Gallery of prints for sale

Monday 4 April 2022

Jacques Callot’s etching, “Nativitas Mariae Virginis”, c1633, after Ventura Salimbeni

Jacques Callot (1592–1635)

“Nativitas Mariae Virginis” (aka “Naissance de la Vierge Marie”; “The Birth of the Virgin Mary”), c1633/34, plate 1 from the series of fourteen etchings, “Vita et historia beatae Mariae virginis matris Dei” (Life and story of the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of God) , published in Paris by Israël Henriet (c1590–1661), in reverse after the pen and wash study (c1605–10) in the National Gallery of Washington (Wolfgang Ratjen Collection) (see BM Curator’s comment for inv. no. 1861,0713.137) by Ventura Salimbeni (aka [Cavaliere] Bevilacqua) (1568–1613) for the altarpiece in San Domenico, Ferrara.

Etching on fine laid paper trimmed around the platemark and backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 7.1 x 4.6 cm; (image borderline) 6.5 x 4.4 cm.

Inscribed in plate below the image borderline: (left) “Callot/ fecit.”; (centre) “Nativitas Mariae Virginis./ 1.”; (right) “Israel/ excud.”.

State iii (of iii) with the addition of the plate number (“1”).

Lieure 1358.iii (Jules Lieure 1989, “Jacques Callot: Catalogue Raisonné de l’Oeuvre Gravé”, vol. 1 [text], San Francisco, Alan Wofsy Fine Arts, p. 79); Meaume 77.

Jules Lieure (1989) offers the following description of this print: “[transl.] In the background on the left, Ste Anne is lying in her bed and cheerful cherubs fly overhead of her head, in a cloud illuminated by rays divine. In the foreground, women are hurrying around the Virgin Mary who has just been born” (vol. 1, p. 79).

See also the description offered by The British Museum:

Condition: a strong and well-printed impression showing no sign of wear to the printing plage, trimmed around the platemark and laid upon a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. Beyond minor chips to the lower edge, the sheet is in an excellent condition for its considerable age with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, stains or foxing.

I am selling this tiny jewel of etching—a true tour de force of disciplined control and amazing skill in the use of the etching needle (mindful that the etching needle employed by Callot was his famous échoppe that he developed to create swelling lines like those of engraving)—for the total cost of AU$328 (currently US$245.87/EUR222.51/GBP187.57 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 very  beautiful etching by one of the most important and innovative of the old master printmakers—beyond Callot’s development of the échoppe etching needle allowing etchers to duplicate the effects of engraved lines, Callot also developed the technique of “stopping out” allowing etchers to create lighter lines in the distance (as seen here)—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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