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Saturday 22 February 2020

Engraving by an unidentified mid-17th century Spanish artist, “The Virgin of Montserrat”, c 1650

Unidentified (possibly mid-17th century Spanish) engraver

“The Virgin of Montserrat”, c 1650, representing the image of the Virgin and Christ child discovered in the grotto of the “Angelic Chamber of Our Lady of Monserrat” (Santa Cova) and with a pilgrim’s map (with names) of the monasteries and churches on the mountain of Montserrat in Catalonia.

From my reading of what is shown in this engraving—my apologies for inaccuracies, but I have no reference information about this exceptionally rare print beyond what I can see—at lower centre is the crowned and enthroned Virgin holding a flowering lily with the Christ child on her lap holding out his hand in blessing. Surrounding the holy family are pilgrims, worshippers and other dignitaries paying their respect—note the quizzically haughty facial expression on the monk(?) at far left. At lower left is the fallen Lord after crucifixion—note that Montserrat is famous for a statue of Christ that had been removed/fallen from its crucifix support and is known as "El Señor Caído" (the fallen Lord). In the distance is the Monserrat mountain inscribed like a pilgrim’s map with the important topographical sites of veneration.

Engraving on laid paper with small margins, graphite gridded (possibly for copying) and backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 34.4 x 25.4 cm; (plate) 33.5 x 24.4 cm; (image borderline) 31.3 x 24.4 cm.

Inscribed on plate within the image borderline with the names of sites of reverence set beside the topographical features of the mountain: (upper peak) “S.Geroni.” (Sant Jeroni) […] (lower base) “HIC REPERTA FVIT IMAGO VIR.MAR” (This image was found [of the Virgin Mary?]).
Lettered on plate below the image borderline: (centre) “CASA Y CAMARA ANGELICAL DE NVESTRA SEÑORA DE MONSERRATE” (House and Angelic Chamber of Our Lady of Monserrat) and inscribed with the coat of arms of Spain (left) and what may be a regional coat of arms (right).

Condition: well-printed early impression showing no sign of wear to the printing plate, with small margins (approx. 5 mm) and graphite drawn grid-lines possibly laid by an early copyist. Beyond the grid-lines, the margins have brown stains and there are other minor spots, otherwise the sheet is in good condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, losses or foxing).

I am selling this sensitively executed engraving of the utmost rarity—note that I have been unable to find another copy of this print held in any museum—for AU$489 in total (currently US$324.16/EUR298.52/GBP250.17 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 iconic image showing veneration of the deeply religious site of Monserrat—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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