Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Stefano della Bella’s etching, “Satyress and two children in a landscape”, 1656


Stefano della Bella (1610–1664)

“Satyress and two children in a landscape” (descriptive title only), 1656, from the series of six round compositions, “Landscapes and sea ports.”

Etching on fine laid paper.

Size: (sheet) 21 x 16.7 cm; (plate) 13.5 x 13.3 cm; (diameter of image borderline) 13 cm.
Lettered on plate at lower left edge: "Stef. Della Bella fecit. 1656.”
State ii (of ii) with the addition of the artist's name and the date of execution.

Vesme (Della Bella) 745-2 (2) (A.de Vesme 1971, revised by Phyllis D.Massar, “Stefano della Bella”, New York, p. 116, cat.no. 745); Jombert (Della Bella) 188-3 (Charles Antoine Jombert 1772, “Essai d'un catalogue de l'oeuvre d'Etienne de la Belle, peintre et graveur florentin”, Paris, p. 183, cat.no. 180-3).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Satyress in a landscape; seated under a tree to right, nursing a child seated on her knee, while another child is seated on the ground to left, playing with garlands of flowers; a round composition.”

See also the description of this print at the Rijksmuseum: http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.collect.77304

Condition: richly inked and well-printed impression (most likely a lifetime impression based on the quality of the lines showing no sign of wear to the printing plate) with generous margins. The print is in museum quality/near pristine condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, creases, abrasions, stains or foxing).

I am selling this round formatted image, revealing Della Bella’s mature etching style where his linework projects an almost Renoir-like softness of modelling, for AU$233 in total (currently US$169.92/EUR147.90/GBP129.23 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 rare lifetime (?) impression in near pristine condition, 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



Like most artists, Della Bella’s style of drawing and etching evolved through his life. This relatively late print was executed at a time when he had moved from his earlier approach of shading using parallel strokes applied with rigid/cool discipline to his mature style of rendering where Della Bella portrays his subjects as if he were physically touching and feeling their forms. When I look at the face of the mother Satyress, for instance, I am reminded of the softly applied strokes of Renoir’s late portraits where the delicate strokes suggest that Renoir modelled his portrayed forms like a blind person “sees” a subject by sense of touch. Interestingly, Della Bella has not completely abandoned his early approach of using parallel lines as the treatment of the sky reveals.








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