Mattia Jona, Master Drawings and Prints, Japanese Prints - Piazzetta Guastalla 5, 20122 Milan, Italy, tel (+39) 02 8053315

Jacques Bellange, gardener with urn and reticule


Etching. Walch 11 II/II (?), Worthen-Welsh Reed 15; Griffiths-Hartley 35; J. Thuillier 41. A very good impression of a probable second state. Small margins (from 2 to 4 mm) on three sides, trimmed inside the platemark at bottom. The uneven trimming (max 15 mm) does not concern the etched area but possibly the part containing the Le Blond excudit. The sheet bears traces of folds, small spots and minor abrasions, but the whole etched area is well preserved and the paper is generally clean and bright.
Dimensions of the sheet: 338 (max) x 205 mm.
The group referred to as gardeners, after Bellange's inscription of the Latin word hortulana on one of the plates, includes four etchings - which may or may not have been intended as a set - and four drawings, all in the identical technique of blue wash over pen and brown ink. With their antique sandals, richly ornamented vessels, and low d├ęcolletage, Bellange's female gardeners are overwhelmingly sensuous rather than realistic. The designs of the four prints, all of which appeared in editions by Le Blond, proved popular. Matthaeus Merian made copies of all four and these in turn were copied by the young Abraham Bosse in 1622.

Jacques Bellange was an artist and printmaker from the Duchy of Lorraine whose etchings and some drawings are his only securely identified works today. They are among the most striking Northern Mannerist old master prints, mostly on Catholic religious subjects, and with a highly individual style. Despite the high regard in which Bellange's work has long been held, his life and oeuvre present many enigmas. He appears quite suddenly on the royal payrolls at the court of Nancy in 1602, already commanding a high salary, but no documents record his origins or training. Aesthetic debts have been noted to the figural types and compositional principles of Northern Mannerism as well as to Italian techniques of etching. From surviving records between 1602 and his early death in 1616, it is clear that Bellange held a high-ranking position in the Lorraine court. Unfortunately, little or nothing of Bellange's painted output survives and his contribution must be judged largely on his graphic work.

price 13.800,00 euros

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