Sunday 17 May 2020
Valentin Lefebre’s etching, “Janus and Juno”, 1682, after Battista Zelotti
Valentin Lefebre (aka Valentin Le Fevre; Valentin Le Febre; Valentin Lefebure; Valentin Lefèvre) (1637–1677)
“Janus and Juno” (aka “Giano e Giunone”; “Young age and old age” [British Museum’s descriptive title]), 1682, plate 44 from the series of fifty-three plates, “Opera Selectiora” (aka “Opera selectiora quae Titianus Vecellius Cadubriensis et Paulus Calliari Veronensis inventarunt ac pinxerunt”), after Battista Zelotti (aka Giovanni Battista Zelotti; Giambattista Zelotti) (c.1526–1578) and published by Jacobus van Campen (fl.1682) in Venice.
Note that the inscription on this plate (“Pavlvs Caliary, Veronensis, In, & Pinx”) advises that the print is after the design/invention and painting by Paolo Veronese (1528–1588), but this attribution is now rejected. According to the Rijksmuseum, this print is after the mural in the Sala delle Udienze del Consiglio dei Dieci (Palazzo Ducale, Venice) by Giambattista Zelotti.
The British Museum does not advise that there is a change in attribution of the mural from Veronese to Zelotti and states:
“This print is the reversed version after Veronese's painting for the ceiling of the Sala del Consiglio in the Palazzo Ducale in Venice”
Regarding the publication of “Opera Selectiora”, the British Museum advises:
“The series was left unfinished at his [Valentin Lefebre's] early death, and finally published in 1682 by Jacques van Campen (the 1680 edition does not seem to exist). It was reprinted in 1684, and in the XVIIIc in 1749, 1763; later by Teodoro Viero who added his address to the plates (editions in 1786 and 1789)”
Etching on laid paper with a small margin around the platemark.
Size: (slightly irregular sheet) 34.2 x 18.6 cm.; (plate) 30.2 x 14.8 cm.; (inner image borderline) 26.7 x 14.3 cm.
Lettered on plate below the image borderline: (left) V. lefebre del. et sculp.”; (centre) “Pavlvs Caliary, Veronensis, In, & Pinx”; (right) “J. Van Campen. F. Venetÿ[s].”
State i (of ii) before the addition of the address of the later publisher (Teodoro Viero).
Ruggeri I.44 (Ugo Ruggeri 2001, “Valentin Lefèvre: Dipinti, Disegni, Incisioni”, Manerba, Merigo Art Books, p. 223, cat. no. I.44); Hollstein Dutch 1–53 (FWH Hollstein 1953, “Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts ca. 1450–1700: L'Admiral–Lucas van Leyden”, vol. 10, Amsterdam, Menno Hertzberger, p. 46, cat. nos. 1–53).; Villot 44 (Frédéric Villot 1844, "Valentin Lefebre, peintre et graveur à l'eau-forte", in 'Le Cabinet de l'amateur et de l'antiquaire', vol. 3, p. 194, cat. no. 44).
The Rijksmuseum offers the following description of this print:
(Transl.) “Janus and Juno, symbol of the eternal power of Venice. [The print] is part of a 53-part series of prints based on paintings by Titian and Veronese.”
Condition: richly inked impression with a small margin (approx. 2 cm) around the platemark. The sheet is in excellent condition (i.e. there are no tears, losses, holes, folds, abrasions or significant stains—but there are minor handling marks). Note that the mark in the sky above Janus is an irregularity that is intrinsically a part of the plate.
I am selling this very Venetian composition portraying the mythological figures of Janus and Juno—the gods who preside over the birth of the new moon at the start of each month in the Roman kalendae (calendar)—dressed in the taste of the 16th century for rich brocades and exposed necklines, for AU$238 (currently US$168.87/EUR158.14/GBP134.33 at the time of listing 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 strong and early impression from the first edition published by Jacobus van Campen that still shows the guide-lines inscribed for the lettered text, please contact me (email@example.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.