Gallery of prints for sale

Saturday 4 March 2023

Stefano della Bella’s etching, “Entrance to a Fortress”, c1645

Stefano della Bella (1610–1664)

“Entrance to a Fortress”, c1645 (1642–1647), plate 2 from the series of twelve plates (including the title plate), “Dessins de quelques conduits de troupes” (aka “Desseins de quelques conduites de troupes, Canons, et ataques de villes”; “Troops, weapons and attacks”) (De Vesme/Massar 246–257), published by Israël Henriet (c1590–1661) with privilege of the French Crown in Paris and dedicated (as inscribed on title plate) to Henri Roger du Plessis-Liancourt (1620–1646), whose coat-of-arms is shown on the arcade wall at right.

Etching on laid paper, trimmed close to the image borderline with narrow margins and backed with a support sheet providing wide margins.

Size: (support sheet) 21.4 x 26.3 cm: (sheet) 6.3 x 12.6 cm; (image borderline) 5.8 x 12.4 cm.

Inscribed in plate below the image borderline: (left) “2”; (right) “Israel ex. SDBella f.”

State ii (of iii) with erasure of “Stefanus Della Bella f.” inscribed on wall of the second state (see

De Vesme/Massar 247 (Alexandre de Vesme & Phyllis D. Massar, 1971, “Stefano della Bella. Catalogue Raisonné”, New York, Collectors Editions, [Text] p. 84, cat. no. 247, [Illust.] p. 65, cat. no. 247); Jombert (Della Bella) 92 (Charles Antoine Jombert 1772, “Essai d'un catalogue de l'oeuvre d'Etienne de la Belle, peintre et graveur florentin”, Paris, p. 101, cat. no. 92).

The Rijksmuseum offers the following description of this print in its first state: (transl.) “The arched entrance to a fortress where a seated soldier stands guard. A second soldier is sleeping on the floor. On the wall on the right, the coat of arms of Henri Roger du Plessis-Liancourt. In the background some ruins” (

Condition: a strong and well-printed impression trimmed around the image borderline and retaining the lower writing edge, with narrow/tread margins laid onto a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. There is a restored tear on the lower left, along with other minor restorations and a few surface marks (see mark near the plate number), otherwise the sheet is in a very good condition for its considerable age with no significant stains.

I am selling this very finely executed small etching showing two figures resting in an arcade serving as a guardhouse at the entrance to a fortress (as described by De Vesme & Massar [1971]), for AU$252 (currently US$170.64/EUR160.45/GBP141.66 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 revealing look at a quiet moment at a guardhouse in the mid-1600s by one of the most famous of the old master printmakers, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

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