstein (Dutch & Flemish) 520.IV (Philips Galle); Baroni Vannucci 1997 693.5 (Alessandra Baroni Vannucci 1997, “Jan van der Straet, detto Giovanni Stradano, flandrus pictor et inventor”, Milan, Jandi Sapi Editori)
The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Plate 5, Elephant Hunt; in the foreground, two elephants are surrounded by men on horseback who target the animals with their spears; beyond other huntsmen chase a herd of elephants” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1619642&partId=1&searchText=Jan+van+der+Straet+&page=2 )

Condition: crisp, lifetime impression (see explanation above) trimmed along the platemark and with signs of restoration; notably the two lower corners and the left edge have been replenished. The print is laid onto support sheets of conservator’s fine washi paper.

I am selling this exceptionally rare, museum-quality engraving from the late 1500s for a total cost of AU$256 (currently US$196.75/EUR172.36/GBP151.17 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this important print from the Baroque Age, 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


To set this print into a timeline for what was happening in the world when it was executed:

- Francis Drake circumnavigated the globe in his ship, “The Golden Hind”;
- William Harvey discovered how blood circulated our bodies;
- Martin Frobisher sailed to Canada and mined fool's gold used to pave streets in London;
-  Michelangelo finished painting “The Last Judgement” in the Sistine Chapel just 37 years earlier;
- Leonardo’s “La Gioconda” (aka “Mona Lisa”) was—arguably—finished 72 years earlier.

Perhaps more significant than all of the above, this marvellous print was executed during the rise of Baroque Age that was later tempered by the vision of Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640). Why I mention Rubens in this timeframe should not be too surprising as the composition of the engraving with its spiralling rhythms and radiating lines created by the lances has the hallmarks of Ruben’s most famous hunting scenes—“Hippopotamus and Crocodile Hunt” (1615–16); “Wolf and Fox Hunt” (c.1616); “Wild-Boar Hunt” (1618–20); “The Lion Hunt” (1621).







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