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Thursday 9 November 2017

Johannes Wierix’s engraving, “The five heavenly warriors in the war against Timotheus”, 1585, after Gerard Groenning

Johannes Wierix (aka Jan Wierix) (1539–1620)
“The five heavenly warriors in the war against Timotheus” (BM title) / “L’intervention céleste au cours de la bataille contre Timothée” (Google Transl.The heavenly intervention during the battle against Timothy”) (Mauquoy-Hendrickx title), 1585, after Gerard Groenning (fl.1550–1599), published by Gerard de Jode (1516/17–1591), from the series of 8 plates, “Histoire ders Machabées” (Mauquoy-Hendrickx title) Note: the British Museum offers the following title which may be more of a general title for the collective of many small series of the Old Testament plates rather than the title for this specific series of eight plates: “Thesaurus Sacrarum Historiarum veteris testamenti, elegantissimis imaginabus expressum excellentissimorum in hac arte virorum opera: nunc primum in lucem editus” (Google Transl. “Treasure holy history of the Old Testament elegant imaginabor expressed in this excellent works of art, now for the first time to light”)

Engraving on laid paper with small margins and lined onto a conservator’s support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 21.8 x 30.5 cm; (plate) 20.2 x 29.2 cm
Lettered beneath the image borderline in with two lines of Latin text with the first word abraded: “[Machabeo] pugnanti...defendant/Machab: 2.cap.10.”
Numbered below the image borderline at left: “7”.
Note: only two plates in this series of eight engravings are signed: Plate 2 and Plate 8.

Mauquoy-Hendrickx 52 (Marie Mauquoy-Hendrickx 1978, “Les Estampes Des Wierix”, vol. 1, [ref.] pp. 7-8, [Illustr.] p. 5); Hollstein 68.I (Wierix) (F W H Hollstein 1949, “Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts c.1450-1700”, Amsterdam)

Condition: crisp, well-printed, slightly silvery impression with small margins. The sheet is laid onto a support sheet of fine washi paper. The lower left corner has an additional strip of paper and is slightly abraded otherwise the sheet is in very good condition (i.e. there are no holes, folds, stains or foxing).

I am selling this masterpiece of early engraving for the total cost of AU$286 (currently US$219.61/EUR189.48/GBP167.51 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this exemplary image of the Baroque period style, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy. 

This print has been sold

Although Johannes Wierix was a wild man in terms of being a disorderly drunk who had a penchant for upsetting his employer by “losing” himself at the local tavern and by pawning his engraving tools, he was also a divine engraver as may be seen in this masterpiece of Baroque composition. No doubt the wild nature of the man is unambiguously captured in the complex layering of rhythms seen here. What I find particularly interesting about the portrayed turmoil is that there are very few (if any) flat surfaces in this image.

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