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Valentine’s Day Draws Neigh Again

Thomas Landseer, Cupid
Thomas Landseer

What wanton tricks sly Cupid plays,
When’eer the rogue’s let loose!

Scheming New Mischief as always

Thomas Landseer (1795 London 1880). Cupid. This time in the shape of a little monkey. The bow in the right, a full quiver and a single arrow at the ground, roses in the hair and a swan’s wings at the shoulder: scheming new mischief. Etching. (1827/28.) Inscribed: T Landseer, otherwise as below. 8 × 6⅜ in (20.4 × 16.3 cm).

Rümann, Das Illustrierte Buch des 19. Jahrhunderts, Leipsic 1930, pp. 99 ff.; Nagler 1; Thieme-Becker XXII, 305. – On especially wide-margined strong paper. – In the white margin really weak foxing. – Inscribed:

“ What wanton tricks sly Cupid plays,
When’eer the rogue’s let loose!
A God he’s turn’d into a swan
And man into a goose! ”

Fine impression on large paper from the famous set of the “Monkeyana”, one of Landseer’s but few early and thus typical works:

“ That Thomas Landseer may be judged only by these illustrations a little book with woodcuts proves which show next to nothing of his intellect ” .

Worked since 1827 the 25 etchings incl. title were published in numbers and with classical captions till 1828 in three editions: standard edition in quarto, edition on larger paper in large quarto, edition with proofs in large quarto, too. Besides copies on mounted China.

Otherwise qualified by Rümann i. a.:

“ Much more important was Edwin’s brother Thomas Landseer …

… in the ’20s he distinguished himself by a series of 25 plates that were published 1828 under the title of ‘Monkeyana’ (ills. 57).

Technically his etchings are masterly ,

no less admirable the intellectual grasp of the subject. With much humor and sharp observation he transfers the plain life of his time to the monkey’s life. ”

And Landseer’s contemporary Nagler, Monogramists V, 686, states:

“ … the habits, costumes, and follies of his time
(Landseer has) caricatured delectably ” .

And Stechow sovereignly sums up :

“ Monkeys always fascinated artists ”

(Pieter Bruegel, Cologne 1977, page 76).

“ The monkey as the animal most similar to man plays an important rôle in art history since antiquity.

As figura diaboli ,

as symbol of sin and the fall of man ,

as fool , as figure of vanity

he appears in most varied context … (A)lso the usual religious reference in the interpretation of the monkey as

man mixed up in his passion for profane things … ”

(Hella Robels, Frans Snyders, Munich 1989, page 43).

Later Thomas Landseer devoted himself largely to the reproduction of the animal depictions by his brother Sir Edwin.

Offer no. 14,386 | EUR 197. (c. US$ 238.) + shipping

William Hogarth, Hymen and Cupid (Cook small)

William Hogarth (1697 London 1764). Hymen & Cupid. Sitting on a low wall entwined with roses Hymen with garland of roses in the hair and the wedding torch as “indispensable attribute” (Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 4th ed., VIII, 846) as well as lute, the strings of which plucked by Cupid lying at his side. His bow with quiver front right on the ground. Engraving in oval set in rectangle border by Thomas Cook (c. 1744 – London 1818). Inscribed: Hogarth pinxt. / T. Cook sculp. / Published by Longman, Hurst, Rees, & Orme, Aug. 1st. 1809., otherwise as above. Subject size 5½ × 6⅝ in (14.1 × 16.8 cm).

Originally created as admission ticket for the mask play Alfred the Great in Cliveden House – this in the background – 1748 before Prince and Princess of Wales on occasion of the latter’s birthday, later the sujet served as subscription proof for H’s Sigismunda.

Cook “made his mark as Hogarth engraver, too, whose complete work he has engraved in copy” (Thieme-Becker) and whose original format he maintained contrary to all later Hogarth editions in his first, earlier edition. For some sheets not published by Hogarth himself Cook became their first engraver, just as he also gained approval of a contemporary connoisseur as Maximilian Speck von Sternburg. Here present from Cook’s popular later, smaller Hogarth edition from 1806-09. – Trimmed within the wide white platemark whose outer edges are weakly brownspotted on two sides.

Offer no. 9,025 | EUR 33. (c. US$ 40.) + shipping

Anthonis van Dyck, Amor

Anthonis van Dyck (Antwerp 1599 – London 1641). Amor. Standing to the left, but without arrows and bow. Steel engraving by Albert Henry Payne (London 1812 – Leipsic 1902). C. 1845. Inscribed: Czernin-Galerie zu Wien. / Anton van Dyck pinxt. / A. H. Payne sc., otherwise as above. 6¾ × 4⅝ in (17.1 × 11.7 cm).

Offer no. 14,262 | EUR 40. (c. US$ 48.) + shipping

Anton Raphael Mengs, Cupid

Anton Raphael Mengs (Aussig 1728 – Rome 1779). Cupid. Sharpening an arrow-head. Steel engraving by Hall. 3rd quarter of the 19th century. Inscribed: Raphael Mengs pinxt. / Hall sc. / Published for the Proprietors by A. H. Payne, Dresden & Leipzig., otherwise in English-German as above. 7¼ × 5¼ in (18.5 × 13.3 cm).

Offer no. 14,240 | EUR 40. (c. US$ 48.) + shipping

Paolo Caliari, called Veronese, Venus and Cupid

Paolo Caliari, called Veronese (Verona 1528 – Venice 1588). (Venus and Cupid.) The breast halfway nude, putting her arm around the little cupid leaning at her. Steel engraving by Albert Henry Payne (London 1812 – Leipsic 1902). C. 1845. Inscribed: Belvedere. / Paolo Veronese pinxt., A. H. Payne sc. / Verlag v. A. H. Payne, Leipzig., otherwise in German as above. 6½ × 4⅝ in (16.4 × 11.8 cm).

Offer no. 14,282 | EUR 46. (c. US$ 56.) + shipping

Annibale Carracci, Venus and Adonis

Annibale Carracci (Bologna c. 1560 – Rome 1609). (Venus and Adonis.) She in divine nude resting besides a pond, holding cupid with arrow in her arms, he coming around the underwood with the bow in his hand and accompanied by two hounds. Steel engraving by William French (c. 1815 – East Grinstead 1898). 3rd quarter of the 19th century. Inscribed: Belvedere. / Annibale Carraci pinxt. / W. French sc., otherwise in German as above. 5½ × 5⅞ in (14 × 15 cm).

Offer no. 14,267 | EUR 50. (c. US$ 60.) + shipping


“ … I continue to enjoy my Keele-Pedretti (Leonardo) volumes … ”

(Mr. M. W., November 20, 2011)