Gallery of prints for sale

Wednesday 3 July 2019

Marcantonio Bellavia's etching, “St Gregory and St Ambrose Writing Their Holy Books”, 1660–1680

Marcantonio Bellavia (fl.1668–1670)

“St Gregory and St Ambrose Writing Their Holy Books” (St. Grégoire inspire par le Saint Esprit), 1660–1680, plate 30 after Annibale Carracci (1560–1609) (as inscribed on plate with the note “IN[vent]”. (Note: The British Museum advises: “His plates are all from his own designs, although later publishers added the name of the Carracci to many of them.” []. Regarding the inscription on this plate, the BN notes that the inscribed attribution to AC is wrong.)

Etching on laid paper trimmed close to the plate-mark and backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 8.6 x 8.6 cm; (plate) 8.3 x 8.3 cm.
Inscribed on plate along lower edge: (left) (with incorrect attribution according to the BM) “A.C. IN.”; (right) “XXX”.

State ii (of ii) with the addition of the plate number replacing the erased letters “MAF” (for “Marcantonio Bellavia Fecit”).

TIB 41(20). 21(13) (Palao Bellini & Mark Carter Leach [eds.] 1983, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Italian Masters of the Seventeenth Century”, vol. 41, New York, Abaris Books, p. 29, cat. no. 21); Bartsch XX.13.21.

Condition: excellent impression trimmed with narrow margins around the plate-mark and laid on a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. The sheet is in very good condition for its considerable age (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, significant stains or foxing).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“St Gregory and another church father [St Ambrose] in a circle”

The Museum of Fine Art in Budapest offers a marvellous collection of prints by Marcantonio Bellavia including this print (see

I am selling this small etching of two saints writing with the interesting use of the symbolic bird—I hesitate to describe it as a dove—of the holy spirit guiding the saints thoughts when writing—note St Gregory’s eyes looking inwardly for inspiration towards the bird—for the total cost of AU$306 (currently US$214.17/EUR189.69/GBP170.11 at the time of 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 marvellously tight composition from the late 1600s, 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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