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Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Stefano della Bella’s etching, “Ornamental panel featuring a child with leopards”, c1653


Stefano della Bella (1610–1664)

“Ornamental panel featuring a child with leopards and foliage scrollwork” (descriptive title only), c1653 (BM attribution of date), from the series of twelve plates (including the title plate that I have listed previously), “Ornamenti o grottesche” (Ornaments and grotesques), published in 1650–56.

Etching on fine laid paper trimmed along or slightly within the plate-mark and backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 16.5 x 6.2 cm

De Vesme/Massar 1971.1004 (A de Vesme, revised by Phyllis D Massar 1971, “Stefano della Bella: Catalogue Raisonné”, New York, p. 155, cat. no. 1004); Jombert (Della Bella) 1772.179 (Charles Antoine Jombert 1772, “Essai d'un catalogue de l'oeuvre d'Etienne de la Belle, peintre et graveur florentin”, Paris, p. 173, cat. no. 179); Orn Cat II 2004. 689 (Peter Fuhring; transl. from the Dutch by Jennifer Kilian and Katy Kist 2004, “Ornament prints in the Rijksmuseum II: the seventeenth century”, Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum Sound and Vision, vol. 1, p. 144, cat. no. 689).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Ornament panel with a small naked girl standing by a seated leopard at base and holding a leopard cub, with foliage scrollwork ascending vertically.”

Note that the Metropolitan Museum of Art proposes that the figure is a boy rather than a girl (see https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/397829) and the Harvard Museum of Art advises that the figure is a woman (see https://www.harvardartmuseums.org/collections/object/72143). The Rijksmuseum (in transl.) describes the figure as a girl and the feline critters as panthers (see http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.collect.77496).

From my standpoint, the figure is clearly a male child—after all he has a penis!—and the rosette spots on the cats suggest that they are leopards.

Condition: crisp impression in excellent condition (i.e. there are no tears, folds, holes, abrasions, stains, foxing or signs of use), trimmed along the plate-mark (or slightly within) and backed with a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper.

I am selling this rare ornamental panel exemplifying the Baroque period style for AU$220 (currently US$156.65/EUR139.22/GBP118.4 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 sensitively etched panel from the early 1600s, 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










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