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Wednesday 2 October 2019

Aegidius Sadeler II's engraving, “The Nymph Syrinx Watched by Pan”, c1600

Aegidius Sadeler II (aka Gillis Sadeler; Egidius Sadeler; Ægedius Sadler) (c1570–1629)
“The Nymph Syrinx Watched by Pan” (TIB title) (aka “Pan bespiedt de nimf Syrinx” [Pan spies the nymph Syrinx]), 1586–1629, after a lost drawing by Aegidius II, but, as TIB (7201.108) points out, the composition may “be compared to the drawing in the Öffentliche Kunstsammlungen Kupferstichkabinett, Basel (inv. 81, 376, 60).

Engraving (with etching) on fine laid paper trimmed along the platemark and backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 22.1 x 16.8 cm; (image borderline) 21 x 16.5 cm.
Inscribed on plate within the image borderline: (lower right corner) “EG: Sadeler fecit”.
Lettered on plate below the image borderline in two lines of Latin text in two columns: “Naias una fuit nymphæ Syringa .../ …// …/ … referre”.
State i (of ii); lifetime impression before the addition of the publication details (“Marco Sadeler excudit.”)

TIB 7201.108 SI (Isabelle de Ramaix 1997, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Aegidius Sadeler II”, Part 1, vol. 72. New York, Abaris Books, pp. 176–77, cat. no. [7201].108); Hollstein Dutch 109-1(2) (Dieuwke de Hoop Scheffer [comp.] and Karel Gerard Boon [ed.] 1980, “Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts ca.1450–1700: Aegidius Sadeler to Raphael Sadeler II: text”, vol. 21, Amsterdam, Van Gendt & Co, p. 31, cat. no. 109); Nagler 1835–52, no. 149; Le Blanc. no. 69; Wurzbach, vol. 4,  no. 72.

The Rijksmuseum offers the following description of this print:
(Transl.) “The Syrinx nymph sits, half undressed, next to a stream. A dog is sleeping next to her. Behind her, among the trees, Pan peeks at her and makes a 'silence' gesture with his finger in front of her mouth. The print has a Latin signature.”

See also the insightful description of this print offered by Spaightwood Galleries:

This engraving illustrates the famous scene from Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” (Book 1, line 705):
“… until she had arrived the placid Ladon's sandy stream, whose waves prevented her escape. There she implored her sister Nymphs to change her form: and Pan, believing he had caught her, held instead some marsh reeds for the body of the Nymph; and while he sighed the moving winds began to utter plaintive music in the reeds, so sweet and voice like that poor Pan exclaimed; ‘Forever this discovery shall remain a sweet communion binding thee to me.’”

Condition: richly inked, well-printed lifetime impression, trimmed along the platemark and, laid upon an archival support sheet of millennium quality washi paper. There are restored losses (e.g. in the tree and sky above the quiver and along Syrinx’s left arm) and age-toning (darkening) to the sheet, otherwise the impression is in good condition for its considerable age.

I am selling this stunningly rich, first state, lifetime impression, for AU$510 (currently US$241.05/EUR312.16/GBP277.83 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 acquiring this very beautiful engraving designed to engage the viewer reflexively in shameful complicit silence by the Silentium/Silentio finger gesture of the voyeur Pan, 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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