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Thursday, 22 April 2021

Francesco Rosa’s engraving, “The Death of Cato”, c1627

Francesco Rosa (aka Francesco di Rosa; Pacicco) (1638–1687)

“The Death of Cato”, c1627 (1600–1654).

Engraving printed in brown-black ink on laid paper with a small margin around the platemark and backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 35.4 x 40.9 cm; (plate) 34 x 39.8 cm; (image borderline) 30.2 x 39.8 cm.

Inscribed on plate within the image borderline (lower left) “Fran. Rosa Inuen. pinx. et del.”

Lettered on plate below the image borderline with a dedication to Cardinal Camillo Massimo (1620–1677), the Cardinal’s coat-of arms at centre and Latin verses: (left) “EMIN[entissim]o. Ac Rev[erendissim]o. PRINCIPI CAMILLO/ Vt Momum fugiant , sacrantur paruula Magno/ Hæroi; meus at MAXIMVS extat Herus./ Paruula sunt, fateor; sed sunt monumenta CATONIS;/ Et licet ipse minor nomine, facta negant./ Non quantum; sed quanto animo Sacro MAXIME Præsul/ Perpendas; sedat victima parua Deos.”; (right) “MAXIMO S.R.E. CARD[ina]li. AMPLISSIMO./ Dedecoris Mortisque simul stimulabat imago/ HĘROEM: hec corpus afficit, illa animam./ Non furor est proprijs manibus procumbere lætho;/ Virtutis meta est ne moriare mori:/ Nacta tibi generose CATO sunt morte trophæa:/ Vicisti, victus; victor es ipse tui.”

Interestingly, the British Museum and the Rijksmuseum hold only one other etching by Francesco Rosa: https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1874-0808-791. This is understandable, however, as Francesco Rosa (not to be confused with Salvator Rosa) made only four engravings and, surprisingly, this rare engraving does not even feature in the catalogue for this artist in “The Illustrated Bartsch: Italian Masters of the Seventeenth Century”, vol. 47 [21], pp. 109–121. Nevertheless, the Victoria and Albert Museum offers a description of it: http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O824885/death-of-cato-print-rosa-francesco-di/.

Condition: a richly inked impression with a small margin around the platemark, laid upon a support sheet of fine archival/millennium quality washi paper. There are restorations and replenished losses to the nibbled edges of the sheet and to the head of the soldier supporting Cato, otherwise the impression is startlingly strong and in good condition.

I am selling this engraving of the utmost rarity—and undoubtedly a lifetime impression based on quality of the line—for AU$492 (currently US$381.37/EUR316.72/GBP274.04 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 magnificent engraving showing Cato the Younger (95–46 BC) slumped on the floor with a collapsed mathematical table to his side after having stabbed and disembowelled himself rather than live in a world led by Julius Caesar, 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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