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Friday 4 January 2019

Schelte Adamsz. Bolswert's engraving, "Lamentation over the Body of Christ”, c1630

Schelte Adamsz. Bolswert (aka Scheltius À Bolswert) (c1586–1659)

“Lamentation over the Body of Christ” (aka “The Lamentation”), c1630 (BM: 1630–1645; Rijksmuseum: 1596–1659; Carl Depauw [1999] advises in “Anthony van Dyck as Printmaker” that this print was “on the market before 30 December 1643” [fn. 1, p. 266] ), after the painting by Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641) in the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten (Antwerp) (, first published by Maarten van den Enden (1605–1673) in Antwerp.

Engraving on laid paper trimmed with thread margins around the image borderline on the top and sides and unevenly below the text lines with loss of the publisher’s address and backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 34 x 46; (image borderline) 32.2 x 45.7 cm
Lettered on plate below the image borderline: (left) "Antonius van Dyck pinxit./ S. à Bolswert Sculpsit”; (centre) "VOCATE ME MARA, QUIA AMARITUDINE VALDE REPLEVIT ME OMNIPOTENS. Ruth. 1. V. 20."

Sadly the critical information regarding the publisher (Maarten van den Enden for the first state or Gilles Hendricx or Nicolaas Lauwers for later states) has been trimmed from this impression and consequently I am unable to determine the state beyond observing that the crisp quality of the line suggests that this is an early impression before wear to the plate.

Hollstein 30 (Bolswert); New Hollstein (Dutch & Flemish) 536 (Van Dyck)

The British Museum offers the following description of this print in its first state:
“The Lamentation; the Virgin leaning against a rock with the dead Christ in her lap at left, St John and two angels inspecting the wounds in his hand at right …”
See also the description of this print with the address of Gilles Hendricx offered by the Rijksmuseum:

Condition: richly inked, strong early impression (i.e. there is no signs of wear to the printing plate) trimmed close to the image borderline on the top and sides and unevenly on the lower edge with text lines. The sheet is slightly darkened appropriate to its age, otherwise it is in very good condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, significant stains or foxing) and backed with a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper.

I am selling this large masterpiece of early engraving translating a second variation of Van Dyck’s “The Lamentation”—compare this plate to the engraving by Lucas Vorsterman which I listed earlier on my blog (now sold)—for AU$370 (currently US$260.66/EUR228.41/GBP20.37 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 exceptionally rare and magnificent engraving, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

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