Gallery of prints for sale

Tuesday 1 August 2023

Jan Sadeler I’s engraving, “Saint Spiridion”, c.1585, after Maarten de Vos

Jan Sadeler I (aka Johann Sadeler; Johannes Sadeler) (1550–1600)

“Saint Spiridion” (TIB title) (aka “Spiridon of Cyprus as Hermit”; “St Spiridionis”; “Spiridon van Cyprus als Kluizenaar”), (1583–1588 [Rijksmuseum dates]), plate 15 from the series of 25 engravings, “Oraculum Anachoreticum: Hermits” (aka “Lives of the Hermits”; “Mannelijke kluizenaars”; “Solitudo Sive Vitae Patrum Eremicolarum”, after a lost drawing by Maarten de Vos (aka Marten de Vos; Maerten de Vos) (1532–1603), published by Raphael Sadeler I (1560/61–1628/32) and/or Jan Sadeler I in Antwerp.

Engraving on laid paper with wide margins backed with a support sheet.

Inscribed in plate within the image borderline: (lower left) “Sadel: exc:”

Lettered in plate below the image borderline: “Tirones in monte cauo pia scripta docere,/ Et labor et studium SPIRIDIONIS erat.// 15// Vincere quo prauos affectus carne subarta/ Possent, ac structos dæmonis arte dosls.”

Size: (sheet) 25.2 x 33.3 cm; (plate) 16.9 x 20.7 cm; (image borderline) 15.4 x 20.3 cm.

State i (of ii) before the plate number (“15”) is effaced in state ii.

TIB 7001. 363 (Isabelle de Ramaix 2001, “The Illustrated Bartsch”, vol. 70, Part 2 [Supplement], New York, Abaris Books, p. 196, cat. no. [7001].363); Hollstein (Johann Sadeler I) 393 (Dieuwke de Hoop Scheffer [comp.] 1980, “Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts ca. 1450–1700: Aegidius Sadeler to Raphael Sadeler II: text”, vol. 21, Amsterdam, Van Gendt & Co, p. 148, cat. no. 392); Hollstein (Vos) 437 (Christiaan Schuckman [comp.] 1996, “Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts ca. 1450–1700: Maarten de Vos: text”, vol. 44, Rotterdam, Sound and Vision Rijksprentenkabinet, p. 205, cat. no. 979); Edquist 71A.b (p. 61).

The Rijksmuseum offers the following description of this print: (transl.) “St. Spiridon of Cyprus in front of a cave in the desert. He lies against a rock and reads a bible. In the cave, three monks are reading from a bible” (

See also the description of this print offered by the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen:

Condition: a richly inked and well-printed, lifetime impression (based on the quality of line showing no sign of wear to the printing plate, traces of the guidelines for the lettering and its state before the plate number is erased) with wide margins around the platemark and laid upon an archival support sheet of millennium quality washi paper. There is a flattened and restored corner crease in the margin at lower right and pale ink numbers from a previous collector below the platemark at right; otherwise, the sheet is in a very good condition for its considerable age with no significant stains or foxing.

I am selling this sensitively executed and very beautiful engraving by one of the most famous of the Flemish old masters showing Saint Spiridion, who was the Bishop of Trinitonte and retired to the life of a hermit until he died in 348—note that the Latin text below the image helps to explain his role as portrayed: “To teach the disciples pious writings on the cavernous/hollow mountain … [so that] they could conquer the weak affections of the flesh, and subdue the devil's artifice”—for AU$304 (currently US$203.19/EUR183.85/GBP161.84 at the time of posting this print) including Express Mail (EMS) 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 lifetime impression of museum quality, 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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