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Saturday 24 June 2023

Tiburce de Mare’s etching with engraving, “Simonetta Vespucci”, 1880, after Piero di Cosimo

Tiburce de Mare (1840–1900)

“Simonetta Vespucci” (aka “Simonetta Ianvensis Vespvccia”)—Simonetta Vespucci (1453–1476) is the mistress of Guiliano de' Medici, portrayed in this portrait as Cleopatra and is purported to be the face of Venus in Sandro Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus”—1880, after Piero di Cosimo’s (aka Pietro di Lorenzo di Chimenti; Piero di Lorenzo) (1461/2–1522) “Portrait de femme dit de Simonetta Vespucci”, 1490, in the Musée Condé, Chantilly (see, formerly attributed to Antonio Pollaiuolo (aka Antonio di Jacopo Benci) (1433–1498) (as inscribed in plate) (see, printed by Charles Chardon aîné (fl. mid-1800s; Charles Chardon [1832–1896]) and published in Paris in the art periodical, “Gazette des Beaux Arts”, 1st December 1880, inserted between pages 482 and 483.

Etching with engraving on chine collé on wove paper, trimmed around (or slightly within) the platemark and backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 23.8 x 16.8 cm; (chine collé) 22 x 15.1 cm; (image borderline) 18 x 13.2 cm.

Inscribed in plate within the image borderline along the lower edge: “SIMONETTA IANVENSIS VESPVCCIA”.

Lettered in plate below the image borderline: (left) “A. Pollajuolo, pinxt./ Gazette des Beaux-Arts”; (centre) “SIMONETTA VESPUCCI/ ( GALERIE DE MGR LE DUC D’AUMALE. )”; (right) T. de Mare, sculpt./Imp. Ch. Chardon ainé.”

Beraldi [not described] (Henri Beraldi 1888, “Les Graveurs du Dix-Neuvième Siècle: Laemlein–Mécou”, vol. 9, Paris, Librairie L. Conquet, p. 216).

Condition: a strong and well-printed impression trimmed with a small margin around the chine collé and laid upon an archival support sheet of millennium quality washi paper providing wide margins. There are several dot marks/stains in the margin at upper-left, otherwise the sheet is in an excellent condition with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, significant stains or foxing.

I am selling this jewel-like portrait of a famously beautiful Florentine woman who sadly passed away from Tuberculosis at the age of only twenty-three—shown here in guise of Cleopatra with the snake (possibly about to bite its tail) around her neck as an allegory for death (along with the dark cloud surrounding her head and the dead tree at left), mindful that this portrait was commissioned by her lover (Guiliano de' Medici) after the beautiful woman had passed away, for AU$188 (currently US$125.66/EUR113.70/GBP100.09 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 stunningly beautiful etching (with engraving) executed by a pupil of one of the most important (or at least one of my favourites) of the 19th century engravers, Ferdinand Gaillard (1834–1887), please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

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