Gallery of prints for sale

Thursday 3 December 2020

Johannes Wierix’s engraving, “The Pharaoh Drowning in the Red Sea with his Troops”, after Marten van Cleve I

Johannes Wierix (aka Jan Wierix; Jeronimus Wierix) (1539–1620)

“The Pharaoh Drowning in the Red Sea with his Troops” (aka “Le pharaon noyé dans la Mer Rouge, avec ses troupes” [Mauquoy-Hendrickx title]; “The Egyptians are drowned as Moses parts the waves” [Wellcome collection title]), 1579 (Rijksmuseum date), from the two plates of “Histoire de Moïse”, in the series “Thesaurus sacrarum historiarum veteris testamenti, elegantissimis imaginabus expressum excellentissimorum in hac arte virorum opera: nunc primum in lucem editus”, after Marten van Cleve I (aka Marten van Cleef) (1527–1581), published by Gerard de Jode (aka Geeraert de Jode; Geerart de Jode; Gerardo de Jode; Gheerde de Jode; Gheraerde de Jode; Girard de Jode; Gerard de Jode (1516/17–1591) in Antwerp.

Engraving and etching on laid paper with a small margin and backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 21.7 x 30.5 cm; (plate) 20 x 28.6 cm; (image borderline) 18.9 x 28.5 cm.

Inscribed on plate within the image borderline: (on shield at lower centre) “.IHE.W.” (monogram of Hieronymus Wierix [1553–1619]); (below sheath of arrows at lower right) “8”.

Lettered in Latin on plate below the image borderline: “Itur, atrox Pharao perit æquore, transit Hebreus. Sicut in excultæ per loca plana viæ. Exod: 14.”

Lifetime impression of state i (of v)

Mauquoy-Hendrickx 23 I (Marie Mauquoy-Hendrickx 1978, “Les Estampes Des Wierix”, vol. 1, [text] p. 3, [ill.] p. 2); New Hollstein Dutch 33-1(4) (Zsuzsanna van Ruyven-Zeman [comp.] 2003, “Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts ca. 1450–1700: The Wierix family: part I”, vol. 59, Rotterdam, Sound and Vision Rijksprentenkabinet, p. 30, p. 31 [ill.], cat. no. 33).

The British Museum holds an extraordinary hand-coloured impression (contemporary colouring) of this print and offers the following description:

“The crossing of the red sea; to left, the Pharaoh on his chariot, crossing the red sea, with his horses and his soldiers struggling to keep afloat; Egyptian troops seen in the background, to left. (Ex. 14)”


See also the description of this print at the Rijksmuseum:

Condition: a strong and well-printed impression with a small margin laid onto a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. There is a restored tear towards the upper edge, restoration of a small section of the lower margin and a faded ink inscription on the lower right corner; otherwise the sheet is in an excellent condition for its considerable age with no losses, significant stains or foxing.

I am selling this exceptionally rare first state (of five), lifetime impression that is seldom seen on the art market for AU$286 (currently US$212.26/EUR175.01/GBP158 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 scene of dramatic upheaval 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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