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Saturday 4 June 2022

Frederik Bloemaert’s engraving, “St Gregorius”, c1626, after Abraham Bloemaert

Frederik Bloemaert (c1616–1690)

“St Gregorius” (aka “St Gregory of Utrecht”; “Heilige Gregorius van Utrecht”), 1626, plate 3 from the series of twelve engravings, “Twelve Bishops and Prelates of Utrecht”—note that Cornelis Bloemaert (1603–1692) engraved two of the plates in the series (one of which is “St Boniface” that I have listed previously) and his brother, Frederik Bloemaert, engraved the other ten in the series (Roethlisberger cat. nos. 431–442)after designs by their father, Abraham Bloemaert (1564–1651), published by Frederik Bloemaert.

Regarding St Gregorius who died in 784, Marcel George Roethlisberger (1993) advises that he was “an inseparable companion of St. Boniface” (p. 285) whose engraving by Cornelis Bloemaert I showcased in an earlier post. Roethlisberger also adds the insight that St Gregorius called “wealth a sweet venom” and this poison is clearly not a part of the saint's life as he is shown here giving alms to the poor.

Engraving on laid paper, trimmed irregularly around the platemark and backed with a support sheet.

Size: (irregularly trimmed sheet) 48.2 x 30.7 cm; (plate approx.) 47.5? x 29.9? cm; (image borderline) 42.8 x 29 cm.

Lettered in plate above the image borderline: (centre) “Ab infantia ... Job.31.v.18.”

Inscribed in plate within the image borderline: (lower centre) “Abrahamus Bloemaert invent. Fred Bloemaert Sculp et excud” (lower right) “3”.

Lettered in plate below the image borderline: “Dispersit, dedit ... Psalm CXI. v.9./ S.GREGORIVS, .../ .../ … S. Salvatoris Vltrajecti."

Roethlisberger 433 (Marcel George Roethlisberger 1993, “Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints,” vol. 1, Doornspijk, Davaco, pp. 285, cat. no. 433); FMH 95-3 (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. 95/3); Hollstein Dutch 7 (F W H Hollstein 1950, “Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts ca. 1450-1700: Berckheyde–Bodding”, vol. 2, Amsterdam, Menno Hertzberger, p. 84, cat. no. 7).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print: “Plate 3: St Gregory of Utrecht. The bishop, whole length, wearing a mitre and an embroidered alb and cope, holding a staff and a book and giving alms to a poor at left; after Abraham Bloemaert
Engraving” ( ).

See also the description of this print by the Rijksmuseum:

Condition: a strong lifetime impression (based on the quality of line showing no sign of wear to the printing plate) trimmed unevenly around the platemark with a small margin at left and laid onto a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. The sheet is in a good condition with no tears, holes, 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$290.56/EUR271.03/GBP290.56 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 how the angling of hatching strokes the background on the left creates a dialogue between St Gregorius and beggar, whereas on the right side of the composition the angle of hatching changes to an expressive neutral “full stop” of verticals and horizontals, apart from the cast shadow on the lower right where the angling of the hatching parallels the left side—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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