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Monday 19 July 2021

(Attrib./Circle of) Jan Baptist Barbé’s engraving, “The Brazen Serpent”, c1648

(Attrib./Circle of) Jan Baptist Barbé (aka Giovanni Baptista Barbé; Johannes Berbe) (1578–1649)

Regarding the attribution of this engraving to Jan Baptist Barbé, compare this print with Barbé’s “Adoration of the Christ Child by the Three Kings” (1588–1648), from the same, or variant, series inscribed with Theodoor Galle (aka Theodor Galle; Dirck Galle) (1571–1633) as the publisher after the intermediary design by Pieter de Jode I (aka Petrus de Iode; Peeter de Jode; Pieter de Oude Jode) (1573–1634); see Compare also this print with Barbé’s “The Resurrection”, inscribed with Carel van Mallery (aka Charles de Mallery) (1571–1635?) as the publisher after the intermediary design by Maarten de Vos (aka Marten de Vos; Maerten de Vos) (1532–1603); see

“The Brazen Serpent”, c1648, plate 4 in a series of 12 engravings, “The Sins and Penance of Man”, after the intermediary design by either Pieter de Jode I or Maarten de Vos (as discussed above), published in Paris by Pierre Mariette I (c1603–1657) in “L'agreable entretien des ames: sur 168 tableaux souscris de prieres, pour mediter les sts. misteres et pour regler nos vies et mœurs sur celles de n[ot]re sauueur Iesus Christ et de Ste. Marie sa mere, en disant le chapelet du rozaire” ([Google Transl.] “The pleasant interview of souls: on 168 tables subscribed to prayers, to meditate on the holy. misteres and to regulate our lives and mores on those of our savior Iesus Christ and of Ste. Marie his mother, saying the rosary of the rozaire”) (see:

Engraving on laid paper.

Size: (sheet) 18.5 x 13.4 cm; (plate) 16.2 x 11.3 cm; (image borderline) 14.6 x 11.1 cm.

Inscribed in plate in cartouche: (upper left corner) “Fair un/ Serpent/ d'Airain/ et le mets/ pour signe/ Num. 21.” (Make a Brazen Serpent and put it as Num. 21.); (upper right corner) “Il a esté/ offert par/ ce que luy/ mesme la/ voulu./ Isa. 53.” (He was offered by whatever he wanted. Isa. 53.); (lower left corner) “Ta vie sera/ pendante/ deuant tes/ yeux./ Deut. 28.” (Your life will be hanging in your eyes. Deut. 28.); (lower right corner) “Celuy qui/ pend au/ bois est/ maudit./ Deut. 21.” (He who hangs on the wood is cursed. Deut. 21.).

Lettered and numbered in plate below the image borderline: “Comme Moyse a esleué le Serpent dans le desert, ainsi doit/ estre esleué de l’momme. Iean 3./ 4 P.Mariette excu”.

Condition: a strong, well-printed (near faultless) impression with a small margin in near pristine condition with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, stains, foxing or signs of handling.

I am selling this very small and magnificently executed engraving Illustrating an episode from the Bible where Moses erects a bronze sculpture of a snake/serpent and advises his followers to gaze upon it so that they would not be harmed by the “fiery serpents” sent by God to bite those who were grumbling about the hardships that they were facing during their exodus from Egypt—my apologies if my version of the event is not quite right—for the total cost of AU$236 (currently US$174.18/EUR147.55/GBP126.67 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 almost perfectly preserved small gem of engraving from the early 1600s, 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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