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Thursday 9 June 2022

Salvator Rosa’s etching, “St. William of Maleval”, 1661

Salvator Rosa (1615–1673)

St. William of Maleval” (aka “St. Guillaume Ermite”), 1661, a later impression.

Bellini & Wallace (1990) in the TIB catalogue raisonné for Salvator Rosa (vol. 45 [commentary]) offer the following background information about the portrayed saint and the etching plate:

“St. William of Maleval was a particularly austere Tuscan penitent of the twelfth century, whose companion and disciple was Albert. In 1155 he withdrew to what was then call the Stable of Rhodes, an especially horrid valley in the territory of Siena which came to be known appropriately as Maleval. There he lived a life of the harshest self-denial and penitence. Albert jointed him in 1156, and in 1157 the saint died. The etching plate is in the Calcografia Nazionale, Rome (inv. 7471)”  ( p. 335).

Etching with drypoint on wove paper with wide margins.

Size: (sheet) 43.8 x 31 cm; (plate) 35.6 x 22.9 cm.

Inscribed in plate: (on tablet at lower right) “S. ROSA”.

State ii (of ii)

TIB 14.001 [268] S2 (Paolo Bellini & Richard W Wallace [eds.] 1990, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Italian Masters of the Seventeenth Century”, vol. 45 [Commentary], New York, Abaris Books, p. 335, cat. no. 45.001 S2); Wallace 99 II (Richard W Wallace 1979, “The Etchings of Salvator Rosa”, Princeton, Princeton University Press, pp. 246–47, cat. no. 99/II).

See also the descriptions of this print offered by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the British Museum:

Condition: a very strong (near faultless) impression with wide margins. Beyond minor marks in the lower margin, the sheet is in an excellent condition with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, significant stains or foxing.

I am selling this later impression of a large and important original etching by Salvator Rosa  that not only exemplifies the artist’s interest in esoteric subjects—here a somewhat obscure saint in very shiny armour is bound by the wrists to a tree fixed with a cross as an act penitence—but also his interest in using landscape as an expressive vehicle for projecting romantic ideals, for the total cost of AU$438 (currently US$314.64/EUR293.24/GBP251.12 at the time of this listing) including Express Mail (EMS) 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 superb etching, 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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