The Marriage of the Virgin
Robert van Audenaerde
* 1663 in Ghent † 1743 in Ghent
Etching after Carlo Maratti (1625 – 1713). Size of sheet: 24.4 x 16.7 cm.
Literature: Le Blanc 15.
A drawing in reverse of our plate is in the Département des Arts Graphiques of the Musée du Louvre, Inv 14725. It is similar to our plate in size and could possibly be Audenaerde’s preparatory drawing. However, it differs in the execution of some of the details: the feet of the Rabbi, visible on the drawing are hidden on the plate by the drapery of his toga. The architecture in the background of the drawing is, on the print, reduced to another piece of drapery. Those elements would tend to go in the direction of the idea that Audenaerde was, at the time of our etching, still experimenting with the technique, and had to simplify the more complex elements. The same can be said of the hesitant handling in the dedicace, due to the difficult exercise of writing in reverse.
Probably after the frescoes for the church of San Isidoro in Rome.
Trimmed into letters at bottom.
Robert van Audenaerde was a painter and a celebrated engraver who trained in Ghent. He moved to Rome in 1685, becoming a pupil of Carlo Maratti, and started experimenting with etching, interpreting subjects after his master. When showed his plates, Carlo Maratti encouraged him to pursue a career as an etcher.
Our plate shows all the characteristics of Audenaerde’s early experimenting with etching, which he would show to his Master while in training his workshop. It is inscribed within the plate with a Latin dedication by the artist: 'D. Ioan Bapt. Blondel hanc a se Romae incisam tabulam (a principis pictorum manu coloribus expressam) Amicitiae memor dedit Cons. RvAudenaerd Amico vero'.