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The Virgin and Child and Two Angels. Etching. 16.5 x 20.2 cm. Wurzbach, Hollstein 1.
The Flemish painter and draughtsman, Godfried Maes, was apprenticed in his native city of Antwerp first to his father and then to Pieter van Lint. In 1672 he became a member of the city’s Guild of St. Luke, rising to become its dean ten years later. As a painter he concentrated on altarpieces as well as historical and allegorical motifs, for which he received orders from churches and private individuals in Antwerp, Brussels and Liège. A highly talented draughtsman, Maes produced a large number of designs for tapestries, for which he frequently cooperated with a tapestry studio run by Urbanus Leyniers in Brussels. Among his patrons were Prince Eugen Alexander von Thurn und Taxis and Maximilian II Emanuel, then General Governor of the Spanish Netherlands and later Elector of Bavaria, who commissioned him to paint the ceilings in Coudenberg Palace in Brussels.
Much less well known than his paintings is Maes’ very modest corpus of prints comprising just four works recorded by Hollstein in which the artist demonstrates his outstanding talent in the use of the etching needle. One of these rare works is the present print with a charming portrayal of the Virgin and Christ child venerated by two angels. The Baroque scenery has been sketched in a confident, vigorous manner and etched in a free and painterly style. The splendid decoration consisting of a heavy curtain and an ornate vase is of the utmost elegance, a touch of exoticism being added to the scene by a parrot and a basket of fruit and flowers offered to the child. In its lightness and spontaneous execution this precious print has all the hallmarks of a painter’s etching. The proud inscription on a fragment of wall in the right foreground reads “G. Maes Fec in Aqua Fortis”.
A very fine, strong and contrasting impression with thread margins. Minor ageing and handling marks, otherwise in excellent condition.Contact us for further information