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Friday 17 April 2020

Johannes and Lucas van Doetecum’s etching, “Ruin of a Roman Amphitheatre”, 1562

Johannes van Doetecum I (aka Johannes van Doetechum the Elder; Joannes Doedecum; Joannes van Duetecum; Joannes van Doetecum) (fl.1551–1605) and his brother,
Lucas van Doetecum (aka Lucas van Duetecom; Lucas van Duetecum; Lucas van Doetechum) (fl.1554–1572)

“Ruin of a Roman Amphitheatre” (probably the Colosseum in Rome), 1562, from the series of twenty-one plates (including the title plate), “Operum Antiquorum Romanorum” (aka “The Small Book of Ruins”; full title transl., “This book contains the remains and ruins of the buildings of the ancient Romans built in various regions of Europe, to be admired for all times, faithfully and attractively depicted”), possibly after Hieronymus Cock (aka Jérome Cock) (c.1510–1570), initially published by Hieronymus Cock and later published in a numbered edition (this plate is number 11) by Frederick de Wit (aka Frederick de Widt; Frederick de Witt; Frederick de Witte) (1629/30–1706).

This impression is from the rare unnumbered first edition published by Hieronymus Cock in Antwerp in 1562.

Etching and engraving on laid paper, trimmed unevenly with a small margin around the plate mark and backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 21.8 x 16.1 cm; (plate) 21.3 x 15.7 cm; (image borderline) 21.2 x 15.4 cm.
Inscribed on plate within the image borderline: (lower left) "H. Cock ex. cum priuilegio/ Regis".
State i (of ii) lifetime impression before numbering.

Riggs 1977 113 (Timothy Riggs 1977, “Hieronymus Cock, Printmaker and Publisher”, New York, Garland Press); New Hollstein (Dutch & Flemish) 244.I (The Van Doetecum Family) (Henk Nalis [comp.] 1998, The New Hollstein : Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts 1450—1700: The Van Doetecum Family”, Rotterdam, Sound and Vision Interactive).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“View of Roman ruins with two barrel vaults resting on an unsupported lintel at centre, probably the Colosseum, one figure in foreground; second state with number; perhaps after Hieronymus Cock”

See also the discussion about the series (“Operum Antiquorum Romanorum”) in Joris van Grieken’s (et al.) 2013, “Hieronymus Cock: The Renaissance in Print” (New Haven, Yale University Press), pp. 102–03.

Condition: richly inked and well-printed impression trimmed unevenly with a small margin around the platemark and laid upon a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. The sheet is in good condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds or abrasions) with minor marks/stains (e.g. there is a discolouration in the sky) and signs of handling.

I am selling this exceptionally rare impression from the first edition published in Michelangelo’s lifetime for AU$430 in total (currently US$273.68/EUR251.59/GBP218.81 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 Renaissance period etching of what is believed to a portion of the barrel-vaulted arcade in the Colosseum, 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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