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Monday, 22 March 2021

Thomas de Leu’s engraving, “Les Presens Rvstiqves”, c1614, after Anthoine Charon

Thomas de Leu (c1555-c1612) or (less likely) Jaspar Isaac (aka Gasper Isac; Jaspar Isac; Gaspard Isac; Jaspar Isacsz; Jasper de Isaac) (fl.1585–1654) or Léonard Gaultier (aka Léonard Gautier) (c1561–c1635)—note that all of these engravers supplied illustrations for the same publication in which this print was published, but Jaspar Isaac and Léonard Gaultier signed the engravings they worked on, and the style (to my eyes) leans more to Thomas de Leu than Léonard Gaultier (compare the engraving of Thomas de Leu [https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1872-0511-1258] with an engraving by Léonard Gautier [https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1871-0708-359]).

“Les Presens Rvstiqves” (The Rustic Present), c1614, after the design by Anthoine Charon (1521–1599)—the son-in-law of Jaspar Isaac—illustration to page 265 of Philostratus the Athenian’s (c170–245) et al., “Les Images Ou Tableaux De Platte Peinture Des Deus Philostrates Sophistes Grecs Et Les Statues De Callistrate Mis en Francois par Blaise de Vigenere Bourbonnois Enrichis d'Arguments et Annotations Reveus et corrigez sur l'original par un docte personnage de ce temps en la langue Grecque Et Representez En Taille Douce en cette nouvelle edition Avec des Epigrammes sur chacun d'iceux par Artus Thomas Sieur d'Embry”, published in Paris by Mathieu Guillemot (fl.1614–1652) in 1614.

This print and its context in the publication (1614) may be viewed online (or downloaded free-of-charge) at Archive.org: https://archive.org/details/lesimagesoutable00phil/page/262/mode/2up.

Engraving on laid paper with letterpress text recto and verso and a woodcut ornamental panel verso backed with a support sheet (with window cut in the support for viewing the verso panel).

Size: (sheet) 32.1 x 22.1 cm; (plate) 23.9 x 19.3 cm; (image borderline) 23.7 x 19.1 cm.

Letterpress French text: (upper centre margin) “LES PRESENS RVSTIQVES.”; (lower margin in two columns of six lines: “Estime qui voudra les choses magnifiques:/ Les beaux presens rustiques/ Contentent plus les coeurs,/ Que toutes ces grandeurs:/ Vne vaine peinture/ Est moins que la nature.// Tous ces dons enrichis d'or et d'orfebuerie,/ Ne sont que tromperie:/ S'ils ont  de la beauté,/ C'est en desloyauté:/ Rarement l'artifice/ Se trouue sans malice.”

([transl.] “Esteem who will want magnificent things:/ The beautiful rustic present/ No longer satisfy hearts,/ That all these sizes:/ A vain painting/ Is less than nature./ All these gifts enriched with gold and goldsmith's work,/ Are only deception:/ If they are beautiful:/ It is in disloyalty;/ Rarely artifice/ Is found without malice.”)

Condition: a strong and well-printed impression. The sheet has age-toning (i.e. darkening) on the left side and there is an abraded area in the upper right margin where the page number should be. The verso of the sheet has been laid onto a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper with a “window” left to allow the woodcut panel printed verso to be seen.

I am selling this exceptionally fine engraving of what I would like to call a “fruitscape” showing in the foreground at left what I assume must be a date palm with a curious root system and a grapevine entwining its trunk, while in the middle distance arranged in mini-mounds are fruits such as pears, oranges, grapes and a few others that I am hesitant to propose, for the total cost of AU$232 (currently US$179.58/EUR150.51/GBP129.52 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 strangely wonderful engraving with an equally interesting woodcut panel printed verso featuring mascarons, snails, monkeys, rabbits, snakes and rinceau ornamentation, 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 


Woodcut printed verso










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