Friday, 1 December 2017

Aegidius Sadeler II’s engraving, " View of a Town with a Wooden Cross on an Arcade”, c1600


Aegidius Sadeler II (aka Gillis Sadeler; Egidius Sadeler; Ægedius Sadeler) (c1570–1629)

"View of a Town with a Wooden Cross on an Arcade” (TIB title), 1600–1610, plate 6 in the series, “Eight Bohemian Landscapes”, published by Aegidius Sadeler II and Marco Sadeler with imperial court privilege (as inscribed on the plate), after a lost drawing by Pieter Stevens II (c1567–1624).

Etching and engraving on fine laid paper with small margins.
Size: (sheet) 17.2 x 25.8 cm; (plate) 16.7 x 25.3 cm; (image borderline) 15.3 x 24.9 cm
Lettered on the plate below the image borderline: (left) “Pet. Stephani Inuent:/ Marco Sadeler excudit.”; (right) “Eg. Sadeler excud Pragæ/ Cum Priuil S.C. Maӱ:”
State iii (of iv)

TIB 1997 7201.277 S3 (vol. 72, Part 2, Supplement, p. 81); Hollstein 1980, vol. 21, no. 268

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“A wooden cross on an old arch at right, with sun-rays shining through the arch, travellers in foreground, a monk carrying a basket out of a ramshackled shed at centre, a road with a chariot at left, a church on a hillock in background”
The Rijksmuseum offers a detailed description of this print; see:

Condition:  crisp but slightly grey impression with small margins in excellent condition apart from two small stains (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, abrasions or foxing).

I am selling this rare print employing the visual device commonly termed “contre-jour” (i.e. arranging subject matter in front of the sun) that Rembrandt was later to use to great effect, for the total cost of AU$320 (currently US$242.52/EUR204.08/GBP178.93 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this masterpiece predating the great works of Rembrandt, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


The devotional cross shown on the city-gate bridge at the far right may be an interesting architectural feature for historians, but for artists, particularly those of the nineteenth century, its placement would be viewed through very special eyes. After all, this cross is shown silhouetted against the sun—a placement termed “contre-jour”—and was to become an often employed pictorial device of artists as diverse as Charles Jacque, Samuel Palmer and Honoré Daumier.






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