Monday, 20 April 2020
Giovanni Merlo’s engraving, “St. Chariton the Confessor”, c.1650, after Raphael Sadeler
Giovanni Merlo (fl.c.1656–1696)
“St. Chariton the Confessor”, c.1650, plate 1 in the series, “Sylvae Sacrae” after a lost drawing by Maarten de Vos (1532–1603) in reverse after the 1594 engraving of the same composition by Raphael Sadeler (1561–1628) (see: https://www.vhmml.org/museum/view/1843).
Regarding the portrayed hermit, I understand that St. Chariton was tortured for his Christian faith during Emperor Aurelian’s (270–275) reign and was then abducted to Wadi Farouk (near Jerusalem) by bandits. He settled into a cave in the Pharan Valley after the bandits died from drinking wine poisoned by a snake (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chariton_the_Confessor).
Engraving on early laid paper (based on the characteristically uneven thickening around the chainlines) with a small margin around the platemark.
Size: (sheet) 18.2 x 21.9 cm; (plate) 16.5 x 20.2 cm; (image borderline) 14.9 x 19.9 cm.
Inscribed on plate within the image borderline: (lower right corner) “Gio Merlo”.
Numbered and lettered on plate in two lines of Latin in two columns below the image borderline: "Iconius CHARITON vinculis & carcere misus/ Se nemorum properat claudere carceribus.//1// Dura silex nectar sitienti dulce propinat;/ Namque solent Diuum saxa mouere preces."
TIB 7101.099 C1 (copy in reverse signed “Gio Merlo”) (Isabelle de Ramaix [ed.] 2006, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Raphael Sadeler I”, Vol. 71, Part 1 [Supplement], New York, Abaris Books, p. 124, cat. no. .099 C1).
Condition: richly inked faultless impression in excellent/museum quality condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, losses, abrasions, significant stains or foxing—but there is faded ink alteration by an old hand to the plate number recto).
I am selling this exceptionally strong engraving exemplifying the period style of Mannerism, for the total cost of AU$248 (currently US$156.27/EUR144.19/GBP125.99 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 superb engraving showing St Chariton confessing to a crucifix in his final lavra (called Syriac Souka) that I understand is only accessible by ladders and features a flowing stream from a spring within the cave, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.