Gallery of prints for sale

Thursday 18 April 2024

Carlo Cesio, “Mercury Bringing the Golden Apple to Paris”, 1656/7, after Annibale Carracci

Carlo Cesio (aka Carlo Cesi) (1622–1682)

“Mercury Bringing the Golden Apple to Paris” (aka “Mercure apportant à Paris la pomme d’or”; “Mercurius brengt Paris de gouden appel”), 1656/7, Plate 3 from the series of 45 plates, “The Farnese Gallery Panels”, after a fresco by Annibale Carracci (1560–1609) in the Palazzo Farnese in Rome, initially published in Rome with the privilege of Pope Alexander VII by François Collignon (aka Louis François Collignon) (c.1610–1687). This impression was published by Arnold van Westerhout (1651–1725) (as inscribed in the plate).

Etching on heavy buff-coloured laid paper.

Size: (sheet) 39.1 x 27.4 cm; (platemark) 35.3 x 24.5 cm.

Lettered in plate along the lower edge: (left) “Ann. Caracci Inu.”; (left of centre) “C. Cesius del. et Sculp. Romæ.”; (right of centre) “Arnoldo Van Westerhout formis Cum Privi8l […].”; (right) “3.”

State ii (of iii) with the addition of the address for Westerhout, but before the number 3 is erased in state iii.

TIB 4705.023 S2 (Paolo Bellini [ed.] 1987, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Italian Masters of the Seventeenth Century”, vol. 47 [Commentary, Part 1], New York, Abaris Books, p. 81 cat. no. [4705] .023 [S2]).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print: “Plate 3: Mercury delivering the golden apple to Paris; Mercury seen flying over Paris, handing the golden apple over to him; the shepherd seen seated, holding a stick and with his hand open; a dog seen in the foreground to left; printed from an octagonal plate 1657/ Etching” (

See also the description of this print offered by the Rijksmuseum:

Condition: a well-printed impression in an excellent condition with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions or significant stains.

I am selling this curious octagonal etching showing what I understand is the now extinct and formidable Molossian hound (aka Epirus mastiff) with an interesting fluffy curled tail echoing the curved end to the shepherd’s crook that Paris (for a reason that I don’t understand) is resting his right foot upon, for AU$301 in total (currently US$191.76/EUR180.56/GBP154.70 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 confidently executed etching with subtle messages of symbolism—note for example, the dead stump of a tree beside a living tree shown in the distance that may be a symbolic reference to the cycle of death and regeneration and the upside down shepherd’s crook that may be a symbolic biblical reference to the initial “J” and to Jesus Christ as the good shepherd (my apologies if my proposals are flawed)—please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy. 

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