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Augustin Dahlsteen

(1720 Stockholm – 1769 Kassel)

Head of a River God, Wearing a Wreath of Reeds. Etching. 10.5 x 8.6 cm. (1754). Andresen from 2; Le Blanc from 51.

Having left his native Sweden in 1743, Augustin Dahlsteen lived and worked first of all as a painter and etcher in Kassel. He subsequently spent several years in Riga and St. Petersburg respectively, returning to Kassel in 1753 at the latest. In addition to portraits, landscapes and seascapes Dahlsteen produced a series of prints. Many of them were published in the early 1750s by W. C. Mayr in Kassel, including an extended series comprising various head studies of Orientals, heroes, warriors and gods. It includes the present head of a river god looking downwards and was published in 1754 under the title of “Casselische Nebenstunde(n)”. The striking character head, sketched in an accomplished, vigorous style, is reminiscent of the works of Salvator Rosa. The latter’s depiction of the Dream of Aeneas (B. 23) seems to have been an important source of inspiration for the present etching by Dahlsteen, which is rare. A superb, robust impression with thread margins. The old mounting paper slightly foxed and soiled, minor ageing, otherwise in excellent condition.

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