The Virgin and Child with Distaff and an Angel.

The Virgin and Child with Distaff and an Angel. - Eau forte signée

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Technique:

Lot n° 89
Etching and engraving, circa 1615. 255x192 mm; 10 1/8x7 5/8 inches, small margins. Second state (of 3), before the address of Le Blond. Large bunch of grapes with a curving stalk watermark (Griffiths/Hartley 11). A brilliant, richly-inked and early impression of this extremely scarce print. 

We have found only 2 other second state impressions at auction in the past 30 years. Griffiths/Hartley note that there are only 2 known extant impressions in the first state, before the artist's signature in the plate, lower right (at the Albertina, Vienna, and in the Prouté collection, Paris). 

According to Griffiths/Hartley, "The subject of the Virgin spinnign thread while teh Christ Child sleeps was quite common in scenes of the Holy Family in Egypt, and Reed points to Dürer's woodcut (Bartsch 90) as one such example . . . The distaff and basket of wool (shown on the lower right of this print) had become associated with the Virgin through a legend telling of her upbringing in the Temple of Jerusalem, where she would spin and weave the priests' vestments." Griffiths/Hartley 11.