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Monday 16 August 2021

Stefano della Bella’s etching, “View of the Coast of Italy”, 1647

Stefano della Bella (1610–1664)

“View of the Coast of Italy” (aka “Veuë des Costes d’Italie”), 1647, from the series of 8 plates (De Vesme/Massar [1971] 194–801), “Views of Sea Ports”, published in Paris by Israël Henriet (c1590–1661) with royal privilege (as inscribed on plate).

Etching on fine laid paper trimmed around the platemark and backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 8.9 x 13.9 cm.

Inscribed in plate along the lower edge: (left): “S. D. Bella inuenit et fecit”; (centre) “Veuë des Costes d’Italie.”; (right) “Israel ex. cum priuil. Regis.”

State i (of i) Possibly a lifetime impression based on the quality of line showing no sign of wear to the printing plate.

De Vesme/Massar 801 (Alexandre de Vesme & Phyllis D. Massar, 1971, “Stefano della Bella. Catalogue Raisonné”, New York, Collectors Editions, [text] p. 123, cat. no. 801, [illust.] p. 158, cat. no. 801); Jombert (Della Bella) 134-8 (Charles Antoine Jombert 1772, “Essai d'un catalogue de l'oeuvre d'Etienne de la Belle, peintre et graveur florentin”, Paris, p. 138, cat. no. 134-8).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print: “Coastline with a tall tower on the water's edge to right, four men playing cards at centre and the prow of a ship leaning to one side to left, with smoke rising from it. 1647 Etching” (

See also the description offered by the Rijksmuseum:

Condition: a strong and well-printed impression, trimmed around the platemark and laid onto a sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper.

I am selling this intriguingly interesting etching showing workmen attending to a fire at the prow of a propped-up ship while men in the foreground play cards watched over by a plumed pikeman leaning on his vertical weapon, for AU$236 (currently US$172.34/EUR146.38/GBP124.66 at the time of posting 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 superb etching by one of the most famous of the old master printmakers, 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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