Gallery of prints for sale

Friday 22 May 2020

Crispijn de Passe the Elder’s engraving, “The Apulian Shepherd Transformed into an Olive Tree”, 1602

Crispijn de Passe I (aka Crispin Van de Passe; Crispin De Passe) (1564–1637)

“The Apulian Shepherd Transformed into an Olive Tree” (aka “Apulische herder in een olijfboom veranderd”), 1602, illustration to Ovid's (43BC–AD17) “The Metamorphoses”, Book XIV: 521, with four lines of Latin text in two columns by Johannes Posthius (1537–1597).

The subject of this print features ten nymphs holding hands in a ring around a tree while dancing to the music played on the lute and trumpet by two female musicians in the foreground at left. In the near distance on the right, an Apulian shepherd transforms into an olive tree (oleaster) as punishment for scorning the dancing nymphs.

Engraving on fine laid paper, trimmed with a narrow margin around the platemark.
Size: (sheet) 9.1x 13.5 cm; (plate) 8.7 x 13.3 cm; (image borderline) 7.5 x 13 cm.
Lettered on plate below the image borderline in two lines of Latin text in two columns:
"Apulus …/ …// …/ …habet.”

Franken 1338-124 (Daniel Franken 1975, “Scripta artis monographia: L'oeuvre gravé des Van de Passe”, vol. 19, Amsterdam, p. 254, cat. no. 1338/124); Hollstein Dutch 852 (Karel Gerard Boon 1964, “Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts c.1450–1700: Van Ostade–De Passe”, vol. 15, Amsterdam, Menno Hertzberger en Co, p. 287, cat. no. 852).
Ilja M Veldman 2001, “Profit and pleasure: print books by Crispijn de Passe”, Rotterdam, Sounds & Vision, pp. 73-84, 236, 379 (Fig. 239).

See also the description of this print offered by the Rijksmuseum:

Condition: well-inked and well-printed impression (possibly a lifetime impression as there are no signs of wear to the printing plate), trimmed with a narrow margin around the platemark. The sheet is in excellent condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, losses, abrasions, stains or foxing).

I am selling this very beautiful engraving illustrating an episode from Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” where a shepherd who mocked a group of dancing nymphs is punished by being turned into an olive tree, for AU$238 in total (currently US$155.42/EUR142.15/GBP127.28 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 fascinating engraving from 1602 inviting a viewer by visual cues to hear music and see dancing, 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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