(Attrib.) Adriaen Collaert (c1560-1618)
“The Emperor Commodus Killing a Leopard” (aka “Keizer Commodus doodt een luipaard met een pijl” [Emperor Commodus kills a leopard with an arrow]), c1596, plate 14 from the series of 104 engravings, “Hunting Parties” (aka “Venationes Ferarum, Avium, Piscium” (transl. “With wild beasts, birds, fish”), after Jan van der Straet (aka Joannes Stradanus; Ioannes Stradanus) (1523–1605), published in Antwerp by Philips Galle (1537–1612).
Archive.org offers an online view the publication, “Venationes Ferarum, Avium, Piscium”, before the numbering of this engraving: https://archive.org/details/printboeck00stra/page/n89/mode/2up.
Note: the first edition of “Venationes Ferarum, Avium, Piscium” published by Galle comprised 43 unnumbered plates all engraved by Galle with a dedication page to Cosimo de Medici. After this edition the series was expanded to 104 plates engraved by A. Collaert, J. Collaert, C. Galle I and C. de Mallery with a dedication page to the jurist Henricus van Osthoorn en Sonnevelt (see https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1957-0413-37 and A. Baroni and M. Sellink, “Stradanus 1523-1605: Court artist of the Medici”, exh. cat. Groeningemuseum Brugge 2008–09, Turnhout, 2012, pp. 245–58, cat. nos. 32–49).
Engraving on fine laid paper trimmed with a narrow margin around the borderline and backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 20.3 x 27.4 cm; (image borderline) 20 x 27.1 cm.
Inscribed in plate within the image borderline along lower edge: (centre) “Ioan Stradanus inuent.”; (right of centre) “Ioan Galle excud.”
Numbered and lettered in plate in two columns of two lines below the image borderline: (left) “14.”; (centre) “Pensilis è cauea Tigris rabiosa theatri/ Erumpit vinclis, hominiq[ue] occurrit inermi,// Quem ne dilaceret fera bellua, Commodus arcu/ Impedit, atq[ue] feræ iacit in præcordia telum.”
State: ii (of iii) with the addition of the plate number.
New Hollstein (Dutch & Flemish) 513.II (Marjolein Leesberg [comp.] 2008, “The New Hollstein: Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts 1450–1700: Johannes Stradanus”, vol. 3, Amsterdam, Sound and Vision Rijksmuseum, p.193; p.224 [fig.], cat. no. 513); Baroni Vannucci 693.14 (Alessandra Baroni Vannucci 1997, “Jan van der Straet, detto Giovanni Stradano, flandrus pictor et inventor”, Milan, Jandi Sapi Editori).
The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Plate 14, The Emperor Commodus Killing a Leopard; at centre, a leopard leaps from its cage towards a male figure in a stadium; at the upper left, the Emperor Commodus fires an arrow at the leopard from the balcony; to left and right, spectators look on” (https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1957-0413-50).
See also the description of this print offered by the Rijksmuseum: http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.97378.
Condition: a strong and well-printed impression with narrow margins around the borderline and laid upon an archival support sheet of millennium quality washi paper. Beyond small chips to the corners, the sheet is in an excellent condition with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, stains or foxing.
I am selling this exceptionally rare, engraving from the late 1500s for the total cost of AU$307 (currently US$228.39/EUR192.94/GBP165.78 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 glimpse into Roman life at the time when Emperor Commodus’ megalomania had led to statues being erected portraying him as Hercules and—perhaps more worrying—had Rome renamed, "Colonia Commodiana”, before he met his demise with the poisoning hand of his favourite concubine, Marcia, and the strangling hands of a young athlete, please contact me (email@example.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
This print has been sold