Gallery of prints for sale

Saturday 1 April 2023

Madeleine Horthemels’ engraving, “St Philip Baptising the Eunuch of Queen Candace”, c1730, after Nicolas Bertin

This engraving is by one of the surprisingly few female printmakers that history has remembered. Note that I have listed another copy of this print previously, but it has been sold.

Madeleine Horthemels (aka Louise Madeleine Horthemels; Louise Magdeleine Cochin; Magdalena Horthemels) (1686–1767)

“St Philip Baptising the Eunuch of Queen Candace” (aka “The Baptism of the Eunuch”; “St Philip Baptising the Ethiopian Eunuch”), c1730, after the painting (in reverse) by Nicolas Bertin (1668–1736), published with royal privilege by Charles Nicolas Cochin père (1688–1754) in Paris.

Note that Jacob Balthasar Lidel (fl.1750–60) also made an engraving in c1760 of Betin’s painting, but Lidel’s engraving has additional features at the top and sides (see cat. no. 85:  

Engraving and etching on laid paper trimmed with a narrow margin around the image borderline and writing edge.

Size: (sheet) 37.6 x 26.8 cm; (image borderline) 33.4 x 26.4 cm.

Inscribed below the image borderline: (left) “Peint par Bertin”; (centre, two columns of text featuring in the left column a Latin quatrain with a French translation in the right column) “Ait Eunuchus ad Philippum: Ecce aqua, quid prohibet me baptisa-/ vi? Dixit autem Philippus: Si credis ex toto corde, licet. Et respondens/ ait: Credo, Filium Dei esse Jesum Chrislum. Et descenderunt uterque/ Philippus & Eunuchus, et baptisavit eum. Act. C. VIII. vs. 36.// …/ …/ …/ …/ … Act. Ch. VIII vs 36./ L’Un des Tableaus de la Nef de l’Eglise de l’abaȉe Roȉale de St. Germain des Prez./ AParis chez Cochin graveur du Roi rue St. Jacque[s] vis à vis les Mathurins à St Charles Avec Privilege du Roi.”; (right) “Gravé par Madeleine Cochin.”

(Quatrain translated with adjustments—my apologies if I have been too free with the translation) “The eunuch said to Philip: ‘Here is water, what prevents me from being baptised?’ And Philip said, ‘If you believe with all your heart [that you may be baptised]’. And in response the eunuch said, ‘I believe that the Son of God is Jesus Christ’. They both went down to the water and Philip baptised him. Act. Ch. 8. Vs. 36.”

Nagler 2 (G.K. Nagler 1837, “Neues allgemeines Künstler-Lexicon oder Nachrichten von dem Leben und den Werken der Maler, Bildhauer, Kupferstecher, Formschneider, Lithographen, Zeichner, Medailleure, Elfenbeinarbeiter, etc.:Gallimberti— HaslÖhl”, vol., 5, Munich, E A Fleischmann, p. 316, cat. no. 2).

Orléans Museum of Fine Arts offers a description of this print:

Condition: a strong and well-printed early impression showing no sign of wear to the printing plate. The sheet is trimmed with a narrow margin around the image borderline on the top and sides and retains the text lines of the lower edge. There are scattered worm-holes and noticeable abrasions (e.g., dot-like abrasions that look like water droplets below the eunuch’s hands and in the sky), otherwise the sheet has no tears, significant satins or foxing.

I am selling this very beautiful engraving, featuring a seminal biblical event for the Ethiopian Catholic Church of St Philip in the act of baptising the Ethiopian eunuch of Queen Candace by pouring water from a shell onto the eunuch’s head, for AU$323 in total (currently US$216.02/EUR199.15/GBP175.17 at the time of posting this print) 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 visually arresting engraving exemplifying the theatricality of the Baroque period, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

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