Gallery of prints for sale

Tuesday 21 March 2023

Joseph Schmidt’s etching and aquatint, “Mucius Scaevola”, c1780, after Parmigianino

Joseph Schmidt (1750–1816)

“Mucius Scaevola” (aka “Mucius Scaevola putting his hand into the flame”), c1780, after a metal point drawing by Parmigianino (aka Francesco Parmigianino; Francesco Mazzuoli; Francois Mazzuoli; Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola) (1503–1540) that the writing edge advises (in my reading of the text) was held by Giovanni Antonio Armano (fl.1777–1823)—the collector and dealer of old master drawings—in Venice. I understand that the drawing is now in the Devonshire Collection, Chatsworth; see A. E. Popham 1971, “Catalogue of Drawings by Parmigianino”, p. 211, no. 726.

Note that Cesare Massimiliano Gini ([pseud.] Lodovico Inig) (c1739–1821) executed an almost identical print (1780–1800) and colours (see—indeed the similarity is so close that I wonder if there may be an act of skulduggery where one printmaker’s name is replaced by another.

Etching with aquatint printed in brown-black and ochre ink (possibly printed from different plates for each colour) on laid paper (with watermark) and wide margins.

Size: (sheet) 37.1 x 31.2 cm; (plate) 16 x 10.5 cm; (image borderline) 12.6 x 9.2 cm.

Lettered in plate below the image borderline: (left) “Fran. Mazzola del:”; (centre) “Extat apud Joan: Anton: Armanum/ Venetum”; (right) “Jos: Schmidt Scul.”

LeBlanc (not described) (Charles Le Blanc 1854-1888, “Manuel de l'amateur d'estampes: contenant le dictionnaire des graveurs de toutes les nations”, vol. 3, Paris, p. 461); Nagler (not described) (G.K. Nagler 1845, “Neues allgemeines Künstler-Lexicon oder Nachrichten von dem Leben und den Werken der Maler, Bildhauer, Kupferstecher, Formschneider, Lithographen: Santi­_Schoute”, pp. 346–47).

Although Nagler (1845) does not describe this plate, the following biographical information that Nagler offers may be interesting: [transl.) “Nature had denied him language, but endowed him with talent for art. Bergler gave him regular lessons in this in Prague, and finally he went to Vienna, where, under the direction of Schmutzer, he [was hired?] to become one of the most excellent engravers of his time. There are numerous sheets by him with biblical and historical scenes, individual figures, landscapes, etc., partly brilliantly engraved, partly executed in aquatint and in chalk. Among them are some very deceptive facsimiles” (p. 346).

Condition: a strong and well-printed impression with generously wide margins in an excellent condition with no tears, holes, folds or significant stains.

I am selling this curiously wonderful print of overlaid plates of etching and aquatint where the combination of the two printing techniques replicates a chiaroscuro woodcut—mindful that Antonio da Trento (fl.1527–1540s) who worked with Parmigianino, created a chiaroscuro woodcut of a similar scene (see—for the total cost of AU$312 (currently US$208.79/EUR194.78/GBP170.44 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 superb print of the man who proved his invincible bravery by placing his hand into an altar fire, 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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