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Friday 24 February 2023

Jan Collaert I’s engraving, “Elisha Visits the Shunammite Woman”, c1579

Jan Collaert I (aka Hans Collaert) (c1525/30–1580)

Elisha Visits the Shunammite Woman” (aka “Elisa bezoekt de Sunnemitische vrouw”), c1759, plate 1 from the series of six engravings (Hollstein 122–127 [de Vos]), “The Story of Elisha” (aka “The Story of Elisha and the Shunammite Woman”; “Het verhaal van Elisa en de Sunnemitische vrouw”), after the design by Maarten de Vos (aka Maarten de Vos; Maerten de Vos) (1532–1603), published in Amsterdam by Volcxken Diericx (Volcxken Dierickx; Volcxken Diericx) (fl.1570–1600). Note that this print was later published by Claes Jansz. Visscher (aka Nicolaes Jansz.Visscher; Piscator) (1587–1652) in 1643 (possibly in “Thesaurus Sacrarum Historiarum Veteris Testament”). This impression is from the initial edition by Volcxken Diericx.

Engraving on fine laid paper (with watermark) with small margins around the platemark.

Size: (sheet) 23.2 x 31 cm; (plate) 21.2 x 28.8 cm; (image borderline) 19.2 x 28.4 cm.

Inscribed in plate within the image borderline: (far left below door) “H. C. F.”; (lower left) “M. de vos. Inue”; (right) “Aux. 4. Vents.”

Lettered and numbered in plate below the image borderline in two columns of two lines of Latin text: “1.// Fercula leta parat Sunamis, et mollia strata … prole futuram.”

State iii? (of iv) before the addition of publication details for Claes Jansz. Visscher in the final state.

New Hollstein (The Collaert Dynasty) 59 (Ann Diels & Marjolein Leesberg [comp.] 2005–2006, “The New Hollstein: Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts 1450–1700: The Collaert Dynasty,” vol. 8, Ouderkerk aan den Ijssel, Sound and Vision, pp. 73 & 77, cat. no. 59); Hollstein 122 (Christiaan Schuckman [comp.] 1996, “The New Hollstein: Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts 1450–1700: Maarten de Vos,” vol. 44, Rotterdam, Sound and Vision Rijksprentenkabinet, cat. no. 122); Riggs 196 (Timothy A. Riggs 1977, “Hieronymus Cock: Printmaker and Publisher,” New York, Garland Publishing).

The Rijksmuseum offers the following description of this print: (transl.) “The prophet Elisha comes to dinner with a couple from the city of Shunem. Later in the evening, the woman comes to him. As a reward for her hospitality, he blesses her and swears that she will conceive a son within a year. The print has a Latin caption and is part of a series about Elisha and the Shunammite woman” (

See also the description offered by the British Museum:

Condition: a strong and well-printed impression with small margins. Beyond a flattened centrefold and restoration of a loss on the lower edge of the centrefold, the sheet is in an excellent condition for its considerable age with no significant stains or foxing.

I am selling this event-filled engraving—note that the portrayed biblical scene has composite events with Elisha shown at left being greeted at the door of the Shunammite woman’s house and in the foreground he is shown seated while blessing the woman with news that she will conceive a son with a year—for AU$303 (currently US$206.42/EUR194.65/GBP171.54 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 superb engraving exemplifying the Flemish Mannerist leaning towards lively rhythms, theatrical gestures and spatial ambiguity, 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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