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Tuesday 19 May 2020

Anthonie Waterloo’s etching, “Landscape with Zipporah Circumcising her Son”, c.1650

Anthonie Waterloo (aka Antoni Waterlo) (1609–90)

“Landscape with Zipporah Circumcising her Son” (aka “Landscape with the Circumcision of Moses’ Son”; “Séphora Circoncisant son Fils”; “Sippora besnijdt haar zoon”), c.1650 (1630–1663), plate five from the series, “Six large upright landscapes with scenes from the Old Testament” (aka “Landschappen met Bijbelse voorstellingen”), possibly published by Justus Danckerts (1635–1701) and Cornelis Danckerts II (1664–1717) in Amsterdam.
The subject portrayed in this print is from the second book of the Bible, the “Book of Exodus” (4:20–26) in which Zipporah (Moses’ wife) appeases God by circumcising one of her sons to prevent the death of Moses who stands beside her threatened by an angel wielding a sword.

Etching on laid paper trimmed around the image borderline. This impression was deaquisitioned from the Art Institute of Chicago as a duplicate copy and is stamped with this mark of provenance verso.
Size: (sheet) 29.9 x 15.4 cm; (plate) 13 x 14.2 cm; (image borderline) 12.5 x 13.6 cm.
Inscribed on plate at lower right: "A W. f. et in."
Lifetime impression of State i (of i). Note that Dutuit and Wessely advise that there are two states to this print but Peter Morse in TIB (1992) propose that there is only one state and that the discrepancy in “the longitudinal lines … on the large tree trunk at the center of the print” arises from wear to the printing plate as these “lines are, in fact, present from the beginning” (p. 165).

TIB 0201.135 (Peter Morse [ed.] 1992, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Antoni Waterloo”, vol. 2, Part 1, Commentary, New York, Abaris Books, p. 165, cat. no. .135; see also vol. 2, p. 126, cat. no. 135 [137]); Hollstein 58.III (Christiaan Schuckman [comp.] 1997, “Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts c.1450–1700: Antoni Waterloo”, vol. 50, Rotterdam, Sound and Vision Rijksprentenkabinet, p. 313, cat. no. 135); Bartsch II.137.135 (Adam Bartsch 1803, “Le Peintre Graveur”, 21 vols, Vienna).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Zipporah circumcising her son in right foreground, as an angel holds Moses's arm, an inn in right background, at left a stone bridge leading across a stream towards a house at left” (

See also the description of this print offered by the Rijksmuseum:

Condition: richly inked and well-printed lifetime impression showing minimal wear to the printing plate. The sheet has minor chips to the lower edge otherwise it is in near faultless condition for its considerable age (i.e. there are no tears, losses, holes, folds, abrasions, significant stains or foxing). There are pencil notations and the Art Institute of Chicago duplicate stamp of its deacquisition verso.

I am selling this museum-quality impression of a truly wonderful large etching by one of the most famous of the 17th century old-masters, for the total cost of AU$364 (currently US$237.75/EUR217.11/GBP194.38 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 startlingly fine etching in which biblical event in the foreground is almost pictorially “lost” in the complexity of landscape details shown beyond, 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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