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Monday 1 April 2019

Joseph Parrocel, “Jesus Christ est tente sur le haut du Temple”, c1661

Joseph Parrocel (1646–1704)

“Jesus Christ est tente sur le haut du Temple” (Jesus Christ is Tempted on Top of the Temple), c1661, plate 30 from the series of 40 plates, “Les Miracles de la Vie de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ” (The Miracles of the Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ).

Etching on laid paper trimmed close to the plate mark and backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 16.8 x 18.7 cm; (plate) 16.7 x 18.2 cm; (image borderline) 14.6 x 17.9 cm.
Inscribed on plate below the image borderline: (left) “30”; (centre) “IESVS CHRIST est tente sur le haut du Temple.”; (right) “S. Matth Chap.4.”
State i (of ii) lifetime impression of the etched state of the plate before it was later engraved in the second state.
Arguably, this impression is very likely to have been printed by the artist’s own hand as the inventory of his possession (dated 16 July, 1704) reveals that the artist possessed in the cellar of his house a “press in oak wood” to print his plates.

For those unfamiliar with the episode in the Bible illustrated by Parrocel (viz. Matthew 4.5–7), the following translation is offered by the New International Version (NIV):

5. Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.
6. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
7. Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Condition: richly inked crisp and near faultless impression of the utmost rarity, trimmed near the platemark and backed with a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. The sheet is in excellent condition (i.e. there are no tears, folds, holes, abrasions, stains or foxing).

I am selling first state etching, showing the confident ease of the artist to inscribe the plate freely before it was later “finished” with engraving, for AU$220 in total (currently US$156.86/EUR139.44/GBP119.89 at the time of posting this print) 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 old master print, 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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