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Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Eugène Gaujean’s engraving, “Portrait du Sénateur Muffel de Nuremberg”, 1883, after Albrecht Dürer

Eugène Gaujean (1850–1900)

Portrait du Sénateur Muffel de Nuremberg” (aka “Portrait of Jacob Muffel at the age of 55”), 1883, after Albrecht Dürer’s (1471–1528) “Portrait of Jakob Muffel”, 1526, in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, printed by Alfred Salmon (1863–1894), published as insert between pages 222 and 223 in “La Gazette des Beaux-Arts” in 1883 (see https://archive.org/details/gazettedesbeauxa52pari/page/222/mode/2up).

During my research about this print, I found the following description of Dürer's painting when it was originally auctioned in 1867 for seventy-five thousand francs from the Galerie de Pommersfelden: (transl.) “The great painter [Albrecht Dürer] has put in this powerful head, in this concentrated physiognomy, an extraordinary character. Fixed, penetrating eyes stop and command. This Senator Muffel — if it is Senator Muffel? — must have had influence on his fellow citizens” (Paul Eudel 1884, “L'Hôtel Drouot et la Curiosité”, p. 184 [https://archive.org/details/lhteldrouoten02eudegoog/page/n218/mode/2up]).

Interestingly, Paul Lefort’s commentary text accompanying Gaujean’s reproductive engraving of Dürer painting in “La Gazettte des Beaux-Arts” (1883) is surprisingly critical (in my reading): (transl.) “[Gaujean’s engraving] precisely represents the mayor Muffel. Comparing it with the painting, it seems to our colleague that it was executed from this drawing [Dürer 1517 drawn version of the portrait in the Dumesnil collection} rather than from nature, and this conjecture, perhaps a little subtle, he bases it on what the execution, moreover very neat, presents a little dryness. But isn't this a fault that one can generally blame Durer's painting?” (p. 220; see https://archive.org/details/gazettedesbeauxa52pari/page/220/mode/1up).

Engraving (with etching?) on laid paper (with partial watermark) backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 28.1 x 19.7 cm; (plate) 24.5 x 18.4 cm; (image borderline) 20.3 x 15.5 cm.

Lettered on plate as lettered on Durer’s painting at upper left: “ALTATIS.SVAE.ANNO.LV/. SALVTIS.VERO.MDXXVI/ [Albrecht Dürer’s monogram: AD]”

Lettered on plate below the image borderline: (left) “A. DÜRER PINX./ Gazette des Beaux-Arts.”; (centre) “PORTRAIT DU SÉNATEUR MUFFEL DE NUREMBERG/ (Collection de M. B. Narischkine).”; (right) GAUJEAN SC./ Imp. A. Salmon, Paris.”

The Rijksmuseum and the Luther College Fine Arts Collection offer descriptions of this print: http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.115576;  https://fac.luther.edu/search/index.php/Detail/objects/1637.

Condition: a near faultless impression with full margins as published laid onto a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. The sheet is in a near pristine condition with no tears, holes, folds, losses, abrasions, stains, foxing or signs of handling.

I am selling this superb engraving translating the colour, tone and fine details of Albrecht Dürer’s painting of Jacob Muffel (1509–1569) into engraved linenote the engraver’s skill in reproducing the sheen of Muffel’s silk collar with fine parallel groupings of stokes compared to the soft texture of the fur rendered with omnidirectional longer strokes—for the total cost of AU$247 (currently US$188.78/EUR158.97/GBP136.95 at the time of this listing) including 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 remarkable masterwork of engraving exemplifying the highest level of technical skill, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.











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