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Sunday 20 September 2020

Antonio Tempesta’s etching, “Darius Fleeing from the Battlefield”, 1608

Antonio Tempesta (1555? –1630)

“Darius Fleeing from the Battlefield”, 1608, plate six from the series of eleven plates, “Alexandri Magni Praecipuae res Gestae” (The Principal Deeds of Alexander the Great), initially published by Johannes Baptista Vrints (fl.c1575–1610), followed by Claes Jansz. Visscher (aka Nicolaes Jansz.Visscher; Nicolas Joannis Visscher II; Piscator) (1587–1652) in Amsterdam. This impression is from the Visscher edition.

Etching with pale plate tone on early laid paper (with the attribute of earlier laid paper of showing thickening around the chainlines) with full margins and binding holes on the left margin as published.

Size: (sheet) 32.5 x 42.5 cm; (plate) 22.3 x 28.6 cm; (image borderline) 20.1 x 28.4 cm.

Monogrammed on plate within the image borderline: (lower left corner in ligature) “ATE”.

Numbered and lettered on plate below the image borderline: “Ad[v]ersos frustra Di[v]os testatus, et armis/ Pallidus excussis, Persarum terga caballi// VI// Inscendit ductor, socias dum cæde cater[v]as/ Polluit Emathius, stragisque exultat acer[v]is.// 6.”

State ii (of ii) with the additional Arabic number at lower right: “6”.

TIB (Leuschner 2007) 3501.488 S2 (Eckhard Leuschner 2007, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Antonio Tempesta", vol. 35. Commentary, Part 2, New York, Abaris Books, p. 90, cat. no. [3501] .488 S2); TIB (Buffa 1984) 35.550 (143) (Sebastian Buffa [ed.] 1984, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Italian Masters of the Sixteenth Century: Antonio Tempesta”, vol. 35, New York, Abaris Books, p. 278, cat. no. 550[143]); Bartsch XVII.143.550 ii/ii (Adam von Bartsch 1803, “Le Peintre graveur,” vol. 17, Vienna, p. 143, cat. nos. 545–556).

The Rijksmuseum offers the following description of this print:

(Transl.) “Alexander the Great's army is fighting the Persian army. In the foreground the Persian king Darius fleeing the battle. Four-line Latin verse in two columns in the bottom margin” (

See also the description of a first state impression offered by the Metropolitan Museum of Art:

Condition: a well-printed early/lifetime impression still showing surface scratches before they wore away, full margins and binding holes at left. The sheet is in an excellent condition for its considerable age with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, significant stains or foxing.

I am selling this superb, museum quality impression of a rare print—note that this etching is not in the collection of the British Museum—for the total cost of AU$276 (currently US$201.31/EUR169.93/GBP155.82 at the time of posting this print) 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 grand scale battle scene exemplifying the Baroque period style, 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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