Gallery of prints for sale

Thursday 2 June 2022

Wolfgang Kilian’s engraving, “Melancholy”, c1608

Wolfgang Kilian (1581–1662)

Note that Wolfgang Kilian often used his full name on his prints, but also used the initials, “W.G.K.”, as can be seen in this print; see, for example, the inscription in Kilian’s “The Ascension of Christ”, 1600–1662 (

“Melancholy” (aka “Melancholie”; “Haec tormenta frahit”; “Misfortune Overtakes), 1603–1608, published as plate 11 in the series of 15 plates (including the title plate) to “Nimbus Calamitatum Humani Generis Lapsi” (A Cloud of Calamities of the Fallen Human Race”, possibly after the design by Nicolas de Hoey (aka. Dhoey) (fl.1590–1611) and published by Jacob von Sandrart (1630-1708) (see the images of all the plates and descriptions offered by the Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum Braunschweig:

Engraving with etching on laid paper, trimmed around the image borderline on top and sides and text lines below the image, backed with a support sheet.

Size: (support sheet) 28.3 x 33.4 cm; (sheet) 25.2 x 30.3 cm; (image borderline) 22.7 x 30.3 cm.

Inscribed in plate within the image borderline: (lower left corner) “W.G.K.”; (lower centre) “XI.”

Lettered below the image borderline in three columns of Latin and German text: {note that there may be errors in my reading of the text) “Hæc tormenta frahit longo fecum aginine Bilis/ Atra, Melancholicis tatara dira Viris,/ Aspidibus macerat se Desperatio: curis/ Tristitia et luctus conficit exanimes.// …// …űberfekt.”

Hollstein XVIII.760–774 (771)

See also the description of this print by the Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum Braunschweig:

Condition: a strong early impression trimmed around the image borderline, but retaining the text lines. Beyond a flattened centrefold (with minor break), the sheet is in a very good condition for its age with no significant stains, or foxing and has been laid onto a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper.

I am selling this amazing engraving full of symbolism relating to melancholy—note that the Latin text in the left column refers to the symptoms of Melancholy as “tristitia” (sadness) and “luctus” (anguish) and proposes that (transl.) “Despair wears itself with Vipers”—for AU$277 (currently US$198.99/EUR186.14/GBP158.81 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 seldom seen engraving on the art market and one which perfectly exemplifies the period style of Mannerism—note the elongation of the figures, the theatrical lighting and dramatic gestures—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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