Gallery of prints for sale

Thursday 19 September 2019

Jan Sadeler I's engraving, “Phyllis and Aristotle”, c1590

Jan Sadeler I (aka Johannes Sadeler; Johann Sadeler) (1550–1600)

“Phyllis and Aristotle”, 1586–1595, after a lost drawing by Bartholomeus Spranger (1546–1611) with privilege from Rudolf II of Habsburg, published by Jan Sadeler (I) in Haarlem.

For those wondering about this curious scene, the chap wearing a bridle is the great philosopher Aristotle and the whip wielding lady riding him is Phyllis—Alexander the Great’s lover! From what I understand, Phyllis was not pleased with Aristotle’s advice to Alexander that Alexander should focus on his philosophical studies rather than be intimately attentive to Phyllis. As the story goes, Phyllis expressed her displeasure in Aristotle by literally riding him. Unbeknownst to Phyllis, Alexander, was secretly watching her inventive game of retribution.
(Note: this account is based on the allegorical story about Alexander concocted by the 14th century Dominican, John Herold, for his sermons.)

Engraving on fine laid paper with wide margins backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 39.6 x 28.8 cm; (plate) 29.9 x 22 cm; (image borderline) 26.8 x 21.4 cm
Inscribed on plate along lower edge: (left) “Bl Sprangers Inu: [JS entwined]adl: fec. et exc:/ cu[m] gratia et priuil: Sac:e Caes. M.”; (right) Nuk studium …/ … regat.”
State i (of i)

TIB 7001.447 (Isabelle de Ramaix 2003, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Johan Sadeler I”, vol. 70, Part 3 [Supplement], Abaris Books, pp. 18–20); Hollstein Dutch 488 (K.G. Boon [ed.] Dieuwke de Hoop Scheffer [comp.] 1980, “Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts ca. 1450–1700: Aegidius Sadeler to Raphael Sadeler II”, vol. 21, Amsterdam, Van Gendt & Co, p. 162, cat. no. 488).

See the following descriptions of this print:
The Rijksmuseum:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art:
The Philadelphia Museum of Art:

Condition: slightly silvery impression with a few dot restorations otherwise in excellent condition (i.e. there are no tears, folds, abrasions, significant stains or foxing). The sheet has generous margins and is laid on a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper.

I am selling this visually arresting engraving after Bartholomeus Spranger—a highly influential artist whose stylistic exaggerations were later termed “Sprangerism” in the works of artists like Hendrick Goltzius—for AU$460 (currently USD312.69/EUR282.61/GBP250.15 at the time of posting this print) 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 masterwork of engraving by one of the most famous of the Flemish old master printmakers and after an equally famous artist, Bartholomeus Spranger, 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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