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Sunday, 19 January 2020

Johann Wilhelm Baur's etching, “The Love of Venus and Adonis”, 1641


Johann Wilhelm Baur (1607–1641)

“The Love of Venus and Adonis”, 1641, plate 97 from the series, “Ovid's Metamorphoses” (aka “Metamorphosen des Ovid”), portraying Venus attempting to seduce the handsomest man in the world, Adonis, who is more preoccupied with hunting.

Note that in Shakespeare’s version of this story (the narrative poem, “Venus and Adonis”), Adonis is accidentally gorged to death by a wild boar who was so attracted to Adonis’ manly charms that it tried—dare I suggest, incompetently—to kiss him.

Etching on laid paper (with watermark) backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 16.5 x 25.3 cm; (plate) 13.2 x 20.7 cm.
Inscribed below the image borderline: (left) “WB. In:[…]”; (right) “97.”
State i (of iii)

Bonnefoit 1997 R.216 (Régine Bonnefoit 1997, “Johann Wilhelm Baur (16071642): Ein Wegbereiter der barocken Kunst in Deutschland”, Tübingen); Hollstein 12.I.

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Plate 97: Venus and Adonis; on a mound underneath two trees, Venus lying in the arms of Adonis, in an embrace; Adonis is seated on the mound; a bow, a bundle of arrows and a horn strewn on the ground in the immediate foreground; at right, five dogs are seated on the ground; further right, a winged creature emerges from a cloud”

See also the description offered by the Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum:

Condition: well-printed impression but slightly uneven wiping of pale plate tone with adequate margins (varying from 1.5 to 2.5 cm) and laid onto a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. The sheet is in very good condition (i.e. there are no tears, folds, losses, abrasions, significant stains or foxing).

I am selling this remarkably composed etching—note the strong use of repeated parallel angled trees and the way that the artist has balanced the ghost-like swans of Venus’ chariot on the far right with a “space-filling” silhouetted tree limb on the far left—for a total cost of AU$242 (currently US$166.66/EUR150.14/GBP128.20 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 visually rich etching in its portrayed details—note for example the beautifully drawn dogs in the foreground where they all react differently to what is happening around them—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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