Saturday, 7 April 2018

Jacob Matham’s engraving, “Abraham casting out Hagar”, 1603, after Abraham Bloemaert


Jacob Matham (1571–1631)

“Abraham casting out Hagar” (British Museum title) (aka “Abraham expels Hagar and Ishmael” (Rijksmuseum title); “The Dismissal of Hagar” (TIB title), 1603, engraving after the design by Abraham Bloemaert (1564 –1651) with privilege from Rudolph II of Habsburg, published by Jacob Matham in Haarlem.

Engraving on laid paper trimmed to the image borderline (with text lines removed) and lined with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet/image borderline) 43.9 x 35.7 cm
Inscribed on the plate within the image borderline a lower right: "Cum privil. Sa.Cæ. M. / Abrahamus Bloemaert Inven. I. Maetham Sculp. / et excudit A: 1603."

TIB 3 (4). 63 (147) (Walter L Strauss [ed.] 1980, "The Illustrated Bartsch 4: Netherlandish Artists", vol. 3. Abris Books, New York, p. 53); New Hollstein (Dutch & Flemish) 2.I (Jacob Matham); Hollstein 2.I; Roethlisberger 1993 69 (Marcel G Roethlisberger 1993, “Abraham Bloemaert and his sons: Paintings and prints, 2 vols); Bartsch III.147.63

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Abraham casting out Hagar (Genesis 21.14); Abraham gestures with his arm outstretched and Hagar weeps into a handkerchief; behind is a large dilapidated, picturesque farmhouse, after Bloemaert.”
See also the description of this print at the Rijksmuseum:

Condition: exceptionally rare, well-inked and well-printed impression in very good condition (i.e. there are no significant tears, holes, abrasions, stains or foxing, but the upper left corner is fractured and there are chips along the sides of the print) trimmed to the image borderline and laid upon an archival support sheet of millennium quality washi paper.

I am selling this spectacular engraving that is not only large in size but executed with skill and sensitivity of the highest order—this is a VERY good print—for AU$430 in total (currently US$330.03/EUR268.58/GBP234.23 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this major engraving from 1603, 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



What fascinates me when looking at this stunning engraving by Jacob Matham is how seamlessly he is able to draw together the poetic spirit of Abraham Bloemaert, who designed the composition, with Matham’s own distinctive manner of engraving. I should also mention at this point, that Matham’s style of rendering forms, using strong tonal contrasts and focus on textures, also drew inspiration from his stepfather—the great Hendrik Goltzius—whose workshop Matham had taken over only three years before this print was published.

Regarding Matham’s interest in preserving the spirit of Bloemaert’s vision in translating the original drawing into this engraving, note that Matham has employed Bloemaert’s very idiocentric way of portraying figures by showing them with fleshy hands, rounded facial features and curiously rumpled clothes—note especially the rumpled fringe of Hagar’s dress, Abraham’s elegantly battered hat balanced precariously on his head and the eyebrowless oval heads of Hagar and Ishmael.







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