Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Agostino Veneziano’s engraving, “The Israelites Gathering Manna”, 1520–25


Agostino Veneziano (aka Agostino dei Musi) (1490–1540; fl.1509–36)

“The Israelites Gathering Manna” (aka “La Manne”), 1520–25, published by Antonio Salamanca (1478–1562) after a lost drawing by Raphael (1483–1520) proposed by the Curator of the British Museum to be “for the fresco in the eighth arcade of the Vatican Logge now replaced by a reproduction by Pietro Santi Bartoli.”  The curator also advises: “There is a Raphael school drawing believed to be the model for the engraving now at Christ Church in Oxford (n.1817)” (see BM no. H,9.6).

Engraving on laid paper with narrow margins backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet trimmed unevenly) 30.8 x 45 cm; (plate) 29.8 x 44.5 cm
Inscribed on plate at lower edge: (centre) “.A.V.”; (right of centre) “Ant. Sal. exc.”
State ii (?) with the addition of the publisher’s name, “Ant. Sal. exc.” (Antonio Salamanca).

TIB 26 (14) 8 (10) (Konrad Oberhuber [ed.] 1978, “The Illustrated Bartsch: The Works of Marcantonio Raimondi and of His School”, vol. 26, Abaris Books, New York, p. 17).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“The Israelites gathering manna; Moses standing at left with his arms outstretched and holding a wand in his right hand while figures around him kneel in thanks and gather manna into elaborately decorated vessels”
See also the description of this print at the Rijksmuseum:

Condition: richly inked and well-printed impression with little or no signs of wear to the plate. The sheet is in museum-quality condition (i.e. there are no significant tears, holes, folds, abrasions, stains or foxing, but with minor signs of handling in terms of losses to corners and surface marks in the margins), backed with a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper.

I am selling this large, Renaissance period and near faultless engraving for AU$480 (currently US$356.67/EUR304.41/GBP271.60 at the time of posting this print) 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 engraving executed around the time that Leonardo painted his “Mona Lisa”, 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


My understanding of what this biblical scene portrays is Moses—shown on the left with a wand—giving instructions from God to the Israelites that they should gather the food called “manna”—described by Wikipedia as “’a fine, flake-like thing’ like the frost on the ground” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manna) to sustain themselves during their travels in the desert. This description of manna as being like frost is very appropriate. After all, if manna isn’t collected early in the morning it melts with the heat of the desert sun. There is also an added necessity to consume manna within the day as it tends to spoil—“go off”—with a putrid stench and alive with maggots.

What I find truly amazing about this illustration is the very early representation of what is now called a “thought” or “speech bubble” above Moses’ head. In this area of spatial ambiguity is portrayed a heavenly forest, rich with fruit and, importantly, little of bits of manna shown at the lower trunk of the far left tree. Although I may be wrong, I assume that this heavenly forest is a graphic representation of God’s “voice” in Moses’ head as I can see radiating lines arising from his head. To give a context to this thought/speech bubble, the following verse from “Exodus” may be helpful:

“Then said the LORD unto Moses: 'Behold, I will cause to rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in My law, or not” (“Exodus”, Chapter 16, verse 4).








Monday, 30 July 2018

Zacharias Dolendo’s engraving, “Christ before Caiaphas”, c1597


Zacharias Dolendo (aka Zacharias Dolen) (1561–c1600)

“Christ before Caiaphas”, 1596–98, after Karel van Mander I (1548–1606), plate 4 from the series of 14 plates (including the title print [New Hollstein 36-49]), “The Passion”, published by Jacques de Gheyn II (aka Jacob de Geyn) (1565–1629).

Engraving on fine laid paper trimmed with thread margins around the image borderline (except for the lower margin which retains the inscribed number “4”) and backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 14.5 x 10.4 cm
Inscribed on plate along the lower edge within the image borderline: (left) "KVMandere inuen, Z, Do, scul,"; (left of centre) "DGheÿn exc".
Numbered on plate below the image borderline: (left) "4".
State ii (of ii) My attribution of this impression to the second state is based on comparison of the BM’s first state impression (1868,0612.444) with the second state impression held by the Rijksmuseum (RP-P-BI-7129). There doesn’t seems to be any difference in the inscribed lettering but I see a difference in the treatment of the distance wall as in the second state the vertical lines appear to be redrawn with greater strength.

New Hollstein (Dutch & Flemish) 40.I (The De Gheyn family); New Hollstein (Dutch & Flemish) 60 (Karel van Mander)

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Christ before Caiaphas; Christ is presented by a group of soldiers to five priests in full regalia, including Caiaphas; one of the soldiers draws back his arm to hit Christ; after Karel van Mander”
See also the description of this print at the Rijksmuseum:

Condition: crisp and well-printed impression with restored light abrasions, trimmed to the image borderline and backed with a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. The sheet is in good condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, significant stains or foxing). There are ink notes by an old hand below the image borderline (recto).

I am selling this exquisitely rendered and graphically strong engraving, for the total cost of AU$268 (currently US$198.14/EUR169.57/GBP151.05 at the time of 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 very beautiful oldmaster engaraving executed before the time of Rembrandt, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


For those who like to know the nitty gritty detail about artists’ personal lives, the British Museum offers the following insight—a little unexciting I have to admit—about Zacharias Dolendo (who engraved this plate) based on the account offered by van Mander (whose design Dolendo employed for its composition): “he made a good living, but died young after leading a riotous life, with too much drinking.” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/search_the_collection_database/term_details.aspx?bioId=126867). To be honest, I wish I knew more about his “riotous life” but … I don’t.

What interests me about artists who live riotous lives is that their artworks, like this beautiful engraving, are invariably emotionally charged, but are also inexplicably rendered with delicate detail—here I am thinking about one of the most important of the early engravers, Hieronymus Wierix (purportedly a woman killer), Cornelis Schut (another old master with a proclivity for murder) and not to forget the exploits of the great Caravaggio.

Certainly, from my way of looking at the finely rendered details in this scene from Christ’s passion (John 18:13, 18:19–24), the artist’s hand was not concerned with “neatness”—to borrow Michael Bryan’s (1886) phrase in describing Dolento’s style in “Bryan's Dictionary of Painters and Engravers” (3rd edition, p. 417). Instead, I see the portrayed figures' forms as highly expressive in the way they are drawn. Note, for example, how the almost mechanical vertical lines describing the architecture—especially the distant arched wall—contrast with and give meaning to the emotionally charged interactions of the figures. In short, what Dolento has achieved with his exceptionally fine rendering style is to portray latent violence by contrast of juxtaposed treatments.







Sunday, 29 July 2018

Wenzel Hollar’s etching, “Mechlin”, c1643 (a second copy of the same print listed earlier)


(Note: this is a second impression of the same print that I posted early. The previous impression has been sold.)

Wenzel Hollar (aka Wenceslaus Hollar; Václav Hollar) (1607–77)

“Mechlin”, c1643, from the series of ten views in Bohemia, Germany and England, “Prospectus aliquot locorum in diuersis provincijs” (New Hollstein 454–63; Pennington 727–38). The curator of the BM advises that the series was “put together as a set by Parthey following George Vertue (III. 120–31)” (see BM no. Q,4.311).

Etching on laid paper with generous margins
Size: (sheet) 11.5 x 18.1 cm; (plate) 8.1 x 12.7 cm; (image borderline) 7.6 x 12.5 cm
Inscribed on plate within image borderline at upper left "zu Hemsen beÿ Mechelen".
State ii (of ii) Note: compare the shading on the mill of this second state impression with the first state impression shown in my previous listing https://www.printsandprinciples.com/2017/09/wenzel-hollars-etching-mechlin-c1643.html

Pennington (2002) 729; New Hollstein (German) 1818.II (Hollar)

Richard Pennington (2002) offers the following description of this print in “A descriptive catalogue of the etched work of Wenceslaus Hollar 1607–1677”, Cambridge University Press:
“A road in a village crosses a mill-stream by a wooden bridge on which two gentlemen are riding. A gabled mill on r. with a man carrying a sack. On extreme r. a pollarded tree and on extreme l. the end of a house. Unsigned.” (p. 125)

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Mechlin / Mechelen; man carrying sack over his shoulders seen from behind walking along road, gabled house at right and willow tree in the foreground.”

Condition: richly inked and well-printed impression showing slight wear to the plate. The print has generous margins (for an early print) and the paper is in excellent condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, significant stains or foxing).

I am selling this exquisitely rendered and graphically strong etching by one of the greatest printmakers of history, for the total cost of AU$221 (currently US$163.69/EUR140.46/GBP124.82 at the time of 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 rare and very beautiful etching, 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


One has only to look at Hollar’s meticulously detailed etchings to appreciate that he had a strong understanding about the technical intricacies of architecture and how the correct angle of light falling on a building (usually from the top-front-left) can enhance a viewer’s understanding of the building’s form and structure. From a personal standpoint, however, the graphic strength of this small but visually engaging image is not so much that I can count every tile on the roofs, but rather its strength is all about the juxtaposed arrangement of three-dimensionally solid and somewhat sanitised rendered buildings with what I will describe as “soft” forms of trees and village folk going about their everyday business.







Saturday, 28 July 2018

Jacques de Gheyn II’s engraving, “Perseus liberates Andromeda”, 1588


Jacques de Gheyn II (aka Jacob de Geyn) (1565–1629)

“Perseus liberates Andromeda”, 1588, after Karel van Mander I (1548–1606), published by Jan Pitten (fl.1588–1615).

Engraving on fine laid paper, trimmed with a narrow margin (restored in places) around the image borderline and backed with a support sheet.
Size: (support sheet) 23 x 22.5 cm; (sheet dia.) 17.8 cm
Lettered on plate below the outer image borderline: (lower centre): "IAQUES DE GHEYN SCVLPTOR . KVMANDERE INVE .1588.".
Lettered on plate between the two image borderlines: (upper right of centre) "VIS TIBI NVLLA CADET BENE NI PRVDENTIA PRÆSIT:  PERSEVS [EXEMPEO] EST VIRGINE IN ANDROMEDA .H.I. [initials of Heyman Jacobi] J.Pitten, exc:".
State i (of iii) before the change of publication details inscribed on plate from Jan Pitten to Jacques Razet and the addition of the publisher, Robert de Baudous, at the lower edge. See the first state copy, which this impression corresponds with, held by the BM (as attributed in the pencil inscription at the lower right): 1878,0713.26220.

New Hollstein (Dutch & Flemish) 144 (The De Gheyn family); New Hollstein (Dutch & Flemish) 147 (Karel van Mander)
The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Perseus freeing Andromeda; Perseus rides on his winged horse above a sea monster; Andromeda stands naked chained to a rockface; a group of spectators at right; in the foreground a group of nymphs and a beach with a crab and shells; after Karel van Mander; round plate.”
See also the description of the print in its third state at the Rijksmuseum:

Condition: first state/lifetime impression trimmed with a narrow margin around the image borderline and backed with a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. The print is in a poor state with stains and many watercolour restorations of losses and worm holes. (Note: the cleaning of the sheet was executed with only distilled water and sunlight. No bleaches or other chemical solvents were employed in restoring the print apart from watercolour infilling of losses.)

I am selling this restored lifetime impression of the utmost rarity for AU$420 (currently US$311.09/EUR266.94/GBP237.22 at the time of 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 acquiring this remarkable engraving by one of the most important of Goltzius’ students, 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




At the time that Jacques de Gheyn (the younger) executed this print he was being taught the art of engraving by the almost legendary master, Hendrick Goltzius. Indeed, the influence of Goltzius is fairly unmistakable as a quick look at the fluid modelling of the bevy of women in the foreground and the delicate treatment of the not too distressed Andromeda bound to the rockface awaiting her pending fate in the jaws of the approaching very muscly sea monster testifies to his master’s guiding hand.

For those unfamiliar with the story of Perseus and Andromeda given in Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” (4: 765–86), the following account from the National Gallery may be helpful:
“…Andromeda was the daughter of an Aethiopian king. She was chained to a cliff by the sea as a sacrifice to a monster from the deep. Perseus, who was also known for other heroic acts such as killing the Medusa, flew overhead, instantly fell in love with the princess, killed the beast and released her. Sometimes onlookers are shown watching from the shore.”







Friday, 27 July 2018

Carel van Mallery’s engraving, “The Killing of Giant Indian Watersnakes Using Fire”, c1596


Carel van Mallery (aka Charles de Mallery) (1571–1635?)

“The Killing of Giant Indian Watersnakes Using Fire”, c1596, after Jan van der Straet (aka Johannes Stradanus; Giovanni della Strada; Jan van der Straeten; Giovanni Statenensis; Giovanni Stradano; Joannes Stradanus) (1523–1605), plate 44 from the second edition (in the first edition this plate was numbered “16”) from the series of 104 plates dedicated to the jurist, Henricus van Osthoorn en Sonnevelt, “Venationes Ferarum, Avium, Piscium” (with wild beasts, birds, fish), published by Philips Galle (1537–1612) in Antwerp.

Engraving on laid paper trimmed along the image borderline and backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 20.2 x 26.2 cm

Inscribed on plate within the image borderline: (on lower flame left of centre) “'I. Stradanus inv. / C. de Mallery sculp. / Phls Galle exc.”
Numbered on plate below the image borderline: (left corner) “44.”
Lettered on plate in two lines of Latin text in two below the image borderline: “Ingentem vegeto Serpentem corpore gignit / India, qui solitus latitare in aquis, fame pressus // Prodit, et vmbrosa dependens arbore, saltu / Apprendit pecus: ast clauis flammaq[ue] necatur.”

State ii? (of iv) (Note: my attribution of this impression to the second state is based on the first state impression held by the Rijksmuseum [RP-P-OB-31.574] has the plate number, “16”, and this impression with number, “44”, matches the second state reproduced in Alessandra Baroni & Manfred Sellink 2012, “Stradanus 1523–1605: Court Artist of the Medici”, Brepols, Turnhout, p. 251. Nevertheless, the impression may be from a later state as the numbers, “XVI”, that should be on the lower right corner in the margin are either erased or have been trimmed off. I do not have information about the attributes of states iii and iv.)

New Hollstein Dutch 481; Baroni Vannucci 1997 693.44 (Alessandra Baroni Vannucci 1997, “Jan van der Straet, detto Giovanni Stradano, flandrus pictor et inventor”, Milan, Jandi Sapi Editori)

The Rijksmuseum offers the following description of this print:
(transl.) “Several Indian water snakes are chased out of the bush by fire. Then they are beaten to death with a club. The print has a Latin caption and is part of a series about hunting scenes.”

See also the description of the print in its first state at the British Museum:
“The Killing of Giant Indian Watersnakes Using Fire; in the foreground, to left, giant Indian snakes burn in a pile of vegetation; behind a group of men feed the flames with torches and attack the snakes with clubs; in the distance, at the upper right, a snake catches sight of two goats from the branch of a tree; beyond, another snake swallows a goat”

Condition: Well-inked and well-printed, crisp impression with a printer’s crease (i.e. a crease occurring during the printing process that creates a white “unprinted line”) at the centre top. The sheet is in very good condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, abrasions, stains or foxing) trimmed along the image borderline and backed with a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper.

I am selling this exceptionally rare, engraving from the late 1500s for a total cost of AU$277 (currently US$204.93/EUR175.84/GBP156.27 at the time of 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 curious image of “giant Indian watersnakes” hunting cattle while being hunted with fire, 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


I admit that I do not know much about the dragon-like beasts that the title of this marvellously animated engraving advises me are “giant Indian watersnakes.” To be very honest I should put my hand up and state that I know nothing about them beyond noticing that they have clearly strayed a long way from their water habitat.

What I do know, however, is that this composition is a remarkably clever graphic representation of the snakes, foliage and fire pictorially woven together. I especially love the treatment of the clouds of smoke cast up from the large tongues of flame as the concentric rings of lines representing the smoke connote an appropriate idea of transparency and ambiguity of form to the smoke-cloud mass. Note also the way that the tree seen in front of the attacking men wielding their flaming touches and lethally lumpy clubs pictorially “interrupts” our view of what they are doing and how this interruption helps to create the illusion of animation.








Thursday, 26 July 2018

Aegidius Sadeler II’s engraving, “View of a wooden house near Madrid”, c1600


Aegidius Sadeler II (aka Gillis Sadeler; Egidius Sadeler; Ægedius Sadeler) (c1570–1629)
“View of a wooden house near Madrid” (aka “Vue d’un e maison de bois près Madrid” [title on plate in state iv]; “View of a Village” [TIB title]; “Inn with Travellers” [Rijksmuseum title]), c1600–1610, after a drawing by Pieter Stevens II (c1567–c1624), published by Aegidus Sadeler and later by Marco Sadeler (fl.1660s).

Engraving and etching on laid paper with narrow margins around the platemark.
Size: (sheet) 17.5 x 25.8 cm; (plate) 17 x 25.5 cm; (Image borderline) 15.6 x 25.1 cm
Inscribed on plate below the image borderline: (left) “Cum Priuil S: C: May: tis. / Marco Sadeler excudit.”; (right) “Petrus Stephani Inuet: / Egidius Sadeler excud:”
State ii (of iv) Lifetime impression before the erasure of the publication details and the inscription, “Gravé par Sadeler”, signifying the third state and addition of the title, “Vue d’un e maison de bois près Madrid”, and, “A Paris chés Daumont”, of the final state.

TIB 1997 7201.273 S2 (Isabelle de Ramaix, “The Illustrated Bartsch”, vol. 72, Part 2, Supplement, p. 76); Hollstein 1980, vol. 21, no. 264

The Rijksmuseum offers the following description of this print:
(transl.) “An inn with a wooden post with a cross on the left. In the foreground travelers. The second print of an eight-part series with Bohemian landscapes.” (http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.167972)

Condition: well-printed lifetime impression with narrow margins in excellent condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, stains or foxing).

I am selling this fascinating study of everyday activities in a small town on the outscirts of Madrid by one of the most famous of the old masters for AU$343 (currently US$255.94/EUR219.13/GBP194.72 at the time of 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 acquiring this luminous landscape that I see as facetted with beams of light like a jewel, 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


Mindful that the title of this print advises that the featured subject is a wooden house near Madrid, I have only seen El Greco’s “View of Toledo” (executed at much the same time as the print) to verify whether Sadeler’s representation of a town outside of Madrid might look like this at the beginning of the 1600s. Of course my cook will argue with me that Toledo is a full hour and two minutes by train away from Madrid, and thus falls outside the description, “near Madrid”.  Although my cook’s argument may be a very inconvenient truth, there is still a connection that I see between El Greco’s famous painting and the way that Sadeler’s town is portrayed and it is all about light. Essentially, both compositions are illuminated not by an external light cast from the heavens but rather an INTERNAL light that is illuminating them. In the case of Sadeler’s landscape, the beams of sunlight in the foreground are treated in a way to suggest the facetted planes of a gemstone and the juxtaposition of strong lights and darks through the rest of the scene resonates with the same vision of the lively light within a jewel.