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Friday 17 July 2020

Giovanni Battista Galestruzzi’s etching, “The Slaughter of Niobe’s Chlidren”, 1656, after Polidoro da Caravaggio

Giovanni Battista Galestruzzi (1619–1678)

“The Slaughter of Niobe’s Chlidren” (TIB title) (aka “Niobid frieze of the Palazzo Milesi”), 1656, plate five in the series of five plates, “History of Niobe”, after Polidoro da Caravaggio’s (aka Polidoro da Caravagio; Polidoro Caldara da Caravaggio; Polidoro Caldara) (c1500–1536/7 [BM dates]) fresco on the façade of the Palazzo Milesi in Rome—sadly the frescoes on the façade have almost completely vanished by deterioration.

Etching on fine laid paper trimmed with a narrow margin around the image borderline and backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 11.6 x 34.5 cm; (image borderline) 11 x 34.2 cm.
Inscribed on plate on horse at lower left: “GIO. BAT. GALESTRVZZI/ FECE / GG (monogram); (abraded below the image borderline at lower left corner): “D”.

Early impression before numbering with “5” below the image borderline at centre (see a similar unnumbered impression held by the Harvard Art Museums:

TIB 46 (21).20 (59) (Paolo Bellini [ed.] 1982, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Italian Masters of the Seventeenth Century”, vol. 46, New York, Abaris Books, p. 89, cat. no. 20 [59]); Bartsch XXI.59.20.

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Apollo and Diana killing with their arrows the children of Niobe, in five sheets: sheet 5. 1656”

Condition: well-printed impression but with minor spots of abrasion (e.g. lower left corner), edge tears (e.g. lower edge towards the right) and restored small holes (e.g. on the extended arm of the young woman at lower right). The sheet has mellowed with age-toning and is laid upon an archival support sheet of millennium quality washi paper.

I am selling this historically important etched frieze that is a surviving visual record of Polidoro da Caravaggio’s now lost—in the sense of badly deteriorated—fresco on the lower register of the façade of the Palazzo Milesi in Rome, for AU$315 (currently US$220.02/EUR192.54/GBP175.36 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 visually arresting old master etching exemplifying the Baroque period style, 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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