Tuesday, 11 February 2020
Francesco Brizio's engraving, “St Mary Magdalene in Penitence”, c.1600
Francesco Brizio (aka Francesco Briccio) (1574–1623)
“St Mary Magdalene in Penitence” (aka “Mary Magdalen”; “Maria Magdalena”), c.1600, possibly after Lodovico Carracci (1555–1619) (according to Carlo Cesare Malvasia  in “Le Pitture di Bologna”, p. 74) or more likely Titian (1489/90–1576) because of the close view of Mary seen in supplication (according to DeGrazia Bohlin  in her catalogue raisonné for the Carracci family, p. 396), published by Nicolas van Aelst (1550s–1613).
Engraving on laid paper trimmed with a thread margin around the image borderline and backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 23.1 x 18.2 cm; (inner image borderline) 21.2 x 18 cm.
Lettered below the image borderline: “SPECVLVM PENITENTIÆ”.
State i (of ii) lifetime impression before the addition of the publisher’s address.
TIB 4003.004 S1 (Veronika Birke 1987, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Italian Masters of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries”, vol. 40 [Commentary Part 1], New York, Abaris Books, p. 185, cat.no. .004 S1); DeGrazia Bohlin R29 (Diane DeGrazia Bohlin 1979, “Prints and Related Drawings by the Carracci Family: A Catalogue Raisonné”, Washington, National Gallery of Art, p. 396, cat.no. R 29); Bartsch XVIII.80.83 (under Agostino Carracci) (Adam Bartsch 1803, “Le Peintre Graveur”, vol. 18, Vienna, p. 80, cat.no. 83).
The Rijksmuseum offers the following description of this print:
(transl.) “Maria Magdalena in a landscape. In the background on the right is an ointment jar”
See also the description of this print offered by the British Museum:
Regarding the pose of a figure portrayed resting their head on their hand, by tradition this pose signifies a state of melancholy and because the figure shown here is the biblical figure, Mary Magdalen—note her symbolic attribute: the jar of ointment used to anoint the crucified Christ—her pose is likely to signify repentant sorrow for her former life as a promiscuous woman.
Condition: Evenly and well-printed lifetime impression showing no sign of wear to the printing plate, trimmed with a narrow margin around the borderline and laid upon a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. The sheet is in excellent condition for its age (i.e. there are no tears, folds, holes, losses, abrasions, stains or foxing).
I am selling this exceptionally rare lifetime impression (before the addition of the publisher’s name) in museum quality condition for AU$432 in total (currently US$289.76/EUR265.33/GBP224.22 at the time of posting 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 beautifully executed engraving exemplifying the Baroque period style of heightened drama and exuberant rhythms, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
This print has been sold