Gallery of prints for sale

Thursday 30 June 2022

Matthäus Merian I’s etching, “Swedish Fireworks. Year 1650”, 1650

Matthäus Merian I (Matthaeus Merian) (1593–1650)

“Swedish Fireworks. Year 1650" (aka "Schwedischen Feuerwerks. Anno 1650."), 1650, plate 41 (?) from a series of what I understand were 104 plates illustrating events in the Thirty Years' War (1618–48)—a hideous war that arguably claimed up to 8 million lives and possibly 50% of the population in some areas of Germany—published by Matthäus Merian the elder and his sons (Matthäus the Younger and Caspar) in Frankfurt in the 21 volumes of “Theatrum Europaeum" (European Theatre). See details of the publication (including this print) in Sotheby’s Auctions, 2021, Books and Manuscripts, Lot 16:

Etching on laid paper with small margins around the plate mark and replenished losses at lower right, backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 30.2 x 39.5 cm; (plate) 26.3 x 37.9 cm; (image borderline) 26 x 37.5 cm.

Lettered in plate: (on banderole at top centre) “Schwedischen Feuerwerks. Anno 1650.”; (on inset square at lower right and above the portrayed columns at right of centre) “CR/ CGP VIVAT”.

Staatlichen Kunstbibliothek 2835 (Staatliche Kunstbibliothek [Fwd: Hermann Schmitz] 1939, “Katalog der Ornamentstichsammlung der Staatlichen Kunstbibliothek, Berlin”, Berlin, Verlag für kunstwissenschaft, p. 366, cat. no. 2835).

Condition: a well-printed but lightly abraded impression with replenished losses at lower right corner and other minor restorations. The published centre-fold is flattened and the sheet has been laid upon an archival support sheet of millennium quality washi paper.

I am selling this wonderful and eye-catching etching featuring a display of what the title advises are "Schwedischen Feuerwerks” (Swedish fireworks) that enlivened the sky above the firing range that was west of Nuremburg in 1650—note a partial view of the city in the distance—for the total price of AU$322 (currently US$221.74/EUR212.31/GBP182.68 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 amazing and rare etching—note the Discordia figure (personifying the chaos of the fireworks) that is shown above the display screen in the middle distance and which is presented again as an enlarged detail at lower-right—please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

Note that I have listed another print by Matthäus Merian I, “The Battle of Rain am Lech”, 1632, from the same series and is currently still available:

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