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Saturday, 10 April 2021

Raphael Morghen’s engraving, “Head of Jupiter”, 1789

Raphael Morghen (aka Raffaello Morghen) (1758–1833)

“Head of Jupiter”—Portrait of Augustus [Octavian], 1789, following the intermediary design by Buenaventura Salesa (1756–1819) after an antique cameo found at Ephesus in 1793.

Frederic Robert Halsey (1885) in his catalogue raisonné for Raphael Morghen offers the following description of this print:

“Engraved at Rome, 1789, from an antique cameo, discovered at Ephesus, and in the possession of the Venetian Senator Giuliani. This cameo was carried off to Paris by Napoleon for the famous Museé Français, but was returned after Napoleon’s downfall in 1815. A head, full face, in a circular medallion, diameter 2⅝ in. The plate was said to have been destroyed; but this is a mistake, as it formed part of the Calcografia Morgheniana which passed into the possession of G. Snell, and it is now owned by Luigi Bardi, Florence. It was engraved for Osservazioni sopra un antico cammeo, rappresentante Giove Egioco, by the learned antiquary Ennio Quirino Visconti, Padova, 1793, 4to. There is an excellent copy by Rosaspina” (p. 66; see https://archive.org/details/raphaelmorghense00hals/page/66/mode/2up).

Engraving on heavy laid paper with wide margins as published.

Size: (sheet) 40.3 x 27.1 cm; (plate) 18.8 x 15.3 cm; (image borderline dia.) 6.8 cm.

Inscribed on plate around the image borderline: (lower left) “Bon. Salesa del.”; (lower right) “Raph. Morghen sculp.”

Lettered on plate in four lines of Latin below the image borderline: (centre) “Juppiter Aegiocus Ephesi nuper effosus/ Extat/ Apud Hieronymum Equitem Julianum/ Patricium Venetum”.

State iv (of iv) with correction of “Zulianum” to “Julianum” and “effosus” to “effossus” (see the first lettered state before changes at the British Museum: https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1843-0513-1116).

Halsey 81iv (Frederic Robert Halsey, 1885, “Raphael Morghen's engraved works being a descriptive catalogue”, New York, G P Putnam’s Sons, p. 66, cat. no. 81iv); Palmerini 142 (Niccolo Palmerini 1824, “Opere d'intaglio del Cav. Raffaello Morghen”, Florence, Niccolo Pagni, cat. no. 142); Nagler 151.

The British Museum offers a description of this print: https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1868-0822-93.

Condition: a strong and well-printed impression with generous margins. Beyond minor dustiness to the margins, the sheet is in excellent condition for its considerable age with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, stains or foxing.

I am selling this jewel-like engraving of an antique cameo capturing not only its fine details but also the slight sheen of the cameo’s polished surface, for AU$267 (currently US$203.54/EUR170.97/GBP148.51 at the time of posting 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 remarkably fine engraving—a true masterwork of this very demanding medium—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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