Wednesday, 25 April 2018
Cornelis Bloemaert’s engraving, “Ixion”, after Abraham van Diepenbeeck, c1637
Cornelis Bloemaert (1603–1692) and Theodor Matham (aka Dirk Matham) (1605/1606–76) (for the background)
“Ixion”, c1635–1638, after Abraham van Diepenbeeck (1596–1675), plate 55 in a series of 60 illustrations published by Michel de Marolles' (1600–81) in “Tableaux du temple des muses tirez du cabinet de feu Mr. Favereau” (Paris, Nicolas Langlois, 1655), p. 435.
Etching and engraving on very fine laid paper with full margins as published.
Lettered on plate below the image borderline: (left) “Ixion.”; (centre) “Illic Junonem tentare Ixionis ausi / Versantur celeri noxia membra rotȃ / Tibullus Eleg. 3 lib. j."; (right corner) “55”
(Google transl. of the two lines of Latin text: “There Juno test Ixion / Engaged guilty limbs wheel.”)
Size: (sheet) 33.6 x 23.1 cm; (plate) 28.2 x 18.4 cm; (image borderline) 23.4 x 17.8 cm
New Hollstein (Dutch & Flemish) 259.II (Theodoor Matham) (Hollstein, F W H, “The New Hollstein: Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts 1450-1700”, Amsterdam, 1993); Hollstein 34-93 (after Diepenbeeck); Hollstein 90-148; Roethlisberger 1993 CB11 (Roethlisberger, Marcel G; Röthlisberger, Marcel G, “Abraham Bloemaert and his sons: Paintings and prints”, 2 vols, Ghent, 1993)
The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Mythological scene with Ixion in Hell, being tied to a large torture wheel decorated with small mythological scenes, a woman with sagging breast turning the torture instrument at right, two other demonic creatures in lower right; after Abraham van Diepenbeeck; from an album containing sixty engravings trimmed and pasted on sheets; illustration on page 435 from Marolles' "Temple des Muses" (Paris, Nicolas Langlois: 1655).”
Condition: crisp, well-printed impression in excellent condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, abrasions or significant stains—there is a faint dot in the margin at lower right corner and a dot of ink below Ixion) with full margins as published.
I am selling this visually arresting image of torture for AU$162 in total (currently US$122.63/EUR100.36/GBP87.84 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this darkly macabre print that invites close scrutiny of every detail, please contact me (email@example.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
This print has been sold
I confess that I have never read the love poems of Albius Tibullus (c. 55 BC– 19 BC), but in regard to the event in third book of poems, which this print illustrates, I understand that the attribution to Tibullus is currently doubted according to Natalie Haynes (2012) in her brief but insightful review of the “Elegies by Tibullus” for The Guardian (see https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/mar/25/tibullus-elegies-review). Although my reading of Haynes’ assessment of Tibullus’ “Elegies” did not exactly excite me to read Tibullus’ poetry, I did however discover a new and very useful word to describe poetry that equals a lament upon a door: “paraklausithyra.” What a fab word!
For those unfamiliar with the story involving the mythological figure, Ixion, shown here on the torture wheel, the following outline—“short version”—may be helpful.
Ixion had a troubled mind after behaving badly by pushing his father-in-law into a fire at a party. Ixion wasn’t able to cope with the guilt and went mad as no one would help him atone for his sin. Fortunately, Zeus showed pity and raised Ixion up to the home of the gods in Olympus. Sadly, Ixion developed an unnatural attraction for Zeus wife and made the error of seducing her. Zeus’ revenge is shown here where Ixion with his dropped pants is tied to a fiery wheel that will spin forever.
(My apologies for glossing over many important issues and events in this tale of betrayal and wickedness.)