Friday, April 17, 2015

Things That Fall From Books #19: Saints

Well, we haven't had one of these Things That Fall From Books posts for over a year - shame on me - it's not that things have stopped falling, just that I've stopped scanning them quite so much! Anyway, I've seen prettier and more anatomically correct Saint Sebastians but as I once has a blog entirely devoted to him I thought I had to share this 18th century engraving of him that fell today from between the pages of a 17th century Missal.


Anonymous said...

More like an interpretation of the Hokey Cokey

Keri said...

I think this engraving is much older than you suggest. The town in the imprint, abbreviated "Lxa", would be Lixboa, an archaic form of Lisboa [Lisbon]. With printed books, publishers had stopped using "Lixboa" as place of publication by the early seventeenth century and I should have expected printmakers to follow their example. The image may be naively drawn and crudely engraved but is still a remarkable find. I wonder what old master print is roughly copied here (it's not Martin Schongauer, though there is some slight resemblance in the pose, and it's definitely not Durer).

Callum said...

Thank you Keri for your well informed comment. Certainly, I am no expert on antiquarian books and prints and I am sure you are right about the dating by the visible evidence on the scan. However, I would still hesitate to suggest this is an early impression of this engraving because the paper just doesn't feel right (and has no chain lines either) for paper that early. The more I look at it I suspect it may even be a nineteenth century re-print. Anyway, I shall certainly treat it with a little more care now thanks to your comment and I shall be on the look out for any artwork it might have been based upon.

Best, Callum

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