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Saturday, 11 August 2018

Raphael Morghen’s engraving, “La Poesia”, 1827


Raphael Morghen (aka Raffaello Morghen) (1758–1833)

“La Poesia” (aka “Allegory of Poetry”), 1827, after the intermediary design by Pietro Ermini (1774–1850), after the painting in the Palazzo Corsini (Florence) by Carlo Dolci (1616–1686), printed by Luigi Bardi (fl.1814–1843).

Engraving with etching on heavy wove paper with wide margins as published in the final closed letter state.
Size: (sheet) 52.2 x 37.5 cm; (plate) 32.4 x 22.7 cm; (image borderline) 22.4 x 16.3 cm
Lettered on plate below the image borderline with title and dedication to Principe Tommaso Corsini by the engraver followed by two lines of Latin verse; with producer names “Carlo Dolci dipinse / Pietro Ermini dis. / Raffaello Morghen inc. 1827 / Luigi Bardi impresse”.
State v (of v [Halsey 1885]) or xi (of xi [Rijksmuseum])

Halsey 1885 147-5(5) (Frederic Robert Halsey 1885, “Raphael Morghen's engraved works being a descriptive catalogue, ... accompanied by biographical and other notes with a life of the engraver”, New York, p. 132, cat. nr. 147); Palmerini 1824 undescribed (Niccolo Palmerini 1824, “Opere d'intaglio del Cav. Raffaello Morghen”, Florence, Niccolo Pagni)

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Half-length woman crowned with a laurel wreath, representing Poetry, after Carlo Dolci; final closed letter state. 1827 Engraving”
See also the description of this print at the Rijksmuseum:

Condition: crisp, well-inked and well-printed impression with wide margins (as published). The sheet is in near pristine condition with only light signs of handling and a faint stain in the margin at the lower-right corner.

I am selling this delicately beautiful neoclassical engraving of the allegorical figure, Poetry, wearing her usual wreath of laurel leaves and holding a book, for AU$147 in total (currently US$107.39/EUR94.07/GBP84.08 at the time of posting 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 masterpiece of engraving displaying extraordinary sensitivity in rendering transitions of tone, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.



Thank goodness that the British Museum has nearly all of the early states for this masterpiece of neo-classical engraving (see the BM online collection: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/search.aspx?searchText=La+Poesia+morghen). After all, what the progressive stages reveal is that the engraver, Raphael Morghen, was as mythodical and as sensitive in “bulding” this image so that it glows sublimely as the original great Florentine master, Carlo Dolci, was in capturing the jewel like radiance of his paintings. Indeed, I have just read the introductory notes to the exhibition showcasing Doci’s painting at the Nasher Museum (August 24, 2017– January 14, 2018), “The Medici’s Painter: Carlo Dolci and 17th-Century Florence”, and discovered that “Dolci would recite the litany ‘Ora pro nobis (pray for us)’ between each brush stroke …” (https://nasher.duke.edu/exhibitions/the-medicis-painter-2/). Interestingly, the close-up detail of a painting shown on the cover of the catalogue for the Nasher Museum exhibition is the painting that this engraving reproduces.







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