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Antonius Wierix II The Circumcision
Details
Engraving, touched with pen and brown ink
Sheet 19.7 x 28.8 cm (7.7 x 11.3 in.)
Submitted
Provenance
Guiseppe (Joseph) Storck (1766 Seckingen-1836 Milan), Lugt 2318 (paraph with date 1797)
Additional Information

Unfinished proof impression retouched by the artist in brown ink, outlining the body of the infant. Printed on a piece of paper smaller than the plate, missing one line of the inscription below. Excellent impression unknown to the literature and in this form unique.

Our print belongs to series of three plates depicting the early life of Christ (Hollstein (Wierix family) Vol. I., 135-137). From this series, Hollstein lists another unique, unfinished impression (Hollstein 135 Adoration of the Shepherds), also overworked by the artist in the Bibliotheque Nationale de France in Paris (Ec 69b, fol. 29, margin cut, reworked in pen and ink).

Unfinished prints are among the greatest rarities in Mannerist printmaking and apart from the Bilbilotheque Nationale de France impression we know of one other, St Mary Magdalene (British Museum London (F,1.247) Hollstein 1235.I).

The Wierix family produced over 2,000 prints. The set of three, to which ours belongs, is even more rare as it is one of the few images which Antonius II Wierix invented, engraved and published himself. Most of the oeuvre consists of reproduction prints or faithful copies after Renaissance masters like Albrecht Dürer.

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