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Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione's etching, “Head of a Man with Turban and Fur Hat”, 1645–50


Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione (aka Il Grechetto) (1609–1664)
“Head of a Man with Turban and Fur Hat” (transl. Rijksmuseum title) (aka “Man with a Long Beard, Wearing a Headdress and Fur Cap, Facing Right” [TIB title]), 1645–50, from the series of six plates according to Bartsch (48–53), or five plates according to Bellini (41-45), “Large Studies of Heads in Oriental Headdress”, printed from the original plate and published in 1816 in London by John McCreery in the album, “200 Etchings”.
Etching on fine wove paper trimmed along the platemark (as published by McCreery) and backed with a support sheet
Size: (sheet) 11.5 x 8.6 cm; (plate) 11.2 x 8.2 cm.
Inscribed on plate at upper right: “CASTILIONE”.
TIB 46 (21). 48 (32) (Paolo Bellini [ed.] 1982, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Italian Masters of the Seventeenth Century”, vol 46, New York, Abaris Books, p. 51, cat. no 48 [32]); Bellini 1982 41 (Paolo Bellini 1982, “L'Opera incisa di Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione”, Milan, Comune di Milano, p. 133, cat. no. 41); Bartsch XXI.32.48.
The British Museum offers a description of this print and the following interesting insight about the series in which it features:
“They were originally etched with small landscapes along the short sides (a very early remarque). …the landscapes were cut away and separately printed.”
See also the following insight about the print series (and a description of this print) offered by the Rijksmuseum:
(transl.) “This series of heads with oriental headwear is inspired by similar etchings by Rembrandt and Lievens.”
Condition: well-printed impression with no sign of wear to the printing plate, trimmed along the platemark (as published) in excellent condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, stains, foxing or signs of use) and laid upon an archival support sheet of millennium quality washi paper.
I am selling this superb etching by the artist argued to be the inventor of the monotype for AU$387 (currently US$263.39/EUR238.05/GBP204.11 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 near faultless (albeit late) impression by one of the most important of the old masters, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


For those who love insights into the lives of the old masters, the following purported “facts” about Castiglione may be fascinating:
1: Castiglione invented the monotype process (i.e. “A single print taken from a design created in oil paint or printing ink on glass or metal.” Oxford Dictionary)
2: Castiglione “discovered” Rembrandt and “is the first artist in Italy known to have borrowed directly from the Dutch master” (Timothy J Standring & Martin Clayton, 2013, “Castiglione: Lost Genius”, Royal Collection Trust, p. 43)
3: He threw his sister off a rooftop. (Standring & Clayton, 2013)
4: He accused his brother of being a thief and an assassin and sent him to jail. (Standring & Clayton, 2013)
5: He almost killed his nephew with relentless punches. (Standring & Clayton, 2013)
6: Castiglione “pioneered the development of the oil sketch” (Wikipedia).










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