Gallery of prints for sale

Saturday 22 October 2016

Magdalena van de Passe’s engraving, “Elijah at the Brook Cherith”

Magdalena van de Passe (aka Magdalene van de Passe (1596?–1638)
“Elijah at the Brook Cherith” (1 Kings 17:1–6), 1520–30, after Roelant Savery (1576–1639), from the series, “Four Landscapes with scenes from the story of Elijah”, published by Crispijn van de Passe the Elder (1564–1637).

Engraving (with etching) on laid paper with tread margins.
Size: (sheet) 21 x 26.4 cm; (plate) 20.7 x 26.3 cm; (image borderline) 18.4 x 25.5 cm
Lettered in the plate margin below the image borderline in one line: "Fecit Helias ... Jordanis" and "3 Reg Cap 17". Below left "Roelant Saverÿ Inventor", centre "Magdaleena van de pas fecit" and at right "Crisp Van de pas exc".

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“A landscape with a waterfall, river and wooden pathway; Elijah perches on a rocky outcrop in the distance; at right a resting deer and three fawns; after Roelandt Savery” (
Franken 1881 1274 (Franken, Daniel, L'oeuvre gravé des van de Passe””, Paris, 1881); Hollstein 18 (Hollstein, F W H, “Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts c.1450-1700”, Amsterdam, 1949)

Condition: Crisp impression of a print of the utmost rarity in excellent condition for its age (i.e. there are no tears, abrasions, holes, folds or significant stains).

I am selling this rare engraving by one of the few 16th century female engravers that history remembers for the total cost of AU$402 (currently US$305.81/EUR281.24/GBP250.12 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world. If you are interested in purchasing is very beautiful print, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make your payment easy.

This print has been sold

Although history has not remembered many female artists from the 16th century, Magdalena—the daughter of Crispijn van de Passe the Elder—is a well-known engraver from that time. This print has taken me a small lifetime to find a copy. I first saw an impression in a friend’s collection and fell in love with it, but I never imagined that finding a copy would have been so hard. This is a very rare print!

What I love about this image is that it crystallises my vision of women’s perception. Of course, even the suggestion that a man could hold a view about how women see the world is dangerous. Moreover, I were to relate what this “female vision” means to me, I KNOW that my wonderful cook will show me my error in a hideous way. After all, men aren’t supposed know how women see the world. Nevertheless, based on car accident statistics, women are more likely to crash into a car in front of them but are less likely to have a car crash into the side of them then men. The issue with differences of perception separating men and women is all about where each sex tends to focus.

To explain this theory about women’s ways of looking, in this image the centre of focus is a very substantial tree leaning to the left, but where the “real” action is portrayed is in the periphery. If this were an engraving by a man with hairy arms, the “hunter and gatherer” instinct would alter the composition so that the action would be towards the centre of the image. This leaning to centre the “centre of interest” is simply a man’s way of looking at things, but it has become such an entrenched part of traditional composition in a man’s world that it just seems so logical—especially to folk with hairy arms.

For those that do not share this personal belief in perception, please be gentle on me with your comments.

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