Gallery of prints for sale

Monday 20 August 2018

Jan Sadeler I’s engraving, “Sigismond Feyerabend”, 1587

Jan Sadeler I (aka Johannes Sadeler; Johann Sadeler) (1550–1600)

“Sigismond Feyerabend” (TIB title), 1587
Engraving on fine laid paper trimmed around the image borderline with loss of the lower text lines and backed with a support sheet. (Note that the missing text lines are not part of the printed impression but are printed from a separate plate and usually pasted below this print.)

Size: (sheet) 15.9 x 12 cm
Inscribed on plate within the image borderline: (upper right on banner slung from the trumpet of angel/Fama) “FAMA”; (lower left on book) “1587”; (lower right corner) “Honoris ipsius causa i[n] / æs incisus à I. Sadeler.”
State ii (of ii) with the additional text to the second line in the upper margin: “FILIVM ALLOQVITVR.”

TIB 7001.538 S2 (Isabelle de Ramaix [ed.] 2003, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Johan Sadeler I”, vol. 70, Part 3 [Supplement], Abaris Books, New York, pp. 153–54); Nagler 1835–52, no. 14; Le Blanc, no. 148; Wurzbach, no. 166; Hollstein 1980, vol. 21, no. 596; Raimaix 1992, no. 51.

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Portrait of Sigismund Feyerabend, aged fifty-nine; half-length, standing slightly to left, glancing towards the viewer, holding a book upright on a table with his right hand, the left resting on table; wearing cap, fur coat, braded jacket, ruffled collar and cuffs, rings; flying angel carrying trumpet and banner lettered with 'Fama' at top right; second state.”

Condition: faultless, crisp and well-printed impression trimmed around the image borderline with loss of the lower text lines and backed on a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. The sheet is in very good condition with a closed (restored) tear and small loss at the upper left.

I am selling this superb engraving that exemplifies the quality of craftsmanship from the late 1500s by one of the most important of the Flemish old master printmakers for AU$423 in total (currently US$309.05/EUR270.61/GBP242.24 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 what could only be described as a masterpiece of engraving—note the artist’s skill in rendering the softness of Feyerabend’s fur coat and how well the artist is able to differentiate the thin and crisp fabric of the ruffles from the heavier and slightly shiny damask fabric of Feyerabend’s braded jacket—please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

For those who may not be familiar with the name of the sitter for this portrait, Sigmund Feyerabend (1528–1590), he is an important wood engraver and print publisher of the 1500s— hence the winged figure shown on the upper right blowing twin trumpets announcing his fame. What may need explanation is the reason why he is looks so intimidating with his very challenging stare. Indeed this man seems to be as welcoming as Pope Innocent X in Velázquez’s unforgettable portrait. Although I cannot speak with privileged information as to what this grumpy looking chap might be thinking, I can offer a few morsels of information about Feyerabend that might help with understanding his somewhat sad and life-hardened expression.

According to the biographical details for Feyerabend summarised in Wikipedia: “he was an unscrupulous businessman involved in several lawsuits, partly for unauthorized reprints, partly because he disregarded imperial or urban privileges” ( Ultimately, Feyerabend “was imprisoned for five days in a tower of the Frankfurt city fortification …” (ibid) and three years after this portrait was engraved he died of a stroke.

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