Gallery of prints for sale

Monday, 30 March 2020

Simon Gribelin II’s etching, “Shield Of Achilles”, c1715, after Nicolas Vleughels

Simon Gribelin II (1661–1733)

“Shield Of Achilles” (aka “Le Bouclier d'Achille”), c.1715–20, after Nicolas Vleughels (aka Nicolas Wleughels) (1668–1737), proof impression before the addition of publication details and elaboration of the line-fillers in the lower text. This print was later published in 1720 as an Illustration to the first edition of Alexander Pope’s (1688–1744) translation of Book 18 of Homer’s “Iliad” (fl.c.9th–8thC BC).

See the later publication state of this print offered by alamy images:

Charles-Nicolas Cochin (aka Charles Nicolas Cochin père) (1688–1754) also made an etching of the same design after Nicolas Vleughels, who I understand was commissioned by Jean Boivin (1663-1726)— professor of Greek at the Royal College and member of the Academy— to illustrate Achilles' shield as described by Homer, published by François Jouenne in 1715 in Paris.

Regarding Vleughels’ representation of this shield, the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) advises:
(transl.) “This reconstruction remains fairly faithful to the text, with the universe at its center, surrounded by twelve scenes from human life: three on the city in peace, three on the city in war, three on agriculture, three on pastoral life”

Etching and engraving on laid paper trimmed around the platemark with added sides and backed on a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 16.8 x 15.7 cm; (plate) 16.3 x 14.2 cm; (outer image borderline diameter) 14.5 cm.
Lettered on plate: (above the shield) “The Shield […] of Achilles/ as […] describ’d in/ Homers […] 18th Ilias.”; (below the shield) ïn Twelve […] Tables./ Three of a Town in Peace. 1. a Marriage. 2. An Assembly of the People. 3. A Senate./ Three of a Town in War. …/ …/ Three of Agriculture. …/ Three of a Pastoral Life. 10. Lions & Herds of Cattle. 11. Sheep. 12. The Dance.”

Condition: good (but not marvellous) proof-state impression trimmed along the platmark on the lower edge with the addition of 8 mm of paper extensions to the sides and laid onto a support sheet of millennium quality washi paper. The side panel extensions are mottled with stains (glue?) and this mottling is also to be seen slightly within the platemark otherwise the sheet is in good condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, abrasions or signs of foxing).

I am selling this remarkable proof-state etching of great complexity in its design (following Homer’s description of the shield purported to be forged by the god Hephaestus) showing the constellations at the centre surrounded by the twelve Zodiac signs and an outer ring depicting twelve scenes from everday life, for the total cost of AU$290 (currently US$178.20/EUR160.97/GBP143.75 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 proof-state lifetime impression executed during the  bubonic plague pandemic known as “The Great Plague of Marseille”, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

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