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The sacrifice of Isaac, with an angel staying Abraham's hand c.1640/2

Pietro Testa

* 1611 in Lucca † 1650 in Rome

Etching. Size of sheet: 31.9 x 26 cm.

Watermark: Fleur-de-lis in a circle (double line); similar to Briquet 7109 but larger and with a more refined lily.

Literature:     B.2;

                   Cropper 1988. 71 (only state);

                   T.I.B. Vol. 45, Com. 002.

Provenance:   J. E. Wetterauer (b. Stuttgart 1946) (Lugt 4267).

Very fine, untouched and rich black impression with large margins all around. In perfect condition.

£1200.-

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“Despite his careful preparation of the invention through detailed studies (among in the Teylers Museum and Kunsthalle Bremen), Testa was clearly not especially concerned about the thorough polishing and cleaning of the plate. The flaring in the dark shadows around Isaac’s groin and in the head of the angel bearing the ram suggests that the ground was not hard enough to withstand the bite where many lines were worked close together… The uncontrolled open biting close to the edges of the plate, especially near the lower border, the vertical white spaces where the horizontal etched lines are broken near the angel with the ram, and the accidentally inked scratches appear in all impressions of this print” (Cropper, p. 149).

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