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Wednesday 8 September 2021

Jan de Bisschop’s etching, “Statue of Aphrodite”, 1668/9

Jan de Bisschop (aka Johannes Episcopius) (1628–71)

“Statue of Aphrodite”, 1668/9 (pub. 1672), plate 81 from the series, “Signorum Veterum Icones,” published by Jan de Bisschop and in the case with this impression (based on the margins) in 1672 by Nicolaes Visscher II (1649–1702) in Amsterdam. offers an online view of this etching in its context in the publication:

Etching with engraving on fine laid paper watermarked with the Arms of Amsterdam.

Size: (sheet) 29.9 x 18 cm; (plate) 21.1 x 13.5 cm.

Inscribed in plate: (upper right corner) “81”; (lower right) “[De Bisschop's ligature monogram]. f."

Hollstein 6; Van Gelder I.166.81

The British Museum offers the following description of this print: “Statue of an Aphrodite in a pudica pose with a cloth lying on a rock beside her left leg; front view and side view directed to left shown side by side” (

The Curator of the British Museum offers the following insights regarding the portrayed sculpture:

“The statue was lost during the fire of 1762 in the Uffizi in Florence. This type belongs to the Venus pudica type, which may have been a Hellenistic repetition. Its base and support may have been modern. The draughtsman's name is not mentioned. In his list of contents and locations de Bisschop says that the statue is "in aedibus Mediceis", a location which he otherwise used for statues inside the Villa Medici in Rome. He obviously had a drawing with the inscription 'Medici' at his disposal and did not know that the statue was actually in Florence. He further says that it is not very different from the Greek Venus "in the same palace" and that according to Cavalieri, III.IV,67, it seems it was previously in the Farnese collection (which was not the case); Cavalieri's plate in fact shows another version.” (op.cit.)

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

I am selling this amazing double view of an antique sculpture that was destroyed in a fire a century after this etching was published, for AU$247 in total (currently US$182.06/EUR153.79/GBP132.29 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this dual viewpoint of a classically arranged Aphrodite/Venus in the famous pudica pose—a pose that in one sense gives modesty to the nude figure, while (arguably) also drawing attention to her pudenda and her partially successful covering of her breasts—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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