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Schelte Adams Bolswert

(circa 1596 Bolsward – 1659 Antwerp)

Christ Entering Jerusalem. Engraving after David Vinckboons. 43 x 64 cm. 1612. Hollstein 14.

This large-scale engraving is an impressive demonstration of the virtuoso craftsmanship of the young Schelte Adams Bolswert, who received his artistic training in the workshop of his brother Boetius (1580–1633). The crowded, magnificently staged composition is based on a drawing by the Flemish painter and draughtsman David Vinckboons, whose Protestant faith prompted him to move from Antwerp to Amsterdam in or around 1591.

In his early period, between 1611 and 1617, Schelte Adams Bolswert worked in Haarlem and Amsterdam, and the present print is a rare and important testimony from the beginning of his career as a reproductive engraver. Later, after moving to Antwerp, Bolswert soon established a reputation as one of the most gifted and highly regarded engravers of the Rubens school. Not only that, his engravings are among the finest examples of 17th century Flemish reproductive printmaking. Even this early print shows all the distinctive merits of his graphic art. In its unmatched technical finesse, uncanny attention to genre-like detail and skilful arrangement of the multi-tiered landscape, Bolswert proves himself the equal of Vinckboons, the author of the modello.

A brilliant, rich impression, printing with extraordinary clarity and contrast, with full margins. Minor ageing, otherwise in mint condition.

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