The Holy Family before a Column


Brüggen 1558 – 1617 Haarlem

after Bartholomeus Spranger (1546-1611)

"The Holy Family before a Column", 1585

Engraving. 16,9 x 11,7 cm.
Signed and dated in the plate B.Spranger inven. at the bottom right, and HGoltzius Sculp. et excu. Ao 1585 (HG intertwined) at the bottom left.
Two lines of Latin text by Cornelius Schonaeus in the margin: Infans ille piae ... celso demissus olympo.

Provenance: Louis Valentin (second half 19th century), his mark on verso (Lugt 2498)

Literature: Bartsch 274; Nagler, 1835-1852, Vol III, p.283; Dutuit 274; Wurzbach 274; Hirschmann 318; Hollstein 318 I (III); Strauss 219; NHD 337 (p. lxvi, fig. 8); TIB 274; TIB Comm, 0301.274; Leeflang 2003, p. 82, fig. 41.

Superb and early impression of the first state before the worn plate, dark and well inkt-printing with great contrasts and depth. The collector's mark of Louis Valentin slightly shining through on recto, mounted around the edges on the original album sheet with again Valentin’s mark, as described by Lugt. A few non-disturbing thin spots in the upper right corner on recto, some thin places on verso, furthermore in a very good condition.

According to Lugt, the print collection of Louis Valentin was known for its excellent quality and should be considered as one of the best of its days. The Copperplate is preserved in Washington D.C. (National Gallery of Art, inv. 1943.3.1725).

This engraving should be considered as one of the earliest examples of Goltzius’ work after the design of Bartholomeus Spranger. Shortly after, Goltzius established a highly successful working relationship with the celebrated mannerist from the court of Rudolf II in Prague, which resulted in some of the most outstanding prints made in the period.

A print rarely found so beautiful.
Price: USD 4,300 / EURO 3,600

6 5/8 x 4 5/8 inches