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Sunday, 7 February 2021

Johann Wilhelm Baur’s etching, “Cadmus Kills the Dragon”, 1641

Johann Wilhelm Baur (1607–1642)

“Cadmus Kills the Dragon”, 1641, plate 27 from the series of 148 illustrations to Ovid’s (43–17/18 BC) “Metamorphosis”, initially published in 1641 before the lines of Latin descriptive text were added (see BM inv. no. 2AA+,a.31.27) in “Des vortrefflichen Römischen poëtens Publii Ovidii Nasonis Metamorphoseon, oder, funffzehen Bücher der Verwandlungen”. This impression is from the 1709 edition published by Pet. Detleffsen (and Jer. Wolff?) in Augsburg with the Latin text.

Note that Bauer etched another plate with minor variations of the same composition published in 1639 in Vienna(?) as plate 28 to “Des vortrefflichen Römischen poëtens Publii Ovidii Nasonis Metamorphoseon, oder, funffzehen Bücher der Verwandlungen” (see https://archive.org/details/desvortreffliche00baur/page/n53/mode/2up). Note also that Abraham Aubry (fl. c1650) also made etchings in reverse of Bauer’s designs published by Paulus Fürst (1608–1666) in Nuremberg in 1688.

Etching on fine laid paper with watermark.

Size: (sheet) 14.3 x 21.4 cm; (plate) 13.2 x 20.8 cm; (image borderline) 12.7 x 20.7 cm.

Numbered on plate: (on tree at upper right) “27”.

Lettered on plate below the image borderline: (left) “Baür: fecitt”; (centre) “Cadmus vt ad fontem venit, comitesque necatos,/ Exitij autorem mox dat et ipse neci.// Rex ille Draco, Cadmus quem Marte peremit,/ Ipsius et regni sceptra superba tulit.”; (right) […]/ lib: 3”.

State ii (of ii) with the lines of descriptive text below the image borderline.

Bonnefoit R.146 (Régine Bonnefoit 1997, “Johann Wilhelm Baur (1607–1642). Ein Wegbereiter der barocken Kunst in Deutschland”, Tübingen); Hollstein 12.ii.

The British Museum offers the following description of this print (note that the BM describes this plate as inscribed with the number “26”, but this is incorrect):

“Cadmus kills the dragon; Cadmus, the son of Agenor and sister of Europa, in a wooded landscape; Cadmus thrusts a spear into the mouth of the dragon; smoke emitted from the dragon's mouth, its tail wrapped around the trunk of a tall tree; to the left of Cadmus, a well, pots and bodies strewn on the ground” (https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_2AA-a-31-27).   

Condition: a well-printed and slightly silvery impression with a small margin around the platemark in excellent condition with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, losses, stains, foxing or signs of use.

I am selling this superb illustration to Ovid’s “Metamorphosis”, showing Cadmus about to slay the dragon that has killed his companions, for AU$232 in total (currently US$178.16/EUR147.82/GBP129.71 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 interesting depiction of dragon with a cocker spaniel’s face and ears, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold











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