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Sunday 30 July 2017

Matthäus Merian I’s engraving, “Pierre Pertuise”, 1642

Matthäus Merian I (aka Matthaeus Merian) (1593–1650)
Pierre Pertuise”, 1642, published in Merian's (1642) “Topographia Helvetia Rhaetiae et Valesiae”.

Engraving on fine laid paper with margins (as published).
Size: (sheet) 28.8 x 36.2 cm; (plate) 19.6 x 27 cm; (image borderline) 19.1 x 26.5 cm
Titled in top centre: "PIERRE PERTUISE"
Inscribed above the image borderline at lower left: “IoS. Plep figura[ue?] M. Merian fecit”

Ref: L H Wüthrich 1966, “Das druckgraphische Werk von Matthaeus Merian d.Ae,” 4 vols, Hamburg

Condition: richly inked and faultless impression laid onto a conservator’s support sheet with the original centre fold (as published) seamlessly flattened. There are a few minor spots near the first letter of the title and very faint brown toning on the upper-left side of the bridge but otherwise the print is in excellent/near pristine condition.

I am selling this stunning museum-quality engraving for AU$157 (currently US$125.32/EUR106.78/GBP95.50 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this rare image showing travellers near one of the early wonders of road building in the Swiss Alps—please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

According to information about this print offered by Village Antiques: “The image shows the Swiss Alpine passageway between Tavannes and Sonceboz in the Canton of Bern. The man-made or man-enlarged passage way through the Alps, has been considered one of the marvels of the Swiss landscape for centuries. It dates at least to Roman times since an inscription on the North face reads:


From what I understand, the road is set at an elevation of 827 metres (?) and was built to honour Marcus Duniis Paternus, the Vice Magistrate of the Helvetic Colony (Aventicum).

Interestingly, but not surprising given the beauty of this man-made rock arch/tunnel at Pierre Perthuis, the same viewpoint portrayed by Merian is shown in drawings by artists such as Anthonie Waterloo (1609–90), Lambert Doomer (1624–1700) and Herman Saftleven (1609–85).

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