Gallery of prints for sale

Sunday 5 November 2023

Adam Bartsch’s etching, “Four oxen in a stream, in the background a shepherd in front of a ruin”, 1806, after Willem Romeyn

Adam Bartsch (aka Johann Adam Bartsch; Adam von Bartsch; Johann Adam Bernhard Ritter von Bartsch) (1757–1821)

“Four oxen in a stream, in the background a shepherd in front of a ruin” (aka “Vier ossen in een beek, in de achtergrond een herder voor een ruïne” [Rijksmuseum title]), 1806, after Willem Romeyn (c.1624–1694)—a Haarlem painter influenced by his teacher, Nicolaes Berchem (1621/2–1683). This is an impression is before the addition of the publisher’s address for Johann Friedrich Frauenholz (1758–1822) in Nuremberg (see; nevertheless the sheet is blindstamped on the lower-right corner within the platemark with the Johann Friedrich Brauenholz’s seal (Lugt 174) as the  publisher of this impression.

The Gemäldegalerie (Staatliche Museen, Berlin), holds a related drawing by Willem Romeyn dated 1695, “Italian landscape with a cowherd, in the background the ruins of the temple of Vespasian in the Roman Forum in Rome” (inv./cat. no. Z 13678; cat. Bock-Rosenberg 1930, p. 249):

Note that in the description of a related painting by Willem Romeyn offered by Sotheby’s Auctions (September 20, 1019) advises: “… the columns in the background of this painting [and this etching] are a frequently recurring motif in the painting of the Bamboccianti: they formed part of the portico to the Temple of Vespasian in the Forum at Rome. They are seen partly buried in this picture; they remained so until their excavation in 1813” (see

Etching on laid paper with small margins, blindstamped at lower right with the mark of the publisher (Johann Friedrich Brauenholz [Lugt 174]).

Size: (sheet) 29 x 22.4 cm; (plate) 26.9 x 20.1 cm; (image borderline) 23.7 x 19.3 cm.

Inscribed in plate within the image borderline: (lower left) “WROMEYN.”

Inscribed in plate below the image borderline: (right) “A. Bartsch sc. 1806.”

State ii [Rieger] (of iii) before the addition of the publisher’s address.

Rieger 404 (Rudolf Rieger 2014, “Adam von Bartsch (1757-1821): Leben und Werk des Wiener Kunsthistorikers und Kupferstechers unter besonderer Berücksichtigung seiner Reproduktionsgraphik nach Handzeichnungen …”, vol. 2, Petersberg, Michael Imhof Verlag, p. 300, cat. no. 404); Bartsch 187 (Frédérique de Bartsch 1818, “Catalogue des estampes de J. Adam Bartsch”, Vienna, p. 81, cat. no. 187).

The V&A offer the following description of this print: “Four horned cattle in a stream, the cow in the centre of the composition looking out toward the viewer. In the near-distance behind them, a man lies on his side against an earth bank turned away from the viewer, with a dog by his side. The background shows some decorative ruinous pillars and in the distance to the left of the picture a figure with two sheep can be seen” (

Condition: a strong and well-printed impression with minor marks towards the top edge; otherwise, the sheet is in a very good condition with no tears, holes, folds, significant stains or foxing.

I am selling this finely executed etching by one of the most famous of all catalogue writers documenting early prints—Wikipedia describes Bartsch’s catalogue of old master prints, “Le Peintre Graveur” as “the foundation of print history” and the updated version of his catalogue, abbreviated as “TIB”, for “The Illustrated Bartsch”, is still my first point of call when researching prints—for the total cost of AU$268 (currently US$179.13/EUR162.08/GBP142.67 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 interesting bucolic scene—a true scene of fantasy curiously featuring a section of the ruined temple of Vespasian from the Roman Forum in Rome that was fully excavated only seven years after this etching was completed—please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

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