Monday, 4 June 2018

Léonard Gaultier’s engraving, “The Prophet Malachite”, c1622/49


Léonard Gaultier (aka Léonard Gautier) (c1561–c1635)

“The Prophet Malachi” (Le Prophete Jeremie), c1622/49, from the series of 17 engravings, “The Prophets”, published by Jean Messager (c1572–1649).

Engraving on fine laid paper with printed text verso trimmed with thread margins, backed and re-margined with a support sheet.
Size: (support sheet) 31.1 x 29.3 cm; (sheet) 12.9 x 12.9 cm; (plate) 12.6 x 12.7cm; 
(image borderline) 12.3 x 12.3 cm
Lettered on banderole at upper left: “LE PROPHETE MALACHIE”
Indexed with letters from “A” to “D”
Inscribed: (lower left) “I. Messager excudit.”; (lower right) “L. Gaultier incidit.”

Condition: crisp impression with thread margins and printed text verso (as published) laid onto a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper to re-margin the print. The sheet is in excellent condition for its age, but there is a printer’s mark on the hand of Jehovah at upper right and a dot on the prophet's forehead.

I am selling this stunningly beautiful engraving with stylistic links to the work of the Wierix brothers for AU$173 (currently US$132.48/EUR112.96/GBP99 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world (but not, of course, any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries).

If you are interested in purchasing this magnificent engraving in superb condition, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


From what I have been able to piece together about the prophet Malachi, he is something of an enigmatic figure for theologians. Even his name is a puzzle, as the name ascribed to him, “Malachi”, is unlikely to be his “real” name, but rather his role as a prophet: “Messenger of YHWH" (aka Jehovah or Yahweh —the name revealed to Moses as four Hebrew consonants “YHWH”). Despite the gate-keepers of history having managed to shroud this prophet in mystery, Malachi is famous for having written “The Book of Malachi” that I am told is the last book of the Neviim (i.e. the Prophets) section in the Hebrew Bible.

From my reading of this illustration—and I should point out at this point that my cook would say “Heaven’s forbid” to even the thought that I would try—the scene is the last judgement. The earth, shown as a globe on the left, is consumed in fire while the prophet, Malachie, shown in the foreground, gestures with one hand renouncing earthly evil as his other hand expresses an attentive gesture to the judgement of Jehovah shown settled adjudicating on a rainbow(?) with his feet resting on the earth. For those that love symbolism, note the broken and regrowing plants in the right foreground no doubt signifying the regenerative cycle of life and death.







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