Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Raphael Sadeler I’s engraving, “View of a Harbour with Large Waves”, c1590

Raphael Sadeler I (1560/61–1628/32)

“View of a Harbour with Large Waves” (TIB title), c1590, after a lost drawing by Pieter Stevens II (c1567–after 1624), published by Raphael Sadeler I (as inscribed on plate).

Etching with engraving on fine laid paper backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 21.4 x 28.3 cm; (plate) 21 x 27.9 cm; (image borderline) 20.1 x 27.7 cm
Inscribed on plate within the image borderline: (lower right) “P. Stephan. In:/ Raph. Sadeler ex.”
Lettered in Latin on plate below the image borderline in four columns of two lines: “Fluctiuago …/ …// …/ …// …/ …// …/ …aquas.”
State i (of i) Note: the crisp linework with no sign of wear to the plate suggests that this is a lifetime or an early impression.

TIB 7102.06 (Isabelle de Ramaix [ed.] 2007, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Raphael Sadeler I”, vol. 71, Part 2 [Supplement], Abaris Books, p. 215); Wurzbach, no. 127, 2; Hollstein 1980, vol. 21, no. 55 (Raphael Sadeler II); Edquist, p. 312, no. 40b.

Condition: richly inked, faultless impression in excellent condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, stains or foxing) trimmed close to the platemark. The sheet has been laid onto a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper.

I am selling this museum quality impression—shimmering with strong contrasts of light and dark—that is so rare that it is neither in the collection of the British Museum nor the Rijksmuseum, for AU$345 in total (currently US$243.76/EUR212.68/GBP188.04 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 arguably one of the best examples of a harbour scene rendered with theatrical drama of the period style known as Mannerism, 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

Research for this print was a tad difficult as it is so rare that reliable information is limited to the catalogue raisonnés rather than online repositories at major museums like the British Museum and the Rijksmuseum (neither of which possess a copy of this print). Making the task even more problematic is that “The Illustrated Bartsch” attributes the print to Raphael Sadeler I (TIB 7102.06) whereas Holstein assigns it to Raphael Sadeler II (Hollstein 1980, vol. 21, no. 55 [Raphael Sadeler II]). Not that even these august authorities are always spot on as TIB (vol. 71, Part 2 [Supplement], p. 215) describes this print as an engraving, but close examination reveals that many of the richer black lines are etched.

Interestingly, the proportional amount of engraving to etching may be a guide to determining who the true printmaker may be, as when I was reading Isabelle de Ramaix’s introduction to the TIB volume on Raphael Sadeler I, I discovered the following riveting piece of information:
“Like Johan Sadeler I, Raphael I always first etched his plates, but he engraved less with the burin than his elder brother, so that the etched lines remain clearly visible” (TIB, vol. 71, Part 2 [Supplement], p. 1). I also discovered in the same introductory essay by Isabelle de Ramaix that “Raphael II usually signed himself as Raphael Junior“ (ibid) and this helps to clarify that the true printmaker is indeed Raphael Sadeler I.

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