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Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Anthony van Dyck & Lucas Vorsterman I’s etching with engraving, “Titian and His Mistress,” c1635

(Etching component) Anthony van Dyck (aka Anthony van Dijck; Anthoni van Dijck; Antoon van Dijk; Anton van Dyck) (1599–1641) and

(Engraving component) Lucas Vorsterman I (aka Lucas Aemilius Vorsterman) (1595–1675)


“Titian and His Mistress,” 1630–1640, published in Paris by Antoine Bonenfant (aka Antoon Goetkindt; Anton Goetkint) (fl.1598–1644) with the inscribed dedication:

(transl.) “Anthony van Dyck dedicates this lifelike portrait of the peerless Titian to the illustrious and venerable Lord Lucas can Uffel, patron and dear friend, in token of his affection and love”;

and the following two column inscription:

(transl.) “Behold this beauty! O happy fate! In her womb she bears a child. Whether she lives or dies, we know her thanks to the art of the great Titian.”

Etching and engraving on laid paper trimmed irregularly around the image borderline and Italian text below, backed on a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 30.1 x 23 cm; (image borderline) 26.8 x 23 cm.

Lettered on plate below the image borderline in two columns of Italian in two lines: "Ecco il belveder! ô che felice sorte!/ Che la fruttifera frutto in ventre porte// Ma ch'ella porte, ô me; vita et morte piano/ Demonstra l'arte del magno Titiano."; (cente) "Al molto illustre, magnifico et offerunadis.mo Sig.r il SIG.R LVCA VAN VFFEL, in segno d'affectione et inclinatione/ amoreuole, com Patrone et singularis.mo amico suo dedicato il vero ritratto del vnico Titiano Ant. van Dyc[k]"; (lower left) “Titian inuentor”; (lower left of centre) “Cum Priuilege Regis”; (lower right of centre) “A Bonenfant excū”.

State iv (of vi) with the publisher’s address of Bonenfant.


Hollstein Dutch 210-4(7) (Christiaan Schuckman [comp.] 1993, “Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts ca. 1450–1700: Lucas Vorsterman I”, vol. 43, Roosendaal, Koninklijke Van Poll Rijksprentenkabinet, p. 223, cat. no. 210); New Hollstein (Dutch & Flemish) 628.IV; Mauquoy-Hendrickx 1991 B.IV.

The Rijksmuseum offers the following description of this print:

(transl.) “Titian as an old man, with his mistress. He puts a hand on her stomach. At the bottom right a skull”

(http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.316527).

See also the detailed discussion about this print offered by Carl Depauw and Ger Luijten (1999) in “Anthony van Dyck as a Printmaker,” (Antwerp, [ex. cat.] Museum Plantin-Moretus/Stedelijk Prentenkabinet), pp. 240–248.

The British Museum also describes this print (and holds earlier states): https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_X-1-5.


Condition: a well-printed impression trimmed irregularly around the image but retaining full lettered text below the image borderline. There are few small holes otherwise the sheet is in an excellent condition for its considerable age (i.e. there are no tears, folds, abrasions, significant stains or foxing) and it is laid onto a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper.

I am selling this historically important etching (with engraving) showing not only a faithful portrait of the “peerless” artist, Titian, and his mistress, but also revealing a 17th century notion about the transience of life and pleasure with regard to the portrayed couple—as expressed by the vanitas symbol of the skull at lower right—and the idea that Titian’s pregnant mistress should be thankful to have a child by such an esteemed artist—as proposed in the Italian text under the image, “whether she lives or dies” (in translation)—for AU$613 (currently US$444.65/EUR372.44/GBP336.93 at the time of posting this print) including Express Mail (EMS) 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 significant print from the early 1600s that is rarely seen on the art market, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold











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