Gallery of prints for sale

Friday 25 January 2019

Stefano della Bella’s etching, “Dark man with turban and spear on horseback”, c1651

Stefano della Bella (1610–1664)

“Dark man with turban and spear on horseback” (Rijksmuseum title), c1651, from the series of eleven unnumbered round prints, “Figures on Horseback” (Cavaliers nègres, polonais et hongrois). The Rijksmuseum advises that the “preliminary study is kept at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence (entry 7990 F)” (RP-P-OB-34,534).

Etching on fine laid paper with uneven margins around the plate-mark backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 18.8 x 18.8 cm; (plate) 18.1 x 18.2 cm; (image borderline dia.) 17.8 cm.
Inscribed on plate below the image borderline: (left) "S.D.Bella F."; (right) "Cum Priuil. Regis."
State i/ii? (of ii) This may be a first state impression before additional line work is added to the sky (compare with the BM’s second state impression [1871,0513.678]) but I have been unable to compare this print with a first state impression to verify this proposal.

De Vesme/Massar 1971 272.I (A de Vesme, revised by Phyllis D Massar 1971, “Stefano della Bella, New York”, p. 87, cat. no. 272); Jombert (Della Bella) 175-3 (Charles Antoine.Jombert 1772, “Essai d'un catalogue de l'oeuvre d'Etienne de la Belle, peintre et graveur florentin”, Paris, p. 171, cat. no. 175–3).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Black horseman riding towards right; wearing a tiger skin over his shoulders, with a Turkish man standing behind to left in front of a pyramid, and with a caravan travelling towards right with an elephant; a round composition.”

See also the description of this print at the Metropolitan Museum of Art:

Condition: crisp, well-printed impression in excellent condition (i.e. there are no tears, folds, holes, abrasions, stains or foxing), with uneven margins around the plate-mark and backed with a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper.

I am selling this large(ish) masterwork of etching by Della Bella featuring subject matter that must have been a very exotic in France during the mid-1600s—a pyramid, an elephant and a Moorish horseman armed with a lance, bow and arrows—for AU$397 (currently US$281.94/EUR248.90/GBP215.47 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 stunning masterpiece—arguably one of Della Bella’s most famous etchings (in terms of how often it is reproduced)—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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