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Johann Gottlieb Glume

(1711–1778, Berlin)

The Artist’s Mother (Elisabeth Benigna, nee Schmid, Sitting with a Book in her Hand). Etching. 15.4 x 13 cm. 1748. Heller-Andresen 9, Soldan 5, Schultz 5.

The outstanding features of this unostentatious portrait are its affectionate, reverent characterisation and the concentrated manner of its execution. A portrait of a person from Glume’s immediate family, it shows the artist at the very height of his art. The physiognomy of his mother in three-quarters view, who looks out at the observer with an attentive gaze, is rendered with great subtlety. She appears to have been interrupted in her reading. The book on her lap suggests a domestic intimacy and is a reference to the cultivated nature and education of the sitter. A very fine, even impression with even margins. Slightly foxed. Rare.

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