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Monday 28 March 2022

Cornelis Bloemaert’s engraving, “St Bonifacius”, c1626, after Abraham Bloemaert

Cornelis Bloemaert (1603–1692)

“St Bonifacius” —(aka St Boniface; St Winfred; St Winfrith) (675–c754) famous for felling a huge oak tree sacred to Thor, c1626, plate 2 from the series of twelve engravings, “Twelve Bishops and Prelates of Utrecht”—note that Cornelis engraved two of the plates and his brother, Frederik Bloemaert (c1616–1690), engraved the other ten in the series (Roethlisberger 431–442)—after the painting, “St. Boniface”, 1626, in the Roman Catholic Archbishop's Palace, Utrecht, by Cornelis’ father, Abraham Bloemaert (1564–1651), published by Cornelis Bloemaert.

Engraving on laid paper with small margins, backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 50.5 x 33.5 cm; (plate) 47.4 x 29.9 cm; (image borderline) 42.8 x 29.6 cm.

Lettered in plate above the image borderline: (centre) “Venite filij audite me, timorem Domini docebo vos. Psal. 33.”.

Inscribed in plate within the image borderline: (lower left) “Abrahamus Bloemaert pinxit Ultrajecti.”; (centre) “Corneli[us] Bloemaert fili[us] sculp: et excud:”; (right) “Cum privilegio Regis Christ.mi.”.

Lettered in plate below the image borderline: “Ipse est directus .../ S. BONIFACIUS quiet Winfridus Anglus .../ Consecratus Romæ .../ … D.D. Abrahamus Bloemaert.”.

Roethlisberger 432 (Marcel George Roethlisberger 1993, “Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints,” vol. 1, Doornspijk, Davaco, pp. 284–85, cat. no. 432); FMH 95-2 (Frederik Muller 1863–82, “The Dutch History in Plates: Reasoned Description of Dutch History Plates, Pictures and Historical Maps”, vol. 1, Amsterdam, F Muller, p. 10, cat. no. 95/2); Hollstein Dutch 42 (F W H Hollstein 1950, “Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts ca. 1450-1700: Berckheyde–Bodding”, vol. 2, Amsterdam, Menno Hertzberger, p. 73, cat. no. 42).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print: “Plate 2: St Boniface. The bishop, whole length, wearing a dalmatic and cope, holding a cross staff and a sword piercing a book, a gushing well at the bottom of his staff in lower left corner; after Abraham Bloemaert/ Engraving” (

See also the description of this print by the Rijksmuseum:  

Roethlisberger (1993) offers the following insights about this engraving: “The print is a faithful reproduction, corresponding to the painting, in the same direction. The only bearded figure of the series. Boniface is represented as a bishop with dalmatic, cope (this time without a figurative border), miter, and cross, with the attribute of a sword pierced by a Bible with which he attempted to fend off his murderer. A well is gushing forth from the bottom of his cross” (p. 285).

Condition: a strong lifetime impression (based on the quality of line showing no sign of wear to the printing plate) with small margins and laid onto a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. The lower left margin and a worm-hole have been replenished/restored, otherwise the sheet is in a good condition with no folds, significant stains or foxing.

I am selling this large and important masterwork of engraving—Roethlisberger (1993) describes the prints from the series of which this print is a part as “the finest and largest by the two brothers” aside from the engraving, “Ignatius” by Cornelis which is larger (see p. 282)—for AU$403 (currently US$301.69/EUR274.39/GBP230.34 at the time of posting this print) 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 very beautiful engraving—note the strong contrasts created by the depth of line in Cornelis’ style of engraving—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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