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Friday 31 July 2020

Joseph Parrocel’s etching, “Jesus Heals the Sick by Laying His Hands on Them,” 1661

Joseph Parrocel (1646–1704)

“Jesus Heals the Sick by Laying His Hands on Them” (aka “Jesus Christ guerit plusieurs malades, imposant les mains sur chacun d'eux” [Robert-Dumesnil title), 1661, plate 19 from the series of forty plates, “Les Miracles de la Vie de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ” (The Miracles of the Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ).

Etching on laid paper trimmed within the plate mark (with partial loss of the lower right biblical reference) and backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 15.6 x 18.3 cm.
Inscribed on plate within the image borderline along the lower edge: (left) “J. Parrossel. jn. et fe. C.P.R”
Inscribed on plate below the image borderline: (centre) “guerit plusieurs maladies, imposant les mains fur chacun” (cures several illnesses, laying hands on everyone); (lower right corner and partially trimmed) “St Luc Ch. 4”.

State i (of ii) lifetime impression of the etched state of the plate before it was later engraved in the second state (see discussion further below).

Robert-Dumesnil in the catalogue raisonné for this set of prints advises that the first state impressions of “pure etching” are “rare.”
Arguably, this impression is very likely to have been printed by the artist’s own hand as the inventory of his possession (dated 16 July, 1704) reveals that the artist possessed in the cellar of his house a “press in oak wood” to print his plates.

Robert-Dumesnil 1838 59 (19) (A P F Robert-Dumesnil 1838, “Le Peintre-Graveur Français,” vol. 3, Paris, p. 275, cat. no. 59 [19]: see

Robert-Dumesnil in the catalogue raisonné (1838) offers the following description of this print:
(Transl.) “Our Lord is standing on a staircase, in the middle of the back, from where he works this miracle on a crowd of sick people stretched out in the foreground and in the background” (p. 266).

Condition: a superb, richly inked and well-printed impression of the utmost rarity—I have been unable to locate another copy of this print in any of the major museum repositories (including the Louvre)—trimmed within the platemark with partial loss of the biblical reference (St. Luke Ch. 4) and backed with a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. The sheet is in excellent condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, stains or foxing).

I am selling this first state etching before it was later “finished” with engraving, for AU$235 in total (currently US$168.86/EUR142.53/GBP128.36 at the time of posting this print) 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 exceptionally rare old master print, 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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