Gallery of prints for sale

Monday 20 April 2020

Giovanni Merlo’s engraving, “St. Chariton the Confessor”, c.1650, after Raphael Sadeler

Giovanni Merlo (fl.c.1656–1696)

“St. Chariton the Confessor”, c.1650, plate 1 in the series, “Sylvae Sacrae” after a lost drawing by Maarten de Vos (1532–1603) in reverse after the 1594 engraving of the same composition by Raphael Sadeler (1561–1628) (see:

Regarding the portrayed hermit, I understand that St. Chariton was tortured for his Christian faith during Emperor Aurelian’s (270275) reign and was then abducted to Wadi Farouk (near Jerusalem) by bandits. He settled into a cave in the Pharan Valley after the bandits died from drinking wine poisoned by a snake (

Engraving on early laid paper (based on the characteristically uneven thickening around the chainlines) with a small margin around the platemark.
Size: (sheet) 18.2 x 21.9 cm; (plate) 16.5 x 20.2 cm; (image borderline) 14.9 x 19.9 cm.
Inscribed on plate within the image borderline: (lower right corner) “Gio Merlo”.
Numbered and lettered on plate in two lines of Latin in two columns below the image borderline: "Iconius CHARITON vinculis & carcere misus/ Se nemorum properat claudere carceribus.//1// Dura silex nectar sitienti dulce propinat;/ Namque solent Diuum saxa mouere preces."

TIB 7101.099 C1 (copy in reverse signed “Gio Merlo”) (Isabelle de Ramaix [ed.] 2006, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Raphael Sadeler I”, Vol. 71, Part 1 [Supplement], New York, Abaris Books, p. 124, cat. no. [7101].099 C1).

Condition: richly inked faultless impression in excellent/museum quality condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, losses, abrasions, significant stains or foxing—but there is faded ink alteration by an old hand to the plate number recto).

I am selling this exceptionally strong engraving exemplifying the period style of Mannerism, for the total cost of AU$248 (currently US$156.27/EUR144.19/GBP125.99 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 superb engraving showing St Chariton confessing to a crucifix in his final lavra (called Syriac Souka) that I understand is only accessible by ladders and features a flowing stream from a spring within the cave, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


  1. I have one like this, almost identical but St. Chariton has the sanctity halo light around the head... and there are very minimal differences: what does it means? thanks a lot

    1. I'm glad you left a note as I discovered that my old URL link to the Raphael Sadeler I’s engraving had changed and I've now replaced it with the new version. Regarding your print with the halo, "The Illustrated Bartsch " (vol., 71, Part 1, Supplement, p. 124) has catalogued it as Copy 2 in its second state. TIB offers the following description of this state that matches what you’ve given: "The saint has a halo above the head" (TIB 7101.099 C2 S2).
      From the description of the print in its first state the print was inscribed "IH [interlaced] albeeck f", which means that your print was originally engraved by Jean Le Clerc (before the halo was added), who, along with Thomas de Leu were the main publishers of the series.


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