Gallery of prints for sale

Friday 11 October 2019

Benigno Bossi's etching, “Fisonomie Possibili: Parte Prima”, 1776

Benigno Bossi (1727–1792)

“Fisonomie Possibili: Parte Prima” (Possible Physiognomies: Part One), 1776, title plate to the series of twelve numbered plates and an additional unnumbered plate (fourteen plates in total), “Fisonomie Possibili”, published by Gioacchino Bettalli in Milan (1776).

Etching on laid paper backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 16.2 x 12.6 cm; (plate) 12.7 x 9.2 cm; (image borderline) 12 x 8.5 cm.
Lettered on plate (upper centre) “FISONOMIE POSSIBILI/ PARTE PRIMA/ […] in faciem permulta jocatus/ Hor:Lib:pr:sat:5”; (lower centre) “1776”.

Le Blanc (1854) 129 (Charles Le Blanc 1854, “Manuel de l'Amateur d'Estampes 15501820”, vol. 1, Paris, p. 483, cat. no. 129).

The British Museum offers an account of this series in the context of the publication of Bossi's prints, “Opere varie incise da Benigno Bossi dall'anno MDCCLV sino all'anno MDCCLXXXIX” (see cat. nos. 51–65):

See also the description of this publication offered by Libreria Antiquaria Pregliasco (Abebooks):

Condition: strong and well-printed, faultless impression in near pristine condition (i.e. there are no tears, folds, holes, abrasions, stains or foxing) laid upon an archival support sheet of millennium quality washi paper.

I am selling this psychologically arresting title page to a series of prints that the inscribed text advises is designed to have a somewhat jovial twist (viz. “in faciem permulta jocatus”) regarding human physiognomies, for AU$290 in total (currently US$197.24/EUR178.46/GBP156.11 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 extraordinary etching—note that the portrayed subject is a facemask rather than a “real” face and that the ribbon passing between its eyes support the facemask to a pin in the wall—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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