Saturday, 3 February 2018

Aegidius Sadeler II’s etching, “Christ as the Man of Sorrows at the Column”, c1600, after Durer


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

“Christ as the Man of Sorrows at the Column” (TIB title), 1585–1627, plate 1 from the series of 16 plates, “The Engraved Passion”, after Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528). This is an impression from the first state before publication by Marco Sadeler (fl1660s)

Engraving on fine laid paper trimmed close to the platemark and re-margined on a support sheet.
Size: (support-sheet) 26.9 x 21.2 cm; (sheet trimmed unevenly) 9 x 5.5 cm
State i (of iii?) (before addition of the publication details of Marco Sadeler)

TIB 1997 7201.425 SI (Isabelle de Ramaix, “The Illustrated Bartsch”, vol. 72, Part 2, Supplement, p. 320); Bartsch VII.33.3 (copy) (Adam Bartsch 1803, “Le Peintre graveur”, 21 vols, Vienna); Meder 1932 3 (copy) (Joseph Meder 1932, “Dürer Katalog”, Vienna).

The British Museum offers the following description of a later state of this print:
“Plate 1: Christ as a man of sorrows. Christ tied to a column on a platform at left, the Virgin and St John looking at him from below at right, three empty crosses on a hill in background at right; after Dürer”

Condition: a lifetime impression that is crisp and well-printed in excellent condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, significant abrasions or significant stains) apart from golden age toning. The sheet is trimmed close to the platemark and has been re-margined with an archival support sheet.

I am selling this lifetime (first state) impression in reverse after Dürer’s engraving of the same subject for AU$378 (currently US$300.07/EUR240.75/GBP212.47 378 at the time of posting this listing). Postage for this print is extra and will be the actual/true cost.

If you are interested in acquiring this small print that is so finely rendered that to see the linework a magnifying glass is necessary, 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


Although this remarkably fine engraving by Aegidius Sadeler is a copy in reverse after Albrecht Dürer’s famous engraving executed a century before (see  https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/explore/collection/work/43261/) the subject, “The Man of Sorrows”, was a part of a long tradition of depicting this subject dating back to the early Byzantine icons of the 13th century featuring what is termed, “Imago Pietatis” (i.e. Christ of Pity) (see http://caravaggista.com/2011/08/albrecht-durer-and-the-man-of-sorrows/).

From what I understand about this tradition, there were two manifestations of the subject. The first is to represent Christ before his passion looking at the viewer with a look of betrayal. The second, shown here, is to represent Christ after his passion with downcast eyes alluding to his suffering.

Like most of the earlier representations of “The Man of Sorrows”, Christ is shown with the attributes of his passion (i.e. enduring suffering):


  • the column on which Christ was scourged;
  • the instruments of Christ’s torture—the birch reeds, flagellum, crown of thorns and the cross, but the nails that are usually featured are not represented in this image even if the holes in his feet and hands are testament to their presence;
  • his nakedness and wounds—note the blood spurting from wound created by the soldier’s lance;
  • his companions at death—the Virgin and St John.








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