Gallery of prints for sale

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Cornelis Bloemaert & Theodor Matham’s etching, “Tantale”, 1655, and Bernard Picart’s etching, “Tantalus’ Torment”, 1730

Cornelis Bloemaert (1603–1692) in collaboration with

Theodor Matham (aka Dirk Matham) (1605/06–1676) (background landscape)

Note: Based on the description offered by, I understand that Cornelis Bloemaert also engraved the same design in reverse in another plate (c1676); see

“Tantale” (as titled on plate), c1655, after the design by Abraham van Diepenbeeck (aka Abraham van Diepenbeek; Abraham van Diepenbeke) (1596–1675), plate 54 in the series of 58 illustrations to Michel de Marolles’ (1600–1681) “Tableaux du Temple des Muses” (aka “Tableaux du temple des muses tirez du cabinet de feu Mr Favereau, et gravez en tailles-douces par les meilleurs maistres de son temps pour représenter les vertus et les vices, sur les plus illustres fables de l'antiquité, avec les descriptions, remarques et annotations”), published by Nicolas Langlois in Paris in 1655. This impression may be from a later date as it is inscribed on the plate with the number, “57”.

Etching and engraving on laid paper.

Size: (sheet) 32.5 x 22.7 cm; (plate) 27.4 x 18 cm; (image borderline) 23.3 x 17.6 cm.

Numbered and lettered on plate below the image borderline: (left) “Tantale”; (centre) [two lines of Greek from Homer's Odyssey] HOMER. Odyss. XI.”; (right) “54”.

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:

“Mythological scene with Tantalus in a river trying to reach for some fruits on a tree at left, Hell in left background; after Abraham van Diepenbeeck; illustration on page 427 from Marolles' "Temple des Muses" (Paris, Nicolas Langlois: 1655). c.1635-1638”


Note: the BM references this print in Marcel Roethlisberger’s “Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons” (1993) with cat. no. “CB11”, but this reference is incorrect as CB11 is the cat. no. for “The Slaying of the Niobids” (see vol. 1, p. 524).

Condition: strong impression but with a printer’s crease on the right. The sheet is in an excellent condition with no tears, holes, losses, abrasions, significant stains or foxing.

I am selling this pair of etchings based on the same design, but executed by different artists with a gap of around 75 years separating them, for AU$334 in total for the pair (currently US$255.55/EUR208.40/GBP188.81 at the time of posting this listing) 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 amazing pair of superb quality etchings, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This pair of prints has been sold

Bernard Picart (1673–1733)

“Tantalus’ Torment” (aka “Tantalus in Hades”), 1730, after the engraving by Cornelis Bloemaert and Theodor Matham after the design by Abraham van Diepenbeeck, first published in Amsterdam by Zacharias Chatelain (fl.1705–1749) in 1733 in “Le temple des muses: orné de LX tableaux où sont représentés les evenemens les plus remarquables de l'antiquité fabuleuse” (The temple of the muses: decorated with 60 illustrations representing the most remarkable events of fabulous antiquity), plate inset between pages 142 and 143 (see

Etching and engraving in two plates (an outer frame plate and an inner image plate) on laid paper.

Size: (sheet) 46.4 x 28.6 cm; (outer plate) 35.5 x 25.7 cm; (image borderline) 34.2 x 24.4 cm.

Lettered on plate below the image: “B. Picart dir. / TANTALE CONDAMNÉ À SOUFFRIR LA FAIM & LA SOIF, Des Tantalus Bunderbahre bestrafung / MALGRÉ LES FRUITS & LES EAUX QUI L’ENVIRONNENT. │Tantalus midden onder Vrugten en Wateren, / Tantalus’s torment. │tot honger en dorst verweesen.”

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:

“Tantalus in Hades, standing in shoulder-deep water, tries to pick up some fruits from a tree; in ornate frame, with winds on each side, and peacock in the lower part, printed from a separate plate; plate LVI to 'Le Temple des Muses' (first published Amsterdam: Chatelain, 1733). c.1730/33”


Condition: strong, near faultless impression in near pristine condition with no tears, holes, folds, losses, abrasions, significant stains, foxing or signs of handling.

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