Engraving 'S Maria'
Engraving ‘S Maria’ (the Virgin and Child with the Parrot) by Sebald Beham, circa 1549…
Copper engraving on paper depicting Mary, seated with the Christ child on her knee, a parrot in her right hand, and an apple in her left hand. She is against a stone wall in a landscape, with fields, trees, and a castle in the distance.
Signed with the monogram ‘HSB’ and date ‘1549’ in the plate upper left, and titled ‘S. Maria’ in the plate upper right. Bartsch 19, Pauli, Hollstein 21 III.
Three collectors stamps can be found on the reverse:
• ‘OM’ in monogram (Dr. Ottokar Mascha, 1852-19?) (Lugt 1904);
• ‘Dr. Herweg’ (Dr. Karl Herweg, Recklinghausen, Germany, 1914-2002) (Lugt 3974);
• a star symbol (unidentified collector).
Additional notations in pencil also on reverse.
In beautiful condition. No repairs or restorations to the paper. Trimmed outside the platemark, with a nice even margin. The impression is on the lighter side, with signs of wear to the plate.
Presented in a folio, attached at the top edge by 2 rice paper hinges (so verso can be inspected), on an acid-free mounting board.
Sebald Beham (sometimes called Hans Sebald Beham or Sebald Peham). Nuremberg 1500 – 1550 Frankfurt. He was perhaps the most famous of the group of engravers known as the ‘Little Masters’ (Kleinmeister) that was active in the first half of the 16th century in Germany. They produced exquisitely detailed small scale works, of which this piece is an example.
Beham masterfully transforms a common religious subject – Mary and the baby Jesus – into a powerful scene that simultaneously captures maternal love, a child’s wonder, and the richness of nature’s gifts. The inclusion of the parrot lends this print an air of the exotic. Just beautiful.
Height: 82 mm
Width: 57 mm