Thursday, 1 February 2018
Georg Pencz’s engraving, “The Good Samaritan”, 1543
Georg Pencz (c1500–1550)
“The Good Samaritan”, 1543
Engraving on fine laid paper trimmed along the platemark and re-margined on a support sheet.
Size: (support-sheet) 25.5 x 26.8 cm; (sheet trimmed unevenly) 7.5 x 11.4 cm
Signed with the artist’s monogram, "PG", and dated, “1543”, in the plate at upper right corner.
TIB 16 (8).68 (339) (Walter L Strauss & Jacob Bink et al [Eds.] 1980, “The Illustrated Bartsch”, vol.16, p. 105); Landau 1978 71 (David Landau 1978, “Catalogo completo dell' opera grafica di Georg Pencz”, Milan); Hollstein German 36 (F W H Hollstein 1954, “German engravings, etchings and woodcuts c.1400-1700”, Amsterdam); Bartsch VIII.339.68 (Adam Bartsch 1803, “Le Peintre graveur”, 21 vols, Vienna).
The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“The Good Samaritan; tending to the wounds of the injured traveller in left foreground; in right background the man falling among thieves and the priest and the Levite walking past; at left the Samaritan taking the traveller to the innkeeper.”
See also the description of this print at the Rijksmuseum: http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.31463
Condition: crisp, early impression (based on lack of wear to the plate) with replenished lower corners, trimmed along the platemark and re-margined on a support sheet. The sheet is in excellent condition for its age with only minor traces of handling and stains.
I am selling this very small and exquisite masterpiece of engraving by Pencz—one of the famous German Little Masters—for AU$403 (currently US$321.99/EUR258.94/GBP226.24 at the time of this listing). Postage for this print is extra and will be the actual/true cost of shipping.
If you are interested in purchasing this precious and exceptionally rare print of the famous parable of Good Samaritan, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
This print has been sold
I guess that the fundamental tenet of the “Parable of Good Samaritan” (Luke 10: 25–37)—which I understand to mean that I need to be an actively compassionate chap regardless whether those that I engage with are strangers or even “foes”— is to be found in most religions. But, of course, the principle is morphed in different ways as can be seen daily in the world news regarding religious conflicts.
What I find fascinating about this print is that it is showcases (to my eyes) common Christian notions of how an actively compassionate person should behave, as shown by the Samaritan attending to the wounds of the young Jewish man in the foreground. Perhaps more interesting, this beautifully engraved illustration also hints that there may be consequences for those who are not actively compassionate: as revealed in the far distance with what must have been an “unhelpful” traveller assailed by thieves.
If one were to compare this illustration to the way that a Buddhist monk might portray the same parable, I have no doubt that the scene would be quite different. For instance, I suspect (and as I am not a Buddhist monk I can only speculate) that the meaning might shift from the notion of “reward” and “punishment” to a cleansing of the mind of self-gratification to more of a mindless/egoless holistic love.