Gallery of prints for sale

Friday 16 June 2023

Nicolas Tardieu’s etching with engraving, “Defeat and Death of Maxentius”, c1717, after Rubens

Nicolas Tardieu (aka Nicolas Henri Tardieu) (1674–1749)

“Defeat and Death of Maxentius” (aka “Slag bij de Milvische Brug”; “Sconfitta e Morte di Massenzio”; “MaxentII Clades et Interitus”; “Defaitte et Mort du Tyran Maxence”; “Battaglia di Ponte Milvio”; “Battle of the Milvian Bridge”), c1717 (1684–1749 [Rijksmuseum dates]) (note that this is a late impression stamped by the Chalcographie du Louvre), after the painting, “Battle of Milvian Bridge” (see by Peter Paul Rubens (aka Petrus Paulus Rubenius) (1577–1640) that was in the collection of the “Duc d’Orleans” (aka Philippe d'Orléans, Duke of Orléans), as inscribed in the plate, but is now in the Wallace Collection (London), published in Paris by Nicolas Tardieu with royal privilege.

Etching with engraving on heavy buff-coloured wove paper blind-stamped in the lower margin by the Chalcographie du Louvre.

Size: (sheet) 44.2 x 61.2 cm; (plate) 35.8 x 53 cm; (image borderline) 31 x 51.2 cm.

Lettered in plate below the image borderline:

(left) “PP. Rubens pinx.”

(left of centre) “MAXENTII CLADES ET INTERITUS/ CONSTANTINUS Maxentium lœsâ acie ante se fugientem insequitur, qui dum per pontem à tergo ejus/ mediâ in pugnâ seissum Urbem repetere cogitat, lapsȗ equi deturbatus et fugientium multitudine pressus/ in profundum demergritur, et thoracis pondere ipso quo cecidit loco infixus limo et absorptus sepelitur./ Ce tableau est tiré du Cabinet de Monseir: le Duc d'Orleans/ A Paris chez N. Tardieu graveur du Roy rue St. Jacques pres celle des Noyers. A.P.D.R.”

(right of centre) “DEFAITTE ET MORT DU TYRAN MAXENCE/ CONSTANTIN S'etant mis à la poursuitte de Maxence et de son armée qui fuyoit devant luy, le Tyran aux/ approche du pont par le quel il pensoit à regagner la ville trouve qu'on l'avoit rompu derriere luy pendant/ la bataille; et tout à la fois entraisné par la chute de son cheval et poussé par la multitude de ceux qui/ fuyoient apreś luy tombe dans la riviere, ou son corps chargé d'une pesante cuirasse s'enfonce dans la/ vase, et reste au lieu même ou il etoit tombé enseveli dans les abysmes.”


CONSTANTINE Having set out in pursuit of Maxentius and his army which was fleeing before him, the Tyrant approaching the bridge by which he thought of regaining the city finds that it had been broken behind him during the battle; and at the same time carried away by the fall of his horse and pushed by the multitude of those who fled after him, he falls into the river, where his body, laden with a heavy cuirass, sinks into the mud, and remains in the place. even where he had fallen buried in the abyss.)

(right) “N. Tardieu Sculp”.

See the description of this print offered by the Rijksmuseum:

Condition: a strong and well-printed (near faultless) impression with full margins as published by the Chalcographie du Louvre. The sheet is in an excellent (near pristine) condition with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, significant stains (but there are minor handling marks) or foxing.

I am selling this magnificent and very large etching (with engraving) executed with amazing skill to capture the complexity of this Baroque vision of a Roman battle on the Milvian Bridge, for AU$298 in total (currently US$199.18/EUR180.22/GBP158.65 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 grand manner print, 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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