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Thursday, 9 January 2020

Herman van Swanevelt's etching, "The Death of Adonis", 1654


Herman van Swanevelt (aka Herman Swaneveld) (c.1603–1655)

“The Death of Adonis” [La Mort d’Adonis], 1654 (as inscribed on plate), plate 5 from the series, “Six Landscapes with the story of Adonis”, based on Ovid’s account of a myth in which Adonis is gored by a boar later to die in Aphrodite's arms with her tears mingling with his blood to become the anemone flower (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adonis).

Etching on laid paper with small margins backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 28.3 x 35.2 cm; (plate); 26 x 34 cm; (image borderline) 23.5 x 33.6 cm.
Lettered on plate below the image borderline: (left) “Adonis Rencontre le Sanglier et fut tue alause/ quil Nauoit pas bien apris son Mestier”; (left of centre) “Herman Van Swaneuelt fecit”; (centre) “5”; (right of centre) “Cum preuilegio Regis 1654.”; (left)  “Aussy les Jgnorens la premiere Aduersitte les Renuerse/ Sans Esperence de Jamais plus se Releuel".

State i (of iii) before the addition of the details of publisher, Henri Bonnart, in the second state (see Rijksmuseum no. RP-P-1888-A-13941), and the deletion of the plate number, “5”, in the final state (see http://www.drawingsandprints.com/SearchInventory/SearchDetails.cfm?id=19247).

TIB 105 (311); (Mark Carter Leach & Peter Morse [eds.] 1978, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Netherlandish Artists”, vol. 2, New York, Abaris Books, p. 309 cat. no. 105 [311]); Bartsch II.311.105; Hollstein 22.

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Plate 5: The death of Adonis. Landscape with the hunter lying on the ground on a mound next to a large tree, his two dogs about to attack the boar at left; view of a wooded valley in background”

See also the description of the print offered by Te Pap Tongarewa (The Museum of New Zealand):
“In The death of Adonis, the fifth print in the series, the lifeless body of Adonis, his hunting dogs and the great boar are set in the foreground of a lush, idyllic landscape. The split tree trunk and a broken tree stump are reminders of his birth and symbolise his life cut short. The French verse below laments the impatience and impetuousness of youth”

Condition: superb, well-printed impression laid onto a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. The sheet is in an excellent condition for its considerable age (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, losses, abrasions or significant stains).

I am selling this large and visually arresting etching of the highest quality by Swanevelt for a total cost of AU$360 (currently US$247.51/EUR222.63/GBP188.66 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this jewel of a classical landscape where portrayed figures and the narrative in which they are engaged are sublimated to a grand vision of landscape, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

Note: I have another exceptionally beautiful etching by Herman van Swanevelt which inexplicably is still available (at the moment of writing), “The Mountain”, 1650–55:











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