Gallery of prints for sale

Sunday 4 October 2020

Maria Catharina Prestel’s etching and aquatint, “Healing of the Sick at the Bethesda Pond”, 1777

Maria Catharina Prestel (aka Maria Katharina Prestel; Maria Katharina Höll; Mary Catherine Prestel) (1747–1794)

“Healing of the Sick at the Bethesda Pond” (aka “La Guerison du Malade auprès du Lavoir de Bethesda” [The Healing of the Sick at the Bethesda Washhouse]), 1777 (published in 1780), plate 19 from the series of 48 plates “Dessins des Meilleures Peintres d'Italie, d'Allemagne, et des Pays-Bas, du Cabinet de Monsieur Paul Praun à Nurenberg”, after a drawing of the same size by Giorgio Vasari (1511–1574) from the collection of Paul von Praun (1548–1616)—the collection was sold in around 1797, and then put up at auction in 1802 (see

For those unfamiliar with the portrayed Biblical scene (John 5, verse 7), Jesus is telling a man who has been ill for 38 years while waiting for a chance to have a curative bath in the Bethesda pond—the sick man had been unsuccessful because other folk always beat him to the pool—to simply get up, take his bed with him and be well rather than worry about bathing in the water. He did and he became well. A miracle but it came with ramifications for Jesus (see

Etching with aquatint printed from two separate printing plates in brown and black inks on laid paper backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 55.9 x 45.3 cm; (plate) 52.3 x 42 cm; (inner image borderline) 38 x 28.9 cm.

Numbered on plate below the image borderline: (right) “No. 19.”

Lettered on plate below the image borderline: “La guerison du Malade auprès du Lavoir de Bethesda Ioh.v.7./ D’après le dessin de George Vasari, de même grandeur du Cabinet de Monsieur de Praun/ à Nuremberg./ Par Marie Catherine Prestel 1777.”

Nagler 14 (G K Nagler 1835–52, “Neues allgemeines Künstler-Lexikon”); Le Blanc 8; Vasel 4374.

Artcombook offers a description of this print:

Condition: Strong and well-printed impression with a small margin (approx. 1.5 cm) around the platemark and laid onto a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. There is a flattened horizontal centre-fold otherwise the sheet is in a very good condition with no significant stains or foxing.

I am selling this large and technically demanding print—note the perfect registration of the two printing plates employed—and executed by one of the few well-known female printmakers of the 1700s (an artist especially famous for her skill in using aquatint) for AU$322 (currently US$230.73/EUR196.95/GBP178.34 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 rare print—note that it is not in the collection of the British Museum or in the Rijksmuseum—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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