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Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Hubert Vincent’s engraving, “The Nativity”, 1691, after Antonio da Correggio



Hubert Vincent (aka Huberto Vicenti) (fl.1680–1730)

“The Nativity” (aka “The Holy Night”; “La Notte”; “Adoration of the Shepherds”), 1691, from the series, “Nativita del N. S. Gesù Cristo,” with dedication in Italian text on the banderole to the French diplomat and cardinal, César D'Estrées (1628–1714), published in Rome, after Antonio da Correggio’s (aka Antonio Allegri) (1489–1534) oil painting (c1529–1530) in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden.

Regarding this print and Correggio’s painting, the Curator of the British Museum offers the following account:

“Print after Correggio's famous panel of the Nativity, called La Notte; originally made for the Pratoneri chapel in the church of San Prospero, Reggio Emilia. Removed in 1640 and brought to Modena; sold to Augustus III of Saxony in 1745-6, now in the Gemäldegalerie, Dresden. See Gould, 1976, pp. 204-206” (BM inv. no. 1837,0408.41).

Etching and engraving on laid paper (with watermark) trimmed along the image borderline.

Size: (sheet) 46.5 x 32.3 cm.

Inscribed on plate within the image borderline: (left) "il Coregio In. e dipinse".

Lettered on the banderole: (left) “H. Vincent scul. e"; (left of centre) “Essendomi riuscito d'intagliare col mio bolino prima d’alcun altro. La fa/ che al gran Nome di V. E. splendore della porpora, gloria della natione francese./ Si degni V.E, di gradirla benignamte. e di honorare del suo potentmo. Patrocino chi con/ D.V.E.”; (right of centre) “Principe Il Sigr./ D’Estree’s/ mosa Notte del celebre Correggio, is non debbo dedicare questa mia fatica,/ Protettore delle arti e delle scienze, e Mecenate generosissimo de’Virtuosi;/ profondissimo rispetto si consagra./ Roma con licentia de Superiori Anno 1691.”; (right) "In Roma da [H]berto Vincenti e in/ piazza a Capranica in faccia alla porticella/ delli Orfanelli/ Hummo Dinotmo et obligmo Serure/ Huberto Vincent.”

Note: there is an additional line of text on the plate below the banderole to the left of centre, but I am unable to decipher the text as it is lost in the cross-hatched linework.

Nagler 1 (G K Nagler 1835–52, “Neus allgemeines Künstler-Lexicon” [22 vols]).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:

“Nativity (La Notte); the Virgin Mary, centre, embracing the swaddled Child, lying in a manager; to the left three figures contemplating the Virgin and Child; hovering above them a group of tumbling angels; Joseph visible in the background, holding the ass; in a ramshackle stable; shrubs in the foreground. 1691 Etching and engraving”

(https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1837-0408-41).

Note that this print was reissued in the late 18th century by the publisher, C A Mazzoni (fl.late 1770s), with alterations to the size of the plate and to the lettered text below the image (see: https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1837-0408-40).

Condition: strong and well-printed impression, trimmed slightly unevenly along the image borderline. There is a flattened centrefold and remnants of green glue verso, otherwise the sheet is in very good condition for its considerable age (i.e. there are no tears, holes, losses, abrasions, significant stains or foxing).

I am selling this large engraving (with etching) exemplifying the Mannerist leanings of Antonio da Correggio in his painting of this composition, such as the amazing elongation of the shepherd on the left—note also the length (and variation to the girth) of his staff!—the theatrical gestures of the other figures and the chiaroscuro lighting (“à la chandelle” [of the candle]), for the total cost of AU$334 (currently US$240.86/EUR203.39/GBP183.59 at the time of this listing) including Express Mail (EMS) 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 technically superb old-master print—note how the engraver has portrayed the plants in the lower right corner with an underlying rhythm of concentric circlesplease contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.












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