Gallery of prints for sale

Wednesday 25 October 2023

Anton Joseph Prenner’s etching, “The Parable of the Pearl”, 1728, after Domenico Fetti

Anton Joseph Prenner (aka Antonio de Brenner) (1683–1761)

“The Parable of the Pearl”, 1728, after the design by Domenico Fetti (aka Domenico Feti) (1589–1623) (see from a series of etchings, “Theatrum Artis Pictoriae”, reproducing the paintings of the Imperial collection in Belvedere, Vienna (see

Note that the series is printed with separately printed border-frames as this impression may also have been before it was trimmed. See a copy framed with the printed border offered by the British Museum:

For those unfamiliar with the Parable of the Pearl, my understanding of verses 45 and 46 from chapter 13 of “The Gospel of Matthew” in the “New Testament” (Christian Bible) proposes that a good Christian in search of the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of the finest of pearls, in that when the merchant finds the most beautiful of all pearls he will give all that he possesses to have it. (Matthew 13:45-46 [NIV]): “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”)

Etching with engraving on laid paper trimmed around the image borderline with narrow margins on the sides and backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 21.7 x 15.3 cm.

Condition: a well-printed impression trimmed around the image borderline on the upper and lower edges with narrow margins on the sides. Beyond restored small abrasions, the sheet is in a good condition with no significant stains or foxing and is laid onto a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper providing wider margins.

I am selling this superb etching showing merchants examining pearls in an allegory about earnest Christians searching for the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 13:45-46) with a labourer in the foreground absently pushing a very doggy-looking wheelbarrow towards a woman who is possibly selling ducks on the right, for AU$277 (currently US$185.15/EUR167.52/GBP147.47 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 marvellous print that to my eyes has the grandeur of a Tiepolo filled with light, space and air—note, for example, how the artist has contrasted the boldly shadowed figure holding the wheelbarrow with the animated pattern of lights and darks portraying the pearl merchants further back and how the intimate interactions of the figures are reduced to visual noise by the monumental scale of the arches above, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

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