Monday, 15 January 2018

A collection of four etchings of rams’ heads after Karel Dujardin, c1600s


Unidentified 17th century printmaker from the circle of Karel Dujardin (aka Karel Du Jardin; Carel Dujardin; Carel du Jardin; Bokkebaart) (1626–1678)

Note: the attribution of the date is based on the descriptions of the lower-left print offered by the Fine Art Museums of San Francisco and the Auckland Art Gallery: https://art.famsf.org/karel-dujardin/rams-head-19633014622 and https://www.aucklandartgallery.com/explore-art-and-ideas/artwork/9304/two-heads-of-sheep    
“Studies of rams' heads” (descriptive title only), 1600s, a collection of four individual etchings after Karel Dujardin's designs, printed from the original plates and published by W Lewis for "A Collection of Two Hundred Original Etchings" (1819–22), London (see page/sheet 157).

Etchings on fine wove paper trimmed within the platemark and lined with an archival support sheet.
Size: (sheet, including the support-sheet cradle) 38.5 x 52.3 cm; (sheets, unevenly trimmed and varying slightly) 9.7 x 17.5 cm
Each plate inscribed (with variations): “Karel Du Jardin inventor”

Condition: the sheets are all trimmed within the platemarks (as published by W Lewis) and re-margined as a collection on a single archival support sheet. Each sheet was originally corner glued to a backing sheet (now removed) but the glue stains are now minimal.

I am selling this visually stunning collection of four etchings for AU$440 (currently US$350.37/EUR285.17/GBP253.91 at the time of this listing). Postage for this large sheet of prints is extra and will be the actual/true cost.

If you are interested in acquiring these marvellous studies, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


Although the artist who made these etchings would have had Dujardin’s original drawings at hand for close scrutiny, the process of transcribing a drawing into a print can easily erase important attributes of the original artist’s style.

For example, Dujardin is noted for his ability to bundle his strokes in a manner suggesting washes of tone with the aim of simplifying the portrayed subject to its essential form. In these translations of his work, however, I note that the "bundling" of strokes is more about superficial mimetic description of the portrayed subjects' surface contours.

Another difference that I see—and I may be alone in my perception of this difference—is that Dujardin captures a more luminescent light quality than is exhibited here. What I mean by “luminescent light” is that Dujardin will use stippling (i.e. dots) and vertical flicks to suggest shimmering light on those parts of an animal that are in the strongest light. He will also use long, curved strokes in shadows to suggest that even in the darkest regions of the subject there is “life”. By contrast, in these etchings the highlights are just highlights (i.e. tonally lighter aspects of the subject) and the shadows—although glowing with reflected light—the treatment seems to be more about representing how surfaces “dissolve” in darkness than with visually hinting at the energy of a latent inner life force.









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