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.”







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