Gallery of prints for sale

Thursday 2 November 2023

Bernard Picart's engraving with etching, “The Chaos”, 1731, after Cornelis Bloemaert and Abraham van Diepenbeeck

Bernard Picart (1673–1733)

“The Chaos” (aka “Le Chaos, ou l'Origine du Monde”; “Das Chaos, woraus die Welt erschaffen worden”; “De Chaos, of d’Oorspronk de Wereldt”), 1731 (as dated in plate; pub. 1733), after Cornelis Bloemaert’s (1603–1692) engraving (with etching) in reverse (see, after Abraham van Diepenbeeck’s (1596–1675) design, plate I to “Le Temple des Muses” (Neu-Eröfneter Musen-Tempel), first published in 1733 by Zacharias Chatelain (aka Zacharie Chatelain) (fl.1705–1733) in Amsterdam and later in 1754 in Amsterdam and Leipzig.

Engraving and etching printed from two plates on laid paper with full margins as published.

Size: (sheet) 45.8 x 29.8 cm; (outer plate) 35.6 x 25.5 cm; (outer image borderline) 34.7 x 24.4 cm; (inner plate) 25.1 x 17.6 cm; (inner image borderline) 22.8 x 17.5 cm.

Lettered in plate within the inner image borderline: (lower centre) “Diepenbeek fig.”

Lettered in plate below the inner image borderline: (left) “B. Picart dir.”; (centre in French, English, German and Dutch) “Le Chaos, Ou L'Origine Du Monde/ The Chaos.// Das Chaos, woraus die Welt erschaffen worden./ De Chaos, of d’Oorspronk de Wereldt.”

Lettered in plate below the outer image borderline: (left) “B. Picart del. 1731.”

Lifetime impression with full margins.

LeBlanc 85-146 (J.Ch. Brunet & Ch. Leblanc 1854[–1889], “Manuel de l'amateur d'estampes, contenant un dictionnaire des graveurs de toutes les nations: ouvrage destiné à faire suite au Manuel du libraire”, vol. 3, Paris, p. 192, cat. nos. 85-146).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print: “Chaos: massive form, ablaze, with rocks, clouds, and animals symbolizing the constellations; in ornate frame, with female head in the upper part, printed from a separate plate” (

All the plates (including this plate) illustrating “Le Temple des Muses” are available online at “Heidelberg historic literature – digitized”:

Art of the Print offers marvellous insights and technical details about this print and its publication:

Condition: a strong and well-printed impression. There are minor surface marks in the margins; otherwise, the sheet is in a good condition with no tears, holes or folds, foxing or significant stains.

I am selling this stunningly beautiful engraving (with etching) showing an ornamental strapwork framed vision of the beginning of the world, for AU$263 in total (currently US$175.79/EUR159.05/GBP140.01 at the time of posting this listing) 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 engraving printed from two plates—an outer “frame” plate and the inner “image” plate—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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