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Thursday 12 August 2021

Valentin Lefebre’s etching, “Landscape with Sleeping Shepherd”, 1677, after Titian (2nd impression)

Valentin Lefebre (aka Valentin Le Fevre; Valentin Le Febre; Valentin Lefebure; Valentin Lefèvre) (1637–1677 [dates given by the BM & Ruggeri] or 1642/3–1683 [dates given by the MET & NGV])

“Landscape with Sleeping Shepherd”, 1677 (publ. 1682), in reverse to the drawing of the same subject by Titian (1489/90–1576) held by the Louvre (inv. no. 5534), from the series of 53 etchings after Titian and Veronese (Ruggeri I.1-53; Hollstein X,1-53), “Opera Selectiora” (aka “Opera selectiora quae Titianus Vecellius Cadubriensis et Paulus Calliari Veronensis inventarunt ac pinxerunt”), published by Jacobus van Campen (fl.1682) in Venice.

Regarding the publication of the series, “Opera Selectiora,” the BM offers the following information:

“The series was left unfinished at his early death, and finally published in 1682 by Jacques van Campen (the 1680 edition does not seem to exist). It was reprinted in 1684, and in the XVIIIc in 1749, 1763; later by Teodoro Viero who added his address to the plates (editions in 1786 and 1789).” (

Etching on laid paper (partial watermark) with wide margins as published.

Size: (sheet) 42.7 x 55.8 cm; (plate) 25.5 x 40.2; (image borderline) 25 x 39.6 cm.

Inscribed on plate within the lower image borderline: (left) “[T]an. In”; (left of centre) “J. Van Campen Formis. Venetÿs.”;  (right of centre) “V. lefebre del. et sculp.”

Inscribed by an old hand in faded brown ink in the margin: (upper left) “46”.

State i (of ii) before the address of Teodoro Viero of the later 1786 and 1789 editions.

Ruggeri I.23 (Ugo Ruggeri 2001, “Valentin Lefèvre: Dipinti, Disegni, Incisioni”, Manerba, Merigo Art Books, p. 217, cat. no. I. 23); Villot 23 (Frédéric Villot 1844, "Valentin Lefebre, Peintre et Graveur à l'Eau-Forte", in 'Le Cabinet de l'Amateur et de l'Antiquaire', 3, 1844, pp. 169–197); Hollstein Dutch 1-53 (F W H Hollstein 1953, “Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts c.1450–1700: L'Admiral–Lucas van Leyden”, vol. 10, Amsterdam, Menno Hertzberger, p.46, cat. no. 1-53).

The Rijksmuseum offers the following description of this print:

(transl.) “Landscape with a sleeping shepherd under a tree. A herd of animals grazes next to him. A brook winds through the landscape to the right, houses stand in the distance. The print is part of a 53-part series of prints based on paintings by Titian and Veronese”


See also the description of the print at the British Museum:

“Landscape with a flock of sheep and a goat grazing in the foreground, a shepherd sleeping at left, a river with a bridge at right, a village in the background; after Titian. 1682”


Condition: a richly inked early impression with a replenished printer’s crease (upper centre)  and minor marks and chips in the margins appropriate to the age of the print, otherwise the sheet is in an excellent condition with a (faded) brown ink collector’s number (“46”) in the margin at upper left.

Note that this is the second impression of this etching by Lefebre that I have listed. The previous impression has been sold.

I am selling this large masterpiece of etching that seems to shimmer with light, for AU$323 (currently US$237.74/EUR202.53/GBP171.51 at the time of posting 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 extraordinary interpretation of a landscape by Titian, 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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