How one global collection of Old Master prints was created: nine albums by the Sadeler family in the Baillieu Library of the University of Melbourne

How one global collection of Old Master prints was created: nine albums by the Sadeler family in... Abstract This essay examines the early developments of the University of Melbourne’s print collection focusing on the acquisition of nine albums of prints by the Sadeler family, once owned by English aristocratic collector and patron Elizabeth Seymour Percy, 1st Duchess of Northumberland. Completed in 1962 through Colnaghi, the purchasing of the Sadeler volumes was undertaken on the advice of the University of Melbourne’s Herald Chair of Fine Arts, Professor Joseph Burke, and funded by donations from a group of Australian philanthropists: the Society of Collectors. Comprising more than 1,200 prints, the albums represent one of the world’s largest gatherings of Sadeler engravings and are expression of two separate collecting moments: seven of the volumes once formed part of the legendary collection of Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford; the remaining two were personally assembled by the duchess, with a peculiar technique that is unprecedented in eighteenth century print collecting. The Baillieu Library of the University of Melbourne hosts one of the finest print collections in Australia, the equivalent of a state institution or national gallery. Beginning with the exceptional donation of over 3,500 Old Master prints as well as a classical library bequeathed in 1959 by Dr Orde Poynton, the collection was enriched from the early sixties by several bequests and new acquisitions. The most remarkable were nine volumes of engravings by the Sadeler family, once part of the print collection of Elizabeth Seymour Percy (1716–1776), Duchess of Northumberland, one of the pre-eminent female collectors in eighteenth-century England. Completed in 1962 through the dealer Colnaghi, London, following the suggestion of the University of Melbourne’s Herald Chair of Fine Arts, Professor Joseph Burke, the purchasing of the Sadeler volumes was funded by donations from the Society of Collectors, a ‘gallant company of outstanding hosts’, created with the purpose to ‘exist beautifully’, furthering the cause of the arts in Australia.1 Made up of more than 1,200 prints, these nine albums represent one of the world’s largest gatherings of Sadeler images and derive from two separate collections. Seven of the volumes once formed part of the legendary collection of Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford. The remaining two were curiously assembled by Elizabeth Percy herself, with a technique described by Antony Griffiths as ‘a piece of English eccentricity never seen elsewhere’.2 Appointed as Herald Chair of Fine Arts on 25 March 1946, Professor Joseph Burke was a British diplomat and an authority on British art of the eighteenth century. Born in 1913, he was educated at the Benedictine school, Worth Abbey, in West Sussex before electing to study Fine Arts at the newly created Courtauld Institute at the University of London. Described by Kenneth [Lord] Clark as ‘a good scholar with a wide range of interests’, Burke greatly appreciated works on paper and especially those by Hogarth.3 Shortly after his arrival in Melbourne, he founded the Society of Collectors, a sophisticated group of fifty members whose aim was to promote collecting in Australia and to help the University to build up a Fine Arts collection. As Anderson informs us, the Society of Collectors was inspired to the Society of Dilettanti, founded in London in 1734 by a group of British men who had returned from the Grand Tour, had discovered the collecting of antiquities and indulged in the patronage of neoclassical artists.4 Burke brilliantly transposed the idea of a society concerned with historical and contemporary collecting to an Australian context, assembling a group of distinguished collectors including Australia Prime Minister Robert Menzies, journalist and newspaper proprietor Sir Kenneth Murdoch, the Director of the National Gallery of Victoria Daryl Lindsay, the Chairman of the Trustees of the Adelaide Art Gallery Sir Edward Morgan, Colonel Aubrey Gibson, philanthropist Kenneth Myer and the University of Melbourne’s Vice-Chancellor Sir George Paton. When in November 1959 the English-born medical doctor Orde Poynton donated his print collection as a teaching facility to the University of Melbourne, it became clear to both Professor Burke and to the Chairman of the Library Committee Professor Kenneth Russell that their future efforts should entirely concentrate on building up the University’s print collection, abandoning the previous plan of building a fine art collection including painting and sculpture.5 Building on a group of c.400 prints inherited from his grandfather, Poynton’s collection was developed thanks to a series of acquisitions made in England in the period 1929–35 and was eventually shipped to Australia in 1948, when its owner was appointed as Lecturer at the Adelaide University Medical School. Dutch, German, Netherlandish and Italian Old Masters such as Rembrandt, Dürer, Aldegrever, van Leyden, Hollar, Raimondi and Agostino Carracci were widely represented, while the collection was distinguished by a substantial group of minor masters’ works.6 Having been donated to the University of Melbourne with the hope that ‘in the longer run someone else might make and leave the university a similar collection’, Poynton’s prints became the decisive impetus to inaugurate an extraordinary season of bequests and new acquisitions.7 With respect to this, on 7 February 1961 a small group of Hogarth prints was purchased for £41 from David Low Booksellers Ltd. (Chinnor, Oxfordshire), thanks to the generosity of the Society of Collectors, while a few weeks later the society’s president, Aubrey Gibson, agreed to raise funds to the order of £500 per annum to be directed to the enlargement of the university’s print collection.8 Furthermore, during the same year, the Australian Universities Commission approved a Capital Equipment Fund for Research of £2,000 (Triennium Grant) for the Fine Arts Department of the University of Melbourne, of which £500 was to be spent on a research collection of prints.9 The sum was partially used to purchase a selection of prints worth £235 from the collection of Lionel Lindsay after suggestion of Dr Ursula Hoff, curator of prints and drawings of the National Gallery of Victoria.10 This purchasing phase was the prelude to the acquisition of the Sadeler volumes, which arrived in Melbourne the following year. On 3 October 1961, Professor Burke left Melbourne to spend one month as Commonwealth Visitor at the University of London. He arrived in England on 12 November, and elected to remain in London for further three months to conduct research for the eighteenth-century volume he was writing for the Oxford History of English Art.11 Although Burke’s commitments included three lectures to be delivered at the Courtauld Institute as well as visits to Oxford and Paris, he devoted part of his time to the development of the University of Melbourne’s print collection. With respect to this, in December 1961, Burke asked Sir Anthony Blunt to organize a seminar aimed at discussing the future of the Orde Poynton collection.12 Held at the Courtauld Institute, the seminar saw the participation of twelve scholars including Professor Ernst Gombrich, Professor John White and the Librarian of the Warburg Institute Dr Otto Kurz, and highlighted the opportunity for new acquisitions, especially in the areas of lesser-known engravers and reproductive prints. Specifically, the panel suggested that university libraries purchase those large systematic collections often overlooked by print departments in museums, which were generally interested in creating comprehensive collections of the great masters and selecting only representative collections of the minor figures.13 It was in the immediate aftermath of this seminar that, while making enquires to art dealers, Burke was informed about the Sadeler volumes by Colnaghi’s director James Byam Shaw. Fitting precisely with the advice he had just received from the Courtauld seminar, the collection was presented to him in late December 1961, as shown in a letter Burke received on 4 January 1962 from Colnaghi’s representative A. H. Driver. Driver’s letter highlights the exceptional nature of the Sadeler collection characterized as ‘unusually extensive’ and ‘more complete than that of the British Museum’.14 Moreover, it mentions that the volumes were formerly in the collection of the Duke of Northumberland and came from the print library at Syon House, where they were purchased by Colnaghi on 11 April 1951.15 Valued at £600, the collection included ‘nine volumes containing about 1,200 prints by the Sadeler family and other engravers of the late sixteenth century, some after their own designs, but mostly after Flemish, German and Italian artists of the period, especially Marten de Vos’ (Fig. 1).16 It also encompassed a number of duplicates, which formed an integral part of the original condition of the volumes.17 Fig. 1. View largeDownload slide Raphael I Sadeler after Marten de Vos, The fall of the Rebel Angels, engraving, 24.2 x 19.9 cm (plate); vol. iiA, Sadelers/De Vos, Rare Books, Special Collections, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne. Fig. 1. View largeDownload slide Raphael I Sadeler after Marten de Vos, The fall of the Rebel Angels, engraving, 24.2 x 19.9 cm (plate); vol. iiA, Sadelers/De Vos, Rare Books, Special Collections, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne. Bearing in mind the teaching function that both Joseph Burke and Orde Poynton had envisaged for the Baillieu Library print collection, it is evident how this extraordinary opportunity unexpectedly arising on the London art market stimulated Burke’s interest, persuading him to purchase the Sadeler volumes. After his return to Melbourne in early March 1962 for the beginning of the academic term, he soon contacted Aubrey Gibson, who personally undertook to raise the balance needed amongst the members of the Society of Collectors.18 By 12 April 1962 £485 had been raised, while a further £100 was added by Orde Poynton with the specific purpose of purchasing the duplicates.19 Catalogued in 1990 by Ruth Margaret Edquist, the nine volumes purchased by the Society of Collectors for the print room of the Baillieu Library of the University of Melbourne represent an exceptional summa of the Sadeler family’s artistic activity, embracing works from two generations of artists: the first consisting of the brothers Jan I (1550–1600), Raphael I (1561–1628) and Aegidius I (1555–1609), the second comprising their descendants, Justus (1572–1620), Raphael II (1584–1632), Jan II (1588–1665) and Aegidius II (1570–1629).20 The Sadelers were the largest and most successful of the dynasties of Flemish engravers that were dominant in Northern European printmaking in the later sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.21 They were patronized by and attached to the courts of the most cultivated and art-loving of European rulers of the time and their prints were eagerly sought by members of the public. Owing to the religious and political uncertainties of late sixteenth-century Europe, family members were often forced to emigrate. They worked in European cities such as Cologne, Frankfurt, Mainz, Munich, Venice and Prague. While travelling, they engraved the works of Flemish, Italian and German artists, promoting the circulation of artistic models and documenting the outstanding transformations that characterized European society during the last decades of the sixteenth century. The Sadeler family’s contribution to the history of printmaking is highlighted by a plethora of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century sources. In 1675 the German scholar Joachim von Sandrart noted that Aegidius II Sadeler ‘left so much to posterity that engravers from all countries would follow his manner’, while a decade later Filippo Baldinucci wrote ‘the beautiful sheets issuing from the Sadelers’ engraved plates are renowned in the entire world’.22 Similar comments are furthermore traceable in the accounts published by Florent Le Comte and Joseph Strutt in France and England, testifying to the dominant role played by the family in European graphic art.23 The Sadelers’ prints were fundamental for the transmission of stylistic models between northern and southern Europe.24 To this end, their allowing Bassano, Tintoretto and Barocci by plates after Flemish and Netherlandish artists to become familiar with the pictorial novelties developed in Italy during the second half of the sixteenth century (Fig. 2). Similarly, their prints after drawings by Marten de Vos, Hans Bol, Dirck Barendsz and Paul Bril introduced in Italy the pictorial language developed by the school of Antwerp. Aside from being prestigious objects, the Sadelers’ prints were used as models for the decorations of aristocratic buildings as displayed by the decorative programme of Castello Visconti di San Vito in Somma Lombardo, completed during the first decade of the seventeenth century by the Procaccini workshop.25 Widely employed by Jesuit missionaries, the Sadelers’ prints eventually transcended the European borders, being brought to East Asia and especially to Japan for conversion purposes.26 Fig. 2. View largeDownload slide Aegidius II Sadeler, after Jacopo Bassano, St Christopher, engraving, 24.6 x 19.5 cm (plate); vol. vii Aegidius & Justo, Rare Books, Special Collections, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne. Fig. 2. View largeDownload slide Aegidius II Sadeler, after Jacopo Bassano, St Christopher, engraving, 24.6 x 19.5 cm (plate); vol. vii Aegidius & Justo, Rare Books, Special Collections, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne. Although the scholarly literature on the Sadeler family was greatly enhanced in 1980 by the appearance of the Hollstein volumes on the major members of the family, it must be noted that when Burke suggested purchasing the Sadeler prints, this peripatetic dynasty of engravers was relatively neglected, occupying a marginal place within the history of Northern European art.27 Despite the enormous success of their prints, the Sadelers were indeed not properly studied by European scholars, while their critical appreciation was negatively influenced by the derisory view of late-sixteenth-century engravers adopted by Arthur Hind in his influential history of printmaking.28 Moving from the assumption that ‘the middle of the sixteenth century was nowhere a time of great achievement in engraving’, Hind criticised the genre of reproductive print, understanding it as having a detrimental effect generated by the increase in demand for engravings that characterized the European art market in the age of the scientific revolution.29 Notwithstanding the fact that already in 1953 studies by William Ivins had marked a decisive turning point in the appreciation of reproductive prints, in the early sixties the Sadelers were considered print sellers rather than original artists and thus their works were more widely appreciated for reproducing drawings by Flemish, German and Italian masters rather than for their intrinsic artistic quality.30 Given this context, Burke might be identified among the first modern scholars who fully appreciated the value of the Sadelers’ reproductive and original prints. He wrote: ‘a university will always want to . . . discover whether some minor figures have neglected reputations. In this particular instance, I thought some of the engravings after De Vos quite superb.’31 As emphasized in Colnaghi’s letter, the nine volumes of Sadeler engravings purchased in 1962 by the Society of Collectors once formed part of the collection owned by Elizabeth Seymour Percy, Duchess of Northumberland, one of the few recorded female print collectors of the eighteenth century.32 Born on 26 November 1716, Elizabeth was the daughter of Algernon Seymour, Earl of Hertford and Duke of Somerset, and his wife, Frances Seymour, daughter of the Hon. Henry Thynne, eldest son of the 1st Viscount Weymouth.33 On her paternal side she was descended from two of the most influential aristocratic families of England: the Seymours, dukes of Somerset and the Percys, earls of Northumberland until the late seventeenth century, when their male line became extinct. Elizabeth’s life suddenly changed in 1744 when her brother, the design at heir of the family, died of smallpox during his Grand Tour in Italy. Although her father was still alive, this meant that she would eventually inherit the family’s estates in Northumberland and Middlesex, encompassing Alnwick Castle, the suburban retreat of Syon House and Northumberland House, a fashionable mansion on London’s Strand. In 1740 Elizabeth married Hugh Smithson, an ambitious baronet and politician from Yorkshire. Together, they began one of the most impressive social ascents in Georgian England, culminating in 1766 when Smithson was elevated to the dukedom by George III. While her husband held some of the nation’s most important posts over the course of his political career, Elizabeth came to be an immensely popular figure in aristocratic circles and in the lively public arena of eighteenth-century London. She was appointed a Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Charlotte and pursued a variety of cultural activities, creating one of the very few collections assembled by a woman in eighteenth-century Britain.34 As Adriano Aymonimo informs us, Elizabeth’s passion for collecting was stimulated by her education and supported by the rich cultural environment in which she lived.35 Her mother was a well-known bluestocking, while her father was president of the Society of Antiquaries and an avid collector of gems, medals, prints and books. Furthermore, her husband was a member of the first board of trustees of the British Museum, having been designated personally in the will of Sir Hans Sloane.36 Roughly around 1741, the future Duchess of Northumberland began to set up her own collection, which eventually incorporated a wide range of objects including Dutch and Flemish paintings, albums of prints, ancient medals, coins, antiquities, marbles, bronzes, porcelain, rare books, ethnographic items and natural curiosities. Not only she was a compulsive collector but also a prolific writer. Obsessed with reporting everything she thought worthy of notice, around 1770 she drew up a series of lists regarding her own possessions. Bound together into nine volumes, these lists represent the catalogue of her museum and the only known inventory compiled by an eighteenth-century female collector.37 Mentioned in volume ii, Elizabeth’s print collection was initially stored at Northumberland House, before being moved before 1874 to Syon House, where it was eventually sold through Sotheby’s on 11 April 1951.38 Its core was a large group of albums of Netherlandish masters of the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, including works by Galle, Stradanus, Collaert, Wierix, Passe, Hollar, Goltzius, Callot and the Sadelers39 As noted by Griffiths, the section of ‘Works of Sadeler’ lists three groups of albums.40 The first is a sequence of ten volumes he identified with those conserved at the Metropolitan Museum; the remaining two are those suggested by Burke to the Society of Collectors and now preserved in the Baillieu Library.41 Seven of the nine albums in the Baillieu Library are uniformly bound in red morocco mottled calf with gold tooling on all four edges (Fig. 3). The spines are highly decorated with gold tooling and labelled in capital letters as ‘Sadeler’s works’.42 The paper quality is excellent and the prints are inserted between two sheets pasted together; a window is cut in the upper sheet so as to allow the print to be positioned exactly within it, while the second sheet is pasted to the back of both and so holds them together (Fig. 4). This set of volumes was first identified by Griffiths as coming from the library of Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford, owner of the greatest library in England in the first half of the eighteenth century.43 Renowned as a remarkable politician, Harley built an extraordinary collection of over 3,000 books, 41,000 impressions, 13,000 charters and deeds, 1,000 rolls and parliamentary journals, and a large collection of letters.44 Enlarged by his son Edward, the Harleian library was eventually dispersed after 1742, the books being sold in London while most of the manuscripts came to form part of the founding collection of the British Museum in 1753.45 Fig. 3. View largeDownload slide Harleian binding, vol. iv Raphael Part Second, Rare Books, Special Collections, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne. Fig. 3. View largeDownload slide Harleian binding, vol. iv Raphael Part Second, Rare Books, Special Collections, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne. Fig. 4. View largeDownload slide Harleian volume opening, vol. ii John Part Second, Rare Books, Special Collections Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne. Fig. 4. View largeDownload slide Harleian volume opening, vol. ii John Part Second, Rare Books, Special Collections Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne. Documented in a vast auction catalogue, the sale of the Harleian prints began on 17 February 1745 and continued for nineteen evenings. The Melbourne volumes were sold on the seventeenth day as Lot 1680:46 Egidius, Ralph, John and Justus Sadelers. Works compleat, containing above nine hundred curious Prints, bound in eight volumes in Calves Leather, gilt on the Leaves. To enumerate the masters whose works the Sadelers have engraved after, would be unnecessary, it being well known that there is hardly a capital picture, either of the Italian or Flemish schools that they omitted. Purchased by the Duchess of Northumberland through an unknown agent, they remained in her collection until 1951 when the print library from Syon House was sold through Sotheby’s. On this occasion, volume vi was separated from the group. Labelled ‘Aegidius Part First’, it contained roughly 100 prints by Aegidius Sadeler II, the imperial printmaker at the court of Rudolph II and the most collected member of the Sadeler family.47 Notwithstanding a request for information sent by the deputy librarian of the Baillieu library to Colnaghi on 1 November 1962, all attempts to trace the missing volume have come to nothing; most probably it was broken up and the prints sold individually.48 Two of the volumes purchased by the Duchess of Northumberland contain a total of 288 prints by Jan I Sadeler, who was responsible for establishing the importance of the family as important engravers and art dealers. Born in Antwerp in 1550, he initially worked as illustrator for the publishers Hieronymus Cock and Christophe Plantin before opening his own shop for the publishing of his works and that of his relatives.49 Jan’s prints are organized as a heterogeneous group comprising a variety of iconographic subjects including secular allegories, religious scenes and devotional landscapes. Images after the finest Flemish draughtsmen of the second half of the sixteenth century are interspersed with copies from famous Italian pictures such as Lelio Orsi’s Virgin of the Ghiara and Titian’s Martyrdom of St Lawrence. Retracing the major steps of Jan’s career, the volumes include those moralizing allegories he engraved in Antwerp after drawings by Marten de Vos as well as eight of the nine scenes from the series Precipua Passionis Jesus Christi Mysteria engraved in Munich after drawings by Christoph Schwarz and representative of his activity as court engraver to Duke Wilhelm V of Bavaria. Moreover, landscapes and seascapes engraved after Paul Bril testify to Jan’s activity in Venice, where he settled from 1596, running an important print publishing firm alongside his son Justus (Fig. 5). These evocative plates include some of the earliest reproductions of hermitage landscapes, an iconographic genre appreciated by North Italian collectors and created in the early 1590s by the intellectual collaboration between Paul Bril, Jan Brueghel Elder and Cardinal Federico Borromeo.50 Fig. 5. View largeDownload slide Aegidius II Sadeler after Paul Bril, Mountain Landscape with Hermit, engraving, 19.0 x 26.6 cm (plate); vol. i John Part First, Rare Books, Special Collections, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne. Fig. 5. View largeDownload slide Aegidius II Sadeler after Paul Bril, Mountain Landscape with Hermit, engraving, 19.0 x 26.6 cm (plate); vol. i John Part First, Rare Books, Special Collections, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne. Three volumes are dedicated to the works of Raphael I Sadeler, Jan’s brother and closest collaborator, whom he followed at first to Germany and then to Venice. One includes scenes from the New Testament after Flemish and German masters as well as a remarkable impression of the Mary Magdalen engraved after Domenico Tintoretto’s homonymous canvas conserved at the Musei Capitolini. The others are decorated by the extensive illustration of the series Bavaria Sancta and Bavaria Pia, which were commissioned by Duke Maximilian I of Bavaria to celebrate the hagiographies of the saints from the South German region and completed by the Flemish master with the help of his son Raphael II.51 The last two albums purchased by the Duchess of Northumberland include works by the remaining members of the Sadeler family: Aegidius II, Justus and Marco. Labelled ‘Aegidius & Justo’, volume vii is dedicated to the work of Aegidius II Sadeler, focusing on the period 1590–1600. Defined by Baldinucci as the ‘most skilled engraver of his time’, from 1592 to 1597 Aegidius travelled in Italy engraving works of Italian masters.52 Two of the prints present in the Harleian volume, the Flagellation and the Rich man in hell tormented by demons, are engraved after works by Palma il Giovane and were published in Munich in 1594.53 Similarly, two oval scenes of the Ecce Homo and the Entombment are clearly copied from Agostino Carracci, although the Bolognese artist’s name is not acknowledged on the prints.54 Finally a Calling of St Andrew is engraved after Federico Barocci’s homonymous canvas originally painted for the oratorio of the Confraternità di San Andrea in Pesaro and now at the Musée Royal de Beaux-Arts in Brussels.55 While the work of Justus Sadeler is represented by four landscape scenes after Paul Bril, the last volume acquired from Lord Harley’s collection contains works published by Marco Sadeler, a relative of Aegidius who worked as a print publisher in Prague and Venice in the early seventeenth century. Belonging to the same generation of the family as Justus, in 1629 Marco inherited Aegidius’s prints and although there is no evidence of his activity as an engraver, as stated by Ticozzi ‘he became famous publishing his relatives’ prints’.56 The Melbourne Harleian albums entered the Northumberland collection just one year after the death of Elizabeth’s brother and formed part of the extensive programme of patronage and collecting enacted by both the duchess and her husband to validate their social progression. As prestigious objects from the greatest English library of the time, the albums epitomized the couple’s social ambition and can be paired with other cultural activities pursued in the period 1745–55 such as the patronage of the Venetian artist Canaletto and the refurbishment of their properties at Northumberland House, Syon House and Alnwick Castle.57 While the Harleian albums were a statement of Elizabeth’s social aspirations, the two remaining volumes purchased in 1962 by the Society of Collectors are symptomatic of her compulsive desire for collecting. Bound in boards covered with blue paper and with plain leather spines, they were personally assembled by the duchess, who fixed the prints by using tabs of paper that extended above the margin of the print (Fig. 6).58 Labelled on the spine as ‘Works of Sadelers after De Vos’, the albums contain a total of 369 prints engraved after the most important draughtsman working in Antwerp at the end of the seventeenth century (Fig. 7).59 The comprehensiveness of this collection, which includes religious, allegorical, moral and ascetic series, testifies to the duchess’s collecting fervour. Obsessed with possessing the opera omnia of her favourite artists, she categorized her prints by either artist or subject matter, assembling volumes ad hoc and sometimes modifying already completed albums.60 To this end, the duchess even made adjustments to two of the Melbourne Harleian volumes, adding a few prints to complete the original series from Lord Harley’s collection.61 Fig. 6. View largeDownload slide Duchess of Northumberland volume opening, vol. iA Sadelers/De Vos, Rare Books, Special Collections, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne. Fig. 6. View largeDownload slide Duchess of Northumberland volume opening, vol. iA Sadelers/De Vos, Rare Books, Special Collections, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne. Fig. 7. View largeDownload slide Jan I Sadeler and Raphael I Sadeler after Martin de Vos, Macarius Alexandrinus, engraving, 17.0 x 21.3 cm (plate); vol. iA Sadelers/De Vos, Rare Books, Special Collections, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne. Fig. 7. View largeDownload slide Jan I Sadeler and Raphael I Sadeler after Martin de Vos, Macarius Alexandrinus, engraving, 17.0 x 21.3 cm (plate); vol. iA Sadelers/De Vos, Rare Books, Special Collections, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne. Although Griffiths assumed that it was the Biblical subject-matter that attracted Elizabeth toward the collecting of Flemish prints, I would suggest that her enthusiasm for the artistic production of the Low Countries originated from a sincere interest in Flemish and Netherlandish society and culture, which is demonstrated by the many visits she undertook to that region. The duchess visited Flanders four times between 1766 and 1771, touring cultural sites, purchasing works of art and diligently recording her whereabouts in her diaries.62 The nine volumes of Sadeler prints conserved in the Baillieu Library encapsulate the social and artistic spirit of this region as well as the cultural transformations that pervaded Europe at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Their purchase, thanks to the generosity of the Society of Collectors, has decisively contributed to the creation of one of the most important print collections in Australia and still provides an invaluable resource for students of late Renaissance and early Baroque art. Supplementary information An online appendix at http://jhc.oxfordjournals.org reproduces the principal correspondence relating to the acquisition of the Sadeler albums by the University of Melbourne. Acknowledgements This paper was written with generous support from the Endeavour Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. I am grateful to Leanne McCredden for her help in the University of Melbourne Archives. My thanks to Professor Jaynie Anderson and Professor Robert Gaston for their insightful comments. Footnotes 1 Address given by Professor Joseph Burke at the annual dinner of the Society of Collectors, 22 October 1971, University of Melbourne Archives (hereafter uma), 1978.0039, 31, 14/6. On Joseph Burke, see J. Anderson, ‘Interrogating Joe Burke and his legacy’, Melbourne Art Journal 8 (2005), pp. 88–101. 2 A. Griffiths, ‘Elizabeth, Duchess of Northumberland and her albums of prints’, in C. Bowen (ed.), Dear Print Fan: A festschrift for Marjorie B. Cohn (Cambridge, ma, 2001), p. 139. 3 Clark’s letter to Medley, 3 March 1946, uma, 2000.0126, Burke Papers. 4 Anderson, op. cit. (note 1), p. 91. On the Society of Dilettanti see J. M. Kelly, The Society of Dilettanti: Archaeology and identity in the British enlightenment (New Haven, 2009). 5 Burke’s letter to Poynton, 3 October 1960, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 119. On Orde Poynton and his bequest to the University of Melbourne, see J. Anderson, ‘Orde Poynton and the Baillieu Library’, in K. Stone (ed.), Print Matters at the Baillieu (Melbourne, 2011), pp. 7–20. 6 ‘A notable gift to the University’, 18 November 1959, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 119. The collection is available online at http://gallery.its.unimelb.edu.au/umblprints/imu.php?request= search. 7 Poynton’s letter to Burke, 9 April 1960, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 119. 8 Burke’s letter to Poynton, 21 February 1961, uma 1986.0037, 10, 119. The payment for the Hogarth prints was made by Colin Caldwell, a member of the Society of Collectors. Burke’s letter to Lodewycks, 6 April 1961, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 119. 9 Philipp’s letter to Cummings, 1 February, 1962, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 122. Franz Philipp was Senior Lecturer at the University of Melbourne and Acting Professor of Fine Arts during Joseph Burke’s absence from October 1961 through February 1962. 10 Prints purchased from Lionel Lindsay include Hollar’s works after Jan Brueghel and Elsheimer as well as five large prints by Giovanni Battista Piranesi. ‘Suggestions for additions to Poynton Collection from the Lionel Lindsay Collection’ (drafted by Dr Ursula Hoff), 19 December 1961, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 122. 11 Burke’s letter to the Secretary of the London Library, 30 September 1961, uma, 1978.0039, 35, 16/11. 12 Burke’s letter to Gibson, 29 March 1962, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 119. 13 ‘Such collections do not in fact appear very often, and are reasonably inexpensive because few print departments are thinking on these lines. Their aim is comprehensive collections of the great Masters, and select but representative collections of the minor figures’. Burke’s letter to Gibson, 29 March 1962, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 119. 14 Driver’s letter to Burke, 4 January 1962, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 119. 15 The ‘Print Library from Syon House’ was sold at Sotheby’s, London, on 11 April 1951. The Melbourne volumes are identifiable with Lots 315 (‘Sadeler: the works of Sadeler family, after M. De Vos, some by De Passe and others, 3 vol.’) and 316 (‘J. Sadeler: a very extensive collection of his works, mounted in eight volumes’). Sotheby’s, London, Catalogue of Fine Engravings and Etchings, 10–11 April 1951, p. 37. 16 Driver’s letter to Burke, 4 January 1962, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 119. 17 ‘The collection also contains a number of duplicates . . . You could if you wish take all the prints as they now are and later, after you have been able to sort them out, return to us any unwanted duplicates for which, of course, an allowance would be made’. Driver’s letter to Burke, 4 January 1962, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 119. 18 Burke’s letter to Gibson, 29 March 1962, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 119. 19 ‘The Society of Collectors has undertaken to contribute £485 towards the purchase of an important collection of Flemish sixteenth century engravings which Colnaghi’s are offering on sale’. Burke’s letter to Cumming, 12 April 1962, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 119. On Poynton donation, see Poynton’s letter to Burke, 7 April 1962, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 119: ‘I am enclosing a cheque for £100 which I want you to regard as my present of the duplicates.’ 20 M.R. Edquist, Sadeler Catalogue (Melbourne, 1990). 21 On the Sadeler family, the studies by Philippe Sénéchal and Dorothy Limouze are essential. See, P. Sénéchal, ‘Les Sadeler: entremise et entreprise’, Ph.D. dissertation, Université de Paris-Sorbonne, 1987; D. Limouze, ‘Aegidius Sadeler (c. 1570–1629): drawings, prints and art theory’, Ph.D. d issertation, Princeton University, 1990. 22 J. von Sandrart, L’Academia todesca della architettura, scultura e pittura, vol. i (Nuremberg, 1675), p. 355; F. Baldinucci, Cominciamento e progresso dell’arte dell’intagliare in rame (Florence, 1686), pp 26–7. 23 F. Le Comte, Cabinet des singularités d’architecture, peinture, sculpture, et gravure . . ., vol. iii (Paris, 1700), pp. 144–7; J. Strutt, A Biographical Dictionary of Engravers, vol. ii (London, 1785), pp. 289–90. 24 See, F. Pellegrini, ‘I Sadeler a Venezia’, in C. Limentani Virdis (ed.), Una dinastia di incisori: i Sadeler (Padua, 1992), pp. 5–10. 25 On the decoration of Castello Visconti di San Vito, see A. Lo Conte, ‘Anatomy of a Workshop: The Procaccini family in Milan’, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Melbourne, 2016, pp. 138–42. 26 O. Meehan, ‘The European Presence in Japanese Screen Painting of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth Centuries’, Ph.D. dissertation, Cambridge University, 2011, pp. 67–8. 27 F.W.H. Hollstein, Hollstein’s Dutch and Flemish Engravings, Etchings and Woodcuts, c.a.1450–1700, ed. D. de Hoop Scheffer (Amsterdam, 1980), vols. 21–2. 28 A. Hind, A Short History of Engraving & Etching (London, 1908). 29 Hind’s critique is encapsulated in the chapter titled ‘The decline of original engraving’. See Hind, op. cit. (note 28), pp. 118–31. A negative view of reproductive engraving had already been propounded by Adam Bartsch, who in the preface of his celebrated Le Peintre-Graveur stated that prints made by design always have the advantage over those of professional engravers. As noted by Griffiths, Bartsch’s approach can be traced back to the writings of the English painter and etcher Jonathan Richardson (1667–1745). A. Griffiths, The Print before Photography: An introduction to European printmaking 1550–1820 (London, 2016), pp. 481–3. 30 W. Ivins, Prints and Visual Communication (London, 1953). Ivins was the first scholar to recognize the importance of early reproductive engravings in their time as transmitters of knowledge. 31 Burke’s letter to Gibson, 29 March 1962, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 119. 32 A recent contribution on notable female collectors is S. Bracken, A. Gáldy and A. Turpin (eds), Women Patrons and Collectors (Newcastle upon Tyne, 2012). 33 For a complete biographical account, see R. Baird, Mistress of the House: Great ladies and grand houses 1670–1830 (London, 2003), pp. 147–68. 34 On the duchess’s collection, see A. Aymonimo, ‘The musaeum of the 1st Duchess of Northumberland (1716–1776) at Northumberland House in London: an introduction’, in Bracken, Gáldy and Turpin, op. cit. (note 32), pp. 101–20; A. French, Art Treasures in the North. Northern families on the Grand Tour (Norwich, 2009), pp. 59–82; 276–81. 35 See Aymonimo, op. cit. (note 34), pp. 104–5. 36 E. Miller, That Noble Cabinet: A history of the British Museum (London, 1973), p. 48. 37 See Griffiths, op. cit. (note 2) p. 144. See also Aymonimo, op. cit. (note 34), pp. 115–16; and French, op. cit. (note 34), pp. 276–81. The museum catalogue is preserved in the archives of the Duke of Northumberland at Alnwick Castle (dnp ms 122–127). The headings of the general classes and sub-classes have been transcribed by Aymonimo, op. cit. (note 34), p. 118. 38 The print collection was stored in the gallery’s third room at the first floor of Northumberland House. The building was demolished in 1874 to make way for Northumberland Avenue. 39 The duchess’s catalogue of print albums includes: ‘Works of Devos; Habits; Works of Galle; Works of Stradanus; Portraits; Works of Collaert; Works of Wierx; Works of De Pass; Works of Hollar, Works of Goltzius; Works of Callot; Works of Teniers; Works of Sadeler’. 40 See Griffiths, op. cit. (note 2), p. 142. The three sets are recognizable in the catalogue of the 1951 Sotheby’s auction as Lots number 314, 315 and 316. Catalogue of Fine Engravings and Etchings, 10–11 April 1951, pp. 36–7. 41 See Griffiths, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 142–3. The Sadeler volumes in the Metropolitan Museum’s collection are identified by call numbers 53.601.10-13, 16–17, 339, 351 (two volumes are missing). The collection is available online at http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection. 42 Catalogued by the University of Melbourne as Sadeler’s works [picture], [1576–1628]: vol. i John part 1; vol. ii John part 2; vol. iii Raphael; vol. iv incorrectly catalogued as Aegidius part 2 but actually labelled as Raphael part 2; vol. v Raphael; vol. vii Aegidius & Justo; vol. viii Mark & George. As part of the re-binding project in the mid-1990s, the Baillieu Library sent all except two albums (vols. iv and viii) to conservator and bookbinder Robin Tait for rebinding. The original Harleian bindings were removed and stored. K. Stone, ‘The caped collector’, University of Melbourne Collections 18 (2016), p. 34. 43 The volumes were identified by their bindings. Griffiths also noted that some of the volumes listed in the duchess’s handwritten catalogue were marked as ‘bought out of Lord Oxford’s collection’. See Griffiths, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 141–2. 44 For a general outline of the Harleian library, see C. Jones, ‘The Harley family and the Harley papers’, British Library Journal 15 (1989), pp. 123–33. 45 The Harley manuscripts were later transferred to the British Library. Only one remains, a drawing manual: 1947,0117.2. A. Griffiths and R. Williams, The Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum: User’s Guide (London, 1987), pp. 121–2. 46 C. Cock, Catalogue of the Collection of Italian, Flemish and French Books of Prints of the Rit. Hon. Edward Earl of Oxford (London, February 1745–6), Lot 1680. On the same day the duchess also purchased Lot 1684: ‘one hundred and three large prints . . . all by Stradanus, engraved by Galle and Collart, bound in two volumes in red morocco’. The Stradanus prints were eventually sold in the 1951 Sotheby’s auction as Lot 319. 47 The approximate number of prints contained in the missing volume is determined by subtracting the 833 prints conserved in the Baillieu Harleian volumes from the over 900 cited in the 1745 auction catalogue. 48 Macfarlane’s letter to Colnaghi, 1 November 1962, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 119. 49 For a biographical profile, see I. de Remaix, Les Sadeler, graveurs et éditeurs, exh. cat., Bibliothèque Royale Albert Ier (Brussels, 1992), pp. 9–12. 50 In 1593 Federico Borromeo met Paul Bril and Jan Brughel at the Accademia di San Luca in Rome, where he was appointed as first Cardinal Protector. From them he acquired thirty-two landscapes (twenty-one by Brueghel, eleven by Bril), which he donated in 1618 to the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana in Milan. Passionate about Flemish art, Borromeo was the first major collector who found religious meaning in devotional landscapes, thus making them suitable for reformers of sacred art. The Sadelers’ prints played a decisive role in the diffusion of this genre, which eventually flooded the European art market during the first half of the seventeenth century. It might be possible that the Sadelers actually met Borromeo in the first few months of their trip through Northern Italy begun in 1596. On Borromeo’s patronage, see P. Jones, ‘Federico Borromeo as a patron of landscapes and still-lifes: Christian optimism in Italy ca. 1600’, Art Bulletin 70 (1988), pp. 261–72. On the hermitage landscape genre, see L. Prosperetti, ‘Crafting repose: aesthetic and cultural aspects of the Hermitage landscape by Jan Brueghel the Elder’, in R. Falkenburg, W. S. Melion and T. M. Richardson (eds), Image and Imagination of the religious Self in late medieval and early modern Europe (Turnhout, 2007), pp. 351–78. 51 The text accompanying Sadeler’s images was written by Matthäus Rader, a German Jesuit. Bavaria sancta was completed in 1615–27, Bavaria Pia in 1628. 52 Baldinucci, op. cit. (note 22), p. 46. On Aegidius’s Italian journey, see Limouze, op. cit. (note 21), pp. 78–138. 53 Listed in Hollstein, op. cit. (note 27) as nos 45, 42. 54 Listed in ibid. as nos 48, 57. 55 Listed in ibid. as no. 40. 56 S. Ticozzi, Dizionario degli architetti, scultori, pittori . . ., vol. iii (Milan, 1830), p. 289. 57 On Canaletto’s English patrons, see C. Beddington, Canaletto in England: a Venetian artist abroad, 1746–1755 (New Haven, 2006), pp. 8–30. On 28 October 1752, Horace Walpole reported: ‘they [the Duke and the Duchess of Northumberland] are building at Northumberland House, at Sion and at Alnwick castle’. See Baird, op. cit. (note 33), p. 152. 58 Catalogued by the University of Melbourne as Sadeler’s works [picture], [1576–1628]: vol. ia Sadelers/De Vos; vol. iia Sadelers/De Vos. Both albums correspond to those, “ranged by myself, de Vos” recognized by Griffiths in the Duchess’s handwritten catalogue. See Griffiths, op. cit. (note 2), p. 142. 59 On Marten de Vos, see A. Reinsch, ‘Die Zeichnungen des Martin de Vos: stilistische und ikonographische Untersuchungen’, Ph.D. dissertation, Tübingen Eberhard-Karls-Universität, 1967. The albums’ highlight is represented by four series of prints describing the Fathers of the Desert. The group includes the men who pursued the godly life in the deserts of Egypt, Syria and Palestine and the hermits who followed their example in the bleak wildernesses and dense forests of Western Europe. The first series, titled Solitudo sive vitae partum eremicolarum, was published around 1587 in Frankfurt. The second series, Sylvae Sacrae, appeared in Munich in 1594. The final sets, one named Trophaeum vitae solitaria and the other Oraculum Anachoreticum, were published in Venice, respectively in 1598 and 1600. With respect to this, see L. Prosperetti, ‘Helenus and Dorotheus: Marten de Vos and the Desert Fathers’, in W.S. Melion, J. Clifton and M. Weemans (eds), Imago Exegetica (Leiden, 2014), pp. 423–48. 60 While the Melbourne albums are entirely dedicated to the Sadelers’ works after Marten de Vos, the duchess’s volumes purchased by the Metropolitan Museum are organized by subject matter. They include mythological allegories, scenes from the New Testament, saints, stories from the life of the Virgin, stories from the Old Testament, portraits and landscapes. 61 Eight prints were added to volume ii, while one print was added to volume vii. Prints added to volume ii are recognizable as no. 67a, 67b, 67c, 68a, 68b, 69a, 69b, 70 of the Edquist catalogue (Edquist, op. cit. (note 20), pp. 274–7). The print added to volume vii is listed as no. 55b (Edquist, op. cit. (note 20), p. 446). 62 Excerpts from the diaries have been published by J. Greig, The Diaries of a Duchess. Extracts from the diaries of the first Duchess of Northumberland (1716–1776) (London, 1926). The Duchess purchased genre scenes, landscapes and townscapes, church interiors, still lives and marine pieces. Many of these works, which still hang in the duchess’s Sitting Room in Syon House today, are attributed to followers and imitators of David Teniers the Younger, Gerrit Dou, Jan van der Heyden and Paul Bril. On the duchess’s collecting of Dutch and Flemish paintings, see French, op. cit. (note 34), pp. 66–8. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/open_access/funder_policies/chorus/standard_publication_model) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the History of Collections Oxford University Press

How one global collection of Old Master prints was created: nine albums by the Sadeler family in the Baillieu Library of the University of Melbourne

Journal of the History of Collections , Volume Advance Article (2) – Oct 12, 2017

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Abstract

Abstract This essay examines the early developments of the University of Melbourne’s print collection focusing on the acquisition of nine albums of prints by the Sadeler family, once owned by English aristocratic collector and patron Elizabeth Seymour Percy, 1st Duchess of Northumberland. Completed in 1962 through Colnaghi, the purchasing of the Sadeler volumes was undertaken on the advice of the University of Melbourne’s Herald Chair of Fine Arts, Professor Joseph Burke, and funded by donations from a group of Australian philanthropists: the Society of Collectors. Comprising more than 1,200 prints, the albums represent one of the world’s largest gatherings of Sadeler engravings and are expression of two separate collecting moments: seven of the volumes once formed part of the legendary collection of Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford; the remaining two were personally assembled by the duchess, with a peculiar technique that is unprecedented in eighteenth century print collecting. The Baillieu Library of the University of Melbourne hosts one of the finest print collections in Australia, the equivalent of a state institution or national gallery. Beginning with the exceptional donation of over 3,500 Old Master prints as well as a classical library bequeathed in 1959 by Dr Orde Poynton, the collection was enriched from the early sixties by several bequests and new acquisitions. The most remarkable were nine volumes of engravings by the Sadeler family, once part of the print collection of Elizabeth Seymour Percy (1716–1776), Duchess of Northumberland, one of the pre-eminent female collectors in eighteenth-century England. Completed in 1962 through the dealer Colnaghi, London, following the suggestion of the University of Melbourne’s Herald Chair of Fine Arts, Professor Joseph Burke, the purchasing of the Sadeler volumes was funded by donations from the Society of Collectors, a ‘gallant company of outstanding hosts’, created with the purpose to ‘exist beautifully’, furthering the cause of the arts in Australia.1 Made up of more than 1,200 prints, these nine albums represent one of the world’s largest gatherings of Sadeler images and derive from two separate collections. Seven of the volumes once formed part of the legendary collection of Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford. The remaining two were curiously assembled by Elizabeth Percy herself, with a technique described by Antony Griffiths as ‘a piece of English eccentricity never seen elsewhere’.2 Appointed as Herald Chair of Fine Arts on 25 March 1946, Professor Joseph Burke was a British diplomat and an authority on British art of the eighteenth century. Born in 1913, he was educated at the Benedictine school, Worth Abbey, in West Sussex before electing to study Fine Arts at the newly created Courtauld Institute at the University of London. Described by Kenneth [Lord] Clark as ‘a good scholar with a wide range of interests’, Burke greatly appreciated works on paper and especially those by Hogarth.3 Shortly after his arrival in Melbourne, he founded the Society of Collectors, a sophisticated group of fifty members whose aim was to promote collecting in Australia and to help the University to build up a Fine Arts collection. As Anderson informs us, the Society of Collectors was inspired to the Society of Dilettanti, founded in London in 1734 by a group of British men who had returned from the Grand Tour, had discovered the collecting of antiquities and indulged in the patronage of neoclassical artists.4 Burke brilliantly transposed the idea of a society concerned with historical and contemporary collecting to an Australian context, assembling a group of distinguished collectors including Australia Prime Minister Robert Menzies, journalist and newspaper proprietor Sir Kenneth Murdoch, the Director of the National Gallery of Victoria Daryl Lindsay, the Chairman of the Trustees of the Adelaide Art Gallery Sir Edward Morgan, Colonel Aubrey Gibson, philanthropist Kenneth Myer and the University of Melbourne’s Vice-Chancellor Sir George Paton. When in November 1959 the English-born medical doctor Orde Poynton donated his print collection as a teaching facility to the University of Melbourne, it became clear to both Professor Burke and to the Chairman of the Library Committee Professor Kenneth Russell that their future efforts should entirely concentrate on building up the University’s print collection, abandoning the previous plan of building a fine art collection including painting and sculpture.5 Building on a group of c.400 prints inherited from his grandfather, Poynton’s collection was developed thanks to a series of acquisitions made in England in the period 1929–35 and was eventually shipped to Australia in 1948, when its owner was appointed as Lecturer at the Adelaide University Medical School. Dutch, German, Netherlandish and Italian Old Masters such as Rembrandt, Dürer, Aldegrever, van Leyden, Hollar, Raimondi and Agostino Carracci were widely represented, while the collection was distinguished by a substantial group of minor masters’ works.6 Having been donated to the University of Melbourne with the hope that ‘in the longer run someone else might make and leave the university a similar collection’, Poynton’s prints became the decisive impetus to inaugurate an extraordinary season of bequests and new acquisitions.7 With respect to this, on 7 February 1961 a small group of Hogarth prints was purchased for £41 from David Low Booksellers Ltd. (Chinnor, Oxfordshire), thanks to the generosity of the Society of Collectors, while a few weeks later the society’s president, Aubrey Gibson, agreed to raise funds to the order of £500 per annum to be directed to the enlargement of the university’s print collection.8 Furthermore, during the same year, the Australian Universities Commission approved a Capital Equipment Fund for Research of £2,000 (Triennium Grant) for the Fine Arts Department of the University of Melbourne, of which £500 was to be spent on a research collection of prints.9 The sum was partially used to purchase a selection of prints worth £235 from the collection of Lionel Lindsay after suggestion of Dr Ursula Hoff, curator of prints and drawings of the National Gallery of Victoria.10 This purchasing phase was the prelude to the acquisition of the Sadeler volumes, which arrived in Melbourne the following year. On 3 October 1961, Professor Burke left Melbourne to spend one month as Commonwealth Visitor at the University of London. He arrived in England on 12 November, and elected to remain in London for further three months to conduct research for the eighteenth-century volume he was writing for the Oxford History of English Art.11 Although Burke’s commitments included three lectures to be delivered at the Courtauld Institute as well as visits to Oxford and Paris, he devoted part of his time to the development of the University of Melbourne’s print collection. With respect to this, in December 1961, Burke asked Sir Anthony Blunt to organize a seminar aimed at discussing the future of the Orde Poynton collection.12 Held at the Courtauld Institute, the seminar saw the participation of twelve scholars including Professor Ernst Gombrich, Professor John White and the Librarian of the Warburg Institute Dr Otto Kurz, and highlighted the opportunity for new acquisitions, especially in the areas of lesser-known engravers and reproductive prints. Specifically, the panel suggested that university libraries purchase those large systematic collections often overlooked by print departments in museums, which were generally interested in creating comprehensive collections of the great masters and selecting only representative collections of the minor figures.13 It was in the immediate aftermath of this seminar that, while making enquires to art dealers, Burke was informed about the Sadeler volumes by Colnaghi’s director James Byam Shaw. Fitting precisely with the advice he had just received from the Courtauld seminar, the collection was presented to him in late December 1961, as shown in a letter Burke received on 4 January 1962 from Colnaghi’s representative A. H. Driver. Driver’s letter highlights the exceptional nature of the Sadeler collection characterized as ‘unusually extensive’ and ‘more complete than that of the British Museum’.14 Moreover, it mentions that the volumes were formerly in the collection of the Duke of Northumberland and came from the print library at Syon House, where they were purchased by Colnaghi on 11 April 1951.15 Valued at £600, the collection included ‘nine volumes containing about 1,200 prints by the Sadeler family and other engravers of the late sixteenth century, some after their own designs, but mostly after Flemish, German and Italian artists of the period, especially Marten de Vos’ (Fig. 1).16 It also encompassed a number of duplicates, which formed an integral part of the original condition of the volumes.17 Fig. 1. View largeDownload slide Raphael I Sadeler after Marten de Vos, The fall of the Rebel Angels, engraving, 24.2 x 19.9 cm (plate); vol. iiA, Sadelers/De Vos, Rare Books, Special Collections, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne. Fig. 1. View largeDownload slide Raphael I Sadeler after Marten de Vos, The fall of the Rebel Angels, engraving, 24.2 x 19.9 cm (plate); vol. iiA, Sadelers/De Vos, Rare Books, Special Collections, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne. Bearing in mind the teaching function that both Joseph Burke and Orde Poynton had envisaged for the Baillieu Library print collection, it is evident how this extraordinary opportunity unexpectedly arising on the London art market stimulated Burke’s interest, persuading him to purchase the Sadeler volumes. After his return to Melbourne in early March 1962 for the beginning of the academic term, he soon contacted Aubrey Gibson, who personally undertook to raise the balance needed amongst the members of the Society of Collectors.18 By 12 April 1962 £485 had been raised, while a further £100 was added by Orde Poynton with the specific purpose of purchasing the duplicates.19 Catalogued in 1990 by Ruth Margaret Edquist, the nine volumes purchased by the Society of Collectors for the print room of the Baillieu Library of the University of Melbourne represent an exceptional summa of the Sadeler family’s artistic activity, embracing works from two generations of artists: the first consisting of the brothers Jan I (1550–1600), Raphael I (1561–1628) and Aegidius I (1555–1609), the second comprising their descendants, Justus (1572–1620), Raphael II (1584–1632), Jan II (1588–1665) and Aegidius II (1570–1629).20 The Sadelers were the largest and most successful of the dynasties of Flemish engravers that were dominant in Northern European printmaking in the later sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.21 They were patronized by and attached to the courts of the most cultivated and art-loving of European rulers of the time and their prints were eagerly sought by members of the public. Owing to the religious and political uncertainties of late sixteenth-century Europe, family members were often forced to emigrate. They worked in European cities such as Cologne, Frankfurt, Mainz, Munich, Venice and Prague. While travelling, they engraved the works of Flemish, Italian and German artists, promoting the circulation of artistic models and documenting the outstanding transformations that characterized European society during the last decades of the sixteenth century. The Sadeler family’s contribution to the history of printmaking is highlighted by a plethora of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century sources. In 1675 the German scholar Joachim von Sandrart noted that Aegidius II Sadeler ‘left so much to posterity that engravers from all countries would follow his manner’, while a decade later Filippo Baldinucci wrote ‘the beautiful sheets issuing from the Sadelers’ engraved plates are renowned in the entire world’.22 Similar comments are furthermore traceable in the accounts published by Florent Le Comte and Joseph Strutt in France and England, testifying to the dominant role played by the family in European graphic art.23 The Sadelers’ prints were fundamental for the transmission of stylistic models between northern and southern Europe.24 To this end, their allowing Bassano, Tintoretto and Barocci by plates after Flemish and Netherlandish artists to become familiar with the pictorial novelties developed in Italy during the second half of the sixteenth century (Fig. 2). Similarly, their prints after drawings by Marten de Vos, Hans Bol, Dirck Barendsz and Paul Bril introduced in Italy the pictorial language developed by the school of Antwerp. Aside from being prestigious objects, the Sadelers’ prints were used as models for the decorations of aristocratic buildings as displayed by the decorative programme of Castello Visconti di San Vito in Somma Lombardo, completed during the first decade of the seventeenth century by the Procaccini workshop.25 Widely employed by Jesuit missionaries, the Sadelers’ prints eventually transcended the European borders, being brought to East Asia and especially to Japan for conversion purposes.26 Fig. 2. View largeDownload slide Aegidius II Sadeler, after Jacopo Bassano, St Christopher, engraving, 24.6 x 19.5 cm (plate); vol. vii Aegidius & Justo, Rare Books, Special Collections, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne. Fig. 2. View largeDownload slide Aegidius II Sadeler, after Jacopo Bassano, St Christopher, engraving, 24.6 x 19.5 cm (plate); vol. vii Aegidius & Justo, Rare Books, Special Collections, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne. Although the scholarly literature on the Sadeler family was greatly enhanced in 1980 by the appearance of the Hollstein volumes on the major members of the family, it must be noted that when Burke suggested purchasing the Sadeler prints, this peripatetic dynasty of engravers was relatively neglected, occupying a marginal place within the history of Northern European art.27 Despite the enormous success of their prints, the Sadelers were indeed not properly studied by European scholars, while their critical appreciation was negatively influenced by the derisory view of late-sixteenth-century engravers adopted by Arthur Hind in his influential history of printmaking.28 Moving from the assumption that ‘the middle of the sixteenth century was nowhere a time of great achievement in engraving’, Hind criticised the genre of reproductive print, understanding it as having a detrimental effect generated by the increase in demand for engravings that characterized the European art market in the age of the scientific revolution.29 Notwithstanding the fact that already in 1953 studies by William Ivins had marked a decisive turning point in the appreciation of reproductive prints, in the early sixties the Sadelers were considered print sellers rather than original artists and thus their works were more widely appreciated for reproducing drawings by Flemish, German and Italian masters rather than for their intrinsic artistic quality.30 Given this context, Burke might be identified among the first modern scholars who fully appreciated the value of the Sadelers’ reproductive and original prints. He wrote: ‘a university will always want to . . . discover whether some minor figures have neglected reputations. In this particular instance, I thought some of the engravings after De Vos quite superb.’31 As emphasized in Colnaghi’s letter, the nine volumes of Sadeler engravings purchased in 1962 by the Society of Collectors once formed part of the collection owned by Elizabeth Seymour Percy, Duchess of Northumberland, one of the few recorded female print collectors of the eighteenth century.32 Born on 26 November 1716, Elizabeth was the daughter of Algernon Seymour, Earl of Hertford and Duke of Somerset, and his wife, Frances Seymour, daughter of the Hon. Henry Thynne, eldest son of the 1st Viscount Weymouth.33 On her paternal side she was descended from two of the most influential aristocratic families of England: the Seymours, dukes of Somerset and the Percys, earls of Northumberland until the late seventeenth century, when their male line became extinct. Elizabeth’s life suddenly changed in 1744 when her brother, the design at heir of the family, died of smallpox during his Grand Tour in Italy. Although her father was still alive, this meant that she would eventually inherit the family’s estates in Northumberland and Middlesex, encompassing Alnwick Castle, the suburban retreat of Syon House and Northumberland House, a fashionable mansion on London’s Strand. In 1740 Elizabeth married Hugh Smithson, an ambitious baronet and politician from Yorkshire. Together, they began one of the most impressive social ascents in Georgian England, culminating in 1766 when Smithson was elevated to the dukedom by George III. While her husband held some of the nation’s most important posts over the course of his political career, Elizabeth came to be an immensely popular figure in aristocratic circles and in the lively public arena of eighteenth-century London. She was appointed a Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Charlotte and pursued a variety of cultural activities, creating one of the very few collections assembled by a woman in eighteenth-century Britain.34 As Adriano Aymonimo informs us, Elizabeth’s passion for collecting was stimulated by her education and supported by the rich cultural environment in which she lived.35 Her mother was a well-known bluestocking, while her father was president of the Society of Antiquaries and an avid collector of gems, medals, prints and books. Furthermore, her husband was a member of the first board of trustees of the British Museum, having been designated personally in the will of Sir Hans Sloane.36 Roughly around 1741, the future Duchess of Northumberland began to set up her own collection, which eventually incorporated a wide range of objects including Dutch and Flemish paintings, albums of prints, ancient medals, coins, antiquities, marbles, bronzes, porcelain, rare books, ethnographic items and natural curiosities. Not only she was a compulsive collector but also a prolific writer. Obsessed with reporting everything she thought worthy of notice, around 1770 she drew up a series of lists regarding her own possessions. Bound together into nine volumes, these lists represent the catalogue of her museum and the only known inventory compiled by an eighteenth-century female collector.37 Mentioned in volume ii, Elizabeth’s print collection was initially stored at Northumberland House, before being moved before 1874 to Syon House, where it was eventually sold through Sotheby’s on 11 April 1951.38 Its core was a large group of albums of Netherlandish masters of the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, including works by Galle, Stradanus, Collaert, Wierix, Passe, Hollar, Goltzius, Callot and the Sadelers39 As noted by Griffiths, the section of ‘Works of Sadeler’ lists three groups of albums.40 The first is a sequence of ten volumes he identified with those conserved at the Metropolitan Museum; the remaining two are those suggested by Burke to the Society of Collectors and now preserved in the Baillieu Library.41 Seven of the nine albums in the Baillieu Library are uniformly bound in red morocco mottled calf with gold tooling on all four edges (Fig. 3). The spines are highly decorated with gold tooling and labelled in capital letters as ‘Sadeler’s works’.42 The paper quality is excellent and the prints are inserted between two sheets pasted together; a window is cut in the upper sheet so as to allow the print to be positioned exactly within it, while the second sheet is pasted to the back of both and so holds them together (Fig. 4). This set of volumes was first identified by Griffiths as coming from the library of Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford, owner of the greatest library in England in the first half of the eighteenth century.43 Renowned as a remarkable politician, Harley built an extraordinary collection of over 3,000 books, 41,000 impressions, 13,000 charters and deeds, 1,000 rolls and parliamentary journals, and a large collection of letters.44 Enlarged by his son Edward, the Harleian library was eventually dispersed after 1742, the books being sold in London while most of the manuscripts came to form part of the founding collection of the British Museum in 1753.45 Fig. 3. View largeDownload slide Harleian binding, vol. iv Raphael Part Second, Rare Books, Special Collections, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne. Fig. 3. View largeDownload slide Harleian binding, vol. iv Raphael Part Second, Rare Books, Special Collections, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne. Fig. 4. View largeDownload slide Harleian volume opening, vol. ii John Part Second, Rare Books, Special Collections Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne. Fig. 4. View largeDownload slide Harleian volume opening, vol. ii John Part Second, Rare Books, Special Collections Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne. Documented in a vast auction catalogue, the sale of the Harleian prints began on 17 February 1745 and continued for nineteen evenings. The Melbourne volumes were sold on the seventeenth day as Lot 1680:46 Egidius, Ralph, John and Justus Sadelers. Works compleat, containing above nine hundred curious Prints, bound in eight volumes in Calves Leather, gilt on the Leaves. To enumerate the masters whose works the Sadelers have engraved after, would be unnecessary, it being well known that there is hardly a capital picture, either of the Italian or Flemish schools that they omitted. Purchased by the Duchess of Northumberland through an unknown agent, they remained in her collection until 1951 when the print library from Syon House was sold through Sotheby’s. On this occasion, volume vi was separated from the group. Labelled ‘Aegidius Part First’, it contained roughly 100 prints by Aegidius Sadeler II, the imperial printmaker at the court of Rudolph II and the most collected member of the Sadeler family.47 Notwithstanding a request for information sent by the deputy librarian of the Baillieu library to Colnaghi on 1 November 1962, all attempts to trace the missing volume have come to nothing; most probably it was broken up and the prints sold individually.48 Two of the volumes purchased by the Duchess of Northumberland contain a total of 288 prints by Jan I Sadeler, who was responsible for establishing the importance of the family as important engravers and art dealers. Born in Antwerp in 1550, he initially worked as illustrator for the publishers Hieronymus Cock and Christophe Plantin before opening his own shop for the publishing of his works and that of his relatives.49 Jan’s prints are organized as a heterogeneous group comprising a variety of iconographic subjects including secular allegories, religious scenes and devotional landscapes. Images after the finest Flemish draughtsmen of the second half of the sixteenth century are interspersed with copies from famous Italian pictures such as Lelio Orsi’s Virgin of the Ghiara and Titian’s Martyrdom of St Lawrence. Retracing the major steps of Jan’s career, the volumes include those moralizing allegories he engraved in Antwerp after drawings by Marten de Vos as well as eight of the nine scenes from the series Precipua Passionis Jesus Christi Mysteria engraved in Munich after drawings by Christoph Schwarz and representative of his activity as court engraver to Duke Wilhelm V of Bavaria. Moreover, landscapes and seascapes engraved after Paul Bril testify to Jan’s activity in Venice, where he settled from 1596, running an important print publishing firm alongside his son Justus (Fig. 5). These evocative plates include some of the earliest reproductions of hermitage landscapes, an iconographic genre appreciated by North Italian collectors and created in the early 1590s by the intellectual collaboration between Paul Bril, Jan Brueghel Elder and Cardinal Federico Borromeo.50 Fig. 5. View largeDownload slide Aegidius II Sadeler after Paul Bril, Mountain Landscape with Hermit, engraving, 19.0 x 26.6 cm (plate); vol. i John Part First, Rare Books, Special Collections, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne. Fig. 5. View largeDownload slide Aegidius II Sadeler after Paul Bril, Mountain Landscape with Hermit, engraving, 19.0 x 26.6 cm (plate); vol. i John Part First, Rare Books, Special Collections, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne. Three volumes are dedicated to the works of Raphael I Sadeler, Jan’s brother and closest collaborator, whom he followed at first to Germany and then to Venice. One includes scenes from the New Testament after Flemish and German masters as well as a remarkable impression of the Mary Magdalen engraved after Domenico Tintoretto’s homonymous canvas conserved at the Musei Capitolini. The others are decorated by the extensive illustration of the series Bavaria Sancta and Bavaria Pia, which were commissioned by Duke Maximilian I of Bavaria to celebrate the hagiographies of the saints from the South German region and completed by the Flemish master with the help of his son Raphael II.51 The last two albums purchased by the Duchess of Northumberland include works by the remaining members of the Sadeler family: Aegidius II, Justus and Marco. Labelled ‘Aegidius & Justo’, volume vii is dedicated to the work of Aegidius II Sadeler, focusing on the period 1590–1600. Defined by Baldinucci as the ‘most skilled engraver of his time’, from 1592 to 1597 Aegidius travelled in Italy engraving works of Italian masters.52 Two of the prints present in the Harleian volume, the Flagellation and the Rich man in hell tormented by demons, are engraved after works by Palma il Giovane and were published in Munich in 1594.53 Similarly, two oval scenes of the Ecce Homo and the Entombment are clearly copied from Agostino Carracci, although the Bolognese artist’s name is not acknowledged on the prints.54 Finally a Calling of St Andrew is engraved after Federico Barocci’s homonymous canvas originally painted for the oratorio of the Confraternità di San Andrea in Pesaro and now at the Musée Royal de Beaux-Arts in Brussels.55 While the work of Justus Sadeler is represented by four landscape scenes after Paul Bril, the last volume acquired from Lord Harley’s collection contains works published by Marco Sadeler, a relative of Aegidius who worked as a print publisher in Prague and Venice in the early seventeenth century. Belonging to the same generation of the family as Justus, in 1629 Marco inherited Aegidius’s prints and although there is no evidence of his activity as an engraver, as stated by Ticozzi ‘he became famous publishing his relatives’ prints’.56 The Melbourne Harleian albums entered the Northumberland collection just one year after the death of Elizabeth’s brother and formed part of the extensive programme of patronage and collecting enacted by both the duchess and her husband to validate their social progression. As prestigious objects from the greatest English library of the time, the albums epitomized the couple’s social ambition and can be paired with other cultural activities pursued in the period 1745–55 such as the patronage of the Venetian artist Canaletto and the refurbishment of their properties at Northumberland House, Syon House and Alnwick Castle.57 While the Harleian albums were a statement of Elizabeth’s social aspirations, the two remaining volumes purchased in 1962 by the Society of Collectors are symptomatic of her compulsive desire for collecting. Bound in boards covered with blue paper and with plain leather spines, they were personally assembled by the duchess, who fixed the prints by using tabs of paper that extended above the margin of the print (Fig. 6).58 Labelled on the spine as ‘Works of Sadelers after De Vos’, the albums contain a total of 369 prints engraved after the most important draughtsman working in Antwerp at the end of the seventeenth century (Fig. 7).59 The comprehensiveness of this collection, which includes religious, allegorical, moral and ascetic series, testifies to the duchess’s collecting fervour. Obsessed with possessing the opera omnia of her favourite artists, she categorized her prints by either artist or subject matter, assembling volumes ad hoc and sometimes modifying already completed albums.60 To this end, the duchess even made adjustments to two of the Melbourne Harleian volumes, adding a few prints to complete the original series from Lord Harley’s collection.61 Fig. 6. View largeDownload slide Duchess of Northumberland volume opening, vol. iA Sadelers/De Vos, Rare Books, Special Collections, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne. Fig. 6. View largeDownload slide Duchess of Northumberland volume opening, vol. iA Sadelers/De Vos, Rare Books, Special Collections, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne. Fig. 7. View largeDownload slide Jan I Sadeler and Raphael I Sadeler after Martin de Vos, Macarius Alexandrinus, engraving, 17.0 x 21.3 cm (plate); vol. iA Sadelers/De Vos, Rare Books, Special Collections, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne. Fig. 7. View largeDownload slide Jan I Sadeler and Raphael I Sadeler after Martin de Vos, Macarius Alexandrinus, engraving, 17.0 x 21.3 cm (plate); vol. iA Sadelers/De Vos, Rare Books, Special Collections, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne. Although Griffiths assumed that it was the Biblical subject-matter that attracted Elizabeth toward the collecting of Flemish prints, I would suggest that her enthusiasm for the artistic production of the Low Countries originated from a sincere interest in Flemish and Netherlandish society and culture, which is demonstrated by the many visits she undertook to that region. The duchess visited Flanders four times between 1766 and 1771, touring cultural sites, purchasing works of art and diligently recording her whereabouts in her diaries.62 The nine volumes of Sadeler prints conserved in the Baillieu Library encapsulate the social and artistic spirit of this region as well as the cultural transformations that pervaded Europe at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Their purchase, thanks to the generosity of the Society of Collectors, has decisively contributed to the creation of one of the most important print collections in Australia and still provides an invaluable resource for students of late Renaissance and early Baroque art. Supplementary information An online appendix at http://jhc.oxfordjournals.org reproduces the principal correspondence relating to the acquisition of the Sadeler albums by the University of Melbourne. Acknowledgements This paper was written with generous support from the Endeavour Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. I am grateful to Leanne McCredden for her help in the University of Melbourne Archives. My thanks to Professor Jaynie Anderson and Professor Robert Gaston for their insightful comments. Footnotes 1 Address given by Professor Joseph Burke at the annual dinner of the Society of Collectors, 22 October 1971, University of Melbourne Archives (hereafter uma), 1978.0039, 31, 14/6. On Joseph Burke, see J. Anderson, ‘Interrogating Joe Burke and his legacy’, Melbourne Art Journal 8 (2005), pp. 88–101. 2 A. Griffiths, ‘Elizabeth, Duchess of Northumberland and her albums of prints’, in C. Bowen (ed.), Dear Print Fan: A festschrift for Marjorie B. Cohn (Cambridge, ma, 2001), p. 139. 3 Clark’s letter to Medley, 3 March 1946, uma, 2000.0126, Burke Papers. 4 Anderson, op. cit. (note 1), p. 91. On the Society of Dilettanti see J. M. Kelly, The Society of Dilettanti: Archaeology and identity in the British enlightenment (New Haven, 2009). 5 Burke’s letter to Poynton, 3 October 1960, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 119. On Orde Poynton and his bequest to the University of Melbourne, see J. Anderson, ‘Orde Poynton and the Baillieu Library’, in K. Stone (ed.), Print Matters at the Baillieu (Melbourne, 2011), pp. 7–20. 6 ‘A notable gift to the University’, 18 November 1959, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 119. The collection is available online at http://gallery.its.unimelb.edu.au/umblprints/imu.php?request= search. 7 Poynton’s letter to Burke, 9 April 1960, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 119. 8 Burke’s letter to Poynton, 21 February 1961, uma 1986.0037, 10, 119. The payment for the Hogarth prints was made by Colin Caldwell, a member of the Society of Collectors. Burke’s letter to Lodewycks, 6 April 1961, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 119. 9 Philipp’s letter to Cummings, 1 February, 1962, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 122. Franz Philipp was Senior Lecturer at the University of Melbourne and Acting Professor of Fine Arts during Joseph Burke’s absence from October 1961 through February 1962. 10 Prints purchased from Lionel Lindsay include Hollar’s works after Jan Brueghel and Elsheimer as well as five large prints by Giovanni Battista Piranesi. ‘Suggestions for additions to Poynton Collection from the Lionel Lindsay Collection’ (drafted by Dr Ursula Hoff), 19 December 1961, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 122. 11 Burke’s letter to the Secretary of the London Library, 30 September 1961, uma, 1978.0039, 35, 16/11. 12 Burke’s letter to Gibson, 29 March 1962, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 119. 13 ‘Such collections do not in fact appear very often, and are reasonably inexpensive because few print departments are thinking on these lines. Their aim is comprehensive collections of the great Masters, and select but representative collections of the minor figures’. Burke’s letter to Gibson, 29 March 1962, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 119. 14 Driver’s letter to Burke, 4 January 1962, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 119. 15 The ‘Print Library from Syon House’ was sold at Sotheby’s, London, on 11 April 1951. The Melbourne volumes are identifiable with Lots 315 (‘Sadeler: the works of Sadeler family, after M. De Vos, some by De Passe and others, 3 vol.’) and 316 (‘J. Sadeler: a very extensive collection of his works, mounted in eight volumes’). Sotheby’s, London, Catalogue of Fine Engravings and Etchings, 10–11 April 1951, p. 37. 16 Driver’s letter to Burke, 4 January 1962, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 119. 17 ‘The collection also contains a number of duplicates . . . You could if you wish take all the prints as they now are and later, after you have been able to sort them out, return to us any unwanted duplicates for which, of course, an allowance would be made’. Driver’s letter to Burke, 4 January 1962, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 119. 18 Burke’s letter to Gibson, 29 March 1962, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 119. 19 ‘The Society of Collectors has undertaken to contribute £485 towards the purchase of an important collection of Flemish sixteenth century engravings which Colnaghi’s are offering on sale’. Burke’s letter to Cumming, 12 April 1962, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 119. On Poynton donation, see Poynton’s letter to Burke, 7 April 1962, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 119: ‘I am enclosing a cheque for £100 which I want you to regard as my present of the duplicates.’ 20 M.R. Edquist, Sadeler Catalogue (Melbourne, 1990). 21 On the Sadeler family, the studies by Philippe Sénéchal and Dorothy Limouze are essential. See, P. Sénéchal, ‘Les Sadeler: entremise et entreprise’, Ph.D. dissertation, Université de Paris-Sorbonne, 1987; D. Limouze, ‘Aegidius Sadeler (c. 1570–1629): drawings, prints and art theory’, Ph.D. d issertation, Princeton University, 1990. 22 J. von Sandrart, L’Academia todesca della architettura, scultura e pittura, vol. i (Nuremberg, 1675), p. 355; F. Baldinucci, Cominciamento e progresso dell’arte dell’intagliare in rame (Florence, 1686), pp 26–7. 23 F. Le Comte, Cabinet des singularités d’architecture, peinture, sculpture, et gravure . . ., vol. iii (Paris, 1700), pp. 144–7; J. Strutt, A Biographical Dictionary of Engravers, vol. ii (London, 1785), pp. 289–90. 24 See, F. Pellegrini, ‘I Sadeler a Venezia’, in C. Limentani Virdis (ed.), Una dinastia di incisori: i Sadeler (Padua, 1992), pp. 5–10. 25 On the decoration of Castello Visconti di San Vito, see A. Lo Conte, ‘Anatomy of a Workshop: The Procaccini family in Milan’, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Melbourne, 2016, pp. 138–42. 26 O. Meehan, ‘The European Presence in Japanese Screen Painting of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth Centuries’, Ph.D. dissertation, Cambridge University, 2011, pp. 67–8. 27 F.W.H. Hollstein, Hollstein’s Dutch and Flemish Engravings, Etchings and Woodcuts, c.a.1450–1700, ed. D. de Hoop Scheffer (Amsterdam, 1980), vols. 21–2. 28 A. Hind, A Short History of Engraving & Etching (London, 1908). 29 Hind’s critique is encapsulated in the chapter titled ‘The decline of original engraving’. See Hind, op. cit. (note 28), pp. 118–31. A negative view of reproductive engraving had already been propounded by Adam Bartsch, who in the preface of his celebrated Le Peintre-Graveur stated that prints made by design always have the advantage over those of professional engravers. As noted by Griffiths, Bartsch’s approach can be traced back to the writings of the English painter and etcher Jonathan Richardson (1667–1745). A. Griffiths, The Print before Photography: An introduction to European printmaking 1550–1820 (London, 2016), pp. 481–3. 30 W. Ivins, Prints and Visual Communication (London, 1953). Ivins was the first scholar to recognize the importance of early reproductive engravings in their time as transmitters of knowledge. 31 Burke’s letter to Gibson, 29 March 1962, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 119. 32 A recent contribution on notable female collectors is S. Bracken, A. Gáldy and A. Turpin (eds), Women Patrons and Collectors (Newcastle upon Tyne, 2012). 33 For a complete biographical account, see R. Baird, Mistress of the House: Great ladies and grand houses 1670–1830 (London, 2003), pp. 147–68. 34 On the duchess’s collection, see A. Aymonimo, ‘The musaeum of the 1st Duchess of Northumberland (1716–1776) at Northumberland House in London: an introduction’, in Bracken, Gáldy and Turpin, op. cit. (note 32), pp. 101–20; A. French, Art Treasures in the North. Northern families on the Grand Tour (Norwich, 2009), pp. 59–82; 276–81. 35 See Aymonimo, op. cit. (note 34), pp. 104–5. 36 E. Miller, That Noble Cabinet: A history of the British Museum (London, 1973), p. 48. 37 See Griffiths, op. cit. (note 2) p. 144. See also Aymonimo, op. cit. (note 34), pp. 115–16; and French, op. cit. (note 34), pp. 276–81. The museum catalogue is preserved in the archives of the Duke of Northumberland at Alnwick Castle (dnp ms 122–127). The headings of the general classes and sub-classes have been transcribed by Aymonimo, op. cit. (note 34), p. 118. 38 The print collection was stored in the gallery’s third room at the first floor of Northumberland House. The building was demolished in 1874 to make way for Northumberland Avenue. 39 The duchess’s catalogue of print albums includes: ‘Works of Devos; Habits; Works of Galle; Works of Stradanus; Portraits; Works of Collaert; Works of Wierx; Works of De Pass; Works of Hollar, Works of Goltzius; Works of Callot; Works of Teniers; Works of Sadeler’. 40 See Griffiths, op. cit. (note 2), p. 142. The three sets are recognizable in the catalogue of the 1951 Sotheby’s auction as Lots number 314, 315 and 316. Catalogue of Fine Engravings and Etchings, 10–11 April 1951, pp. 36–7. 41 See Griffiths, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 142–3. The Sadeler volumes in the Metropolitan Museum’s collection are identified by call numbers 53.601.10-13, 16–17, 339, 351 (two volumes are missing). The collection is available online at http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection. 42 Catalogued by the University of Melbourne as Sadeler’s works [picture], [1576–1628]: vol. i John part 1; vol. ii John part 2; vol. iii Raphael; vol. iv incorrectly catalogued as Aegidius part 2 but actually labelled as Raphael part 2; vol. v Raphael; vol. vii Aegidius & Justo; vol. viii Mark & George. As part of the re-binding project in the mid-1990s, the Baillieu Library sent all except two albums (vols. iv and viii) to conservator and bookbinder Robin Tait for rebinding. The original Harleian bindings were removed and stored. K. Stone, ‘The caped collector’, University of Melbourne Collections 18 (2016), p. 34. 43 The volumes were identified by their bindings. Griffiths also noted that some of the volumes listed in the duchess’s handwritten catalogue were marked as ‘bought out of Lord Oxford’s collection’. See Griffiths, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 141–2. 44 For a general outline of the Harleian library, see C. Jones, ‘The Harley family and the Harley papers’, British Library Journal 15 (1989), pp. 123–33. 45 The Harley manuscripts were later transferred to the British Library. Only one remains, a drawing manual: 1947,0117.2. A. Griffiths and R. Williams, The Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum: User’s Guide (London, 1987), pp. 121–2. 46 C. Cock, Catalogue of the Collection of Italian, Flemish and French Books of Prints of the Rit. Hon. Edward Earl of Oxford (London, February 1745–6), Lot 1680. On the same day the duchess also purchased Lot 1684: ‘one hundred and three large prints . . . all by Stradanus, engraved by Galle and Collart, bound in two volumes in red morocco’. The Stradanus prints were eventually sold in the 1951 Sotheby’s auction as Lot 319. 47 The approximate number of prints contained in the missing volume is determined by subtracting the 833 prints conserved in the Baillieu Harleian volumes from the over 900 cited in the 1745 auction catalogue. 48 Macfarlane’s letter to Colnaghi, 1 November 1962, uma, 1986.0037, 10, 119. 49 For a biographical profile, see I. de Remaix, Les Sadeler, graveurs et éditeurs, exh. cat., Bibliothèque Royale Albert Ier (Brussels, 1992), pp. 9–12. 50 In 1593 Federico Borromeo met Paul Bril and Jan Brughel at the Accademia di San Luca in Rome, where he was appointed as first Cardinal Protector. From them he acquired thirty-two landscapes (twenty-one by Brueghel, eleven by Bril), which he donated in 1618 to the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana in Milan. Passionate about Flemish art, Borromeo was the first major collector who found religious meaning in devotional landscapes, thus making them suitable for reformers of sacred art. The Sadelers’ prints played a decisive role in the diffusion of this genre, which eventually flooded the European art market during the first half of the seventeenth century. It might be possible that the Sadelers actually met Borromeo in the first few months of their trip through Northern Italy begun in 1596. On Borromeo’s patronage, see P. Jones, ‘Federico Borromeo as a patron of landscapes and still-lifes: Christian optimism in Italy ca. 1600’, Art Bulletin 70 (1988), pp. 261–72. On the hermitage landscape genre, see L. Prosperetti, ‘Crafting repose: aesthetic and cultural aspects of the Hermitage landscape by Jan Brueghel the Elder’, in R. Falkenburg, W. S. Melion and T. M. Richardson (eds), Image and Imagination of the religious Self in late medieval and early modern Europe (Turnhout, 2007), pp. 351–78. 51 The text accompanying Sadeler’s images was written by Matthäus Rader, a German Jesuit. Bavaria sancta was completed in 1615–27, Bavaria Pia in 1628. 52 Baldinucci, op. cit. (note 22), p. 46. On Aegidius’s Italian journey, see Limouze, op. cit. (note 21), pp. 78–138. 53 Listed in Hollstein, op. cit. (note 27) as nos 45, 42. 54 Listed in ibid. as nos 48, 57. 55 Listed in ibid. as no. 40. 56 S. Ticozzi, Dizionario degli architetti, scultori, pittori . . ., vol. iii (Milan, 1830), p. 289. 57 On Canaletto’s English patrons, see C. Beddington, Canaletto in England: a Venetian artist abroad, 1746–1755 (New Haven, 2006), pp. 8–30. On 28 October 1752, Horace Walpole reported: ‘they [the Duke and the Duchess of Northumberland] are building at Northumberland House, at Sion and at Alnwick castle’. See Baird, op. cit. (note 33), p. 152. 58 Catalogued by the University of Melbourne as Sadeler’s works [picture], [1576–1628]: vol. ia Sadelers/De Vos; vol. iia Sadelers/De Vos. Both albums correspond to those, “ranged by myself, de Vos” recognized by Griffiths in the Duchess’s handwritten catalogue. See Griffiths, op. cit. (note 2), p. 142. 59 On Marten de Vos, see A. Reinsch, ‘Die Zeichnungen des Martin de Vos: stilistische und ikonographische Untersuchungen’, Ph.D. dissertation, Tübingen Eberhard-Karls-Universität, 1967. The albums’ highlight is represented by four series of prints describing the Fathers of the Desert. The group includes the men who pursued the godly life in the deserts of Egypt, Syria and Palestine and the hermits who followed their example in the bleak wildernesses and dense forests of Western Europe. The first series, titled Solitudo sive vitae partum eremicolarum, was published around 1587 in Frankfurt. The second series, Sylvae Sacrae, appeared in Munich in 1594. The final sets, one named Trophaeum vitae solitaria and the other Oraculum Anachoreticum, were published in Venice, respectively in 1598 and 1600. With respect to this, see L. Prosperetti, ‘Helenus and Dorotheus: Marten de Vos and the Desert Fathers’, in W.S. Melion, J. Clifton and M. Weemans (eds), Imago Exegetica (Leiden, 2014), pp. 423–48. 60 While the Melbourne albums are entirely dedicated to the Sadelers’ works after Marten de Vos, the duchess’s volumes purchased by the Metropolitan Museum are organized by subject matter. They include mythological allegories, scenes from the New Testament, saints, stories from the life of the Virgin, stories from the Old Testament, portraits and landscapes. 61 Eight prints were added to volume ii, while one print was added to volume vii. Prints added to volume ii are recognizable as no. 67a, 67b, 67c, 68a, 68b, 69a, 69b, 70 of the Edquist catalogue (Edquist, op. cit. (note 20), pp. 274–7). The print added to volume vii is listed as no. 55b (Edquist, op. cit. (note 20), p. 446). 62 Excerpts from the diaries have been published by J. Greig, The Diaries of a Duchess. Extracts from the diaries of the first Duchess of Northumberland (1716–1776) (London, 1926). The Duchess purchased genre scenes, landscapes and townscapes, church interiors, still lives and marine pieces. Many of these works, which still hang in the duchess’s Sitting Room in Syon House today, are attributed to followers and imitators of David Teniers the Younger, Gerrit Dou, Jan van der Heyden and Paul Bril. On the duchess’s collecting of Dutch and Flemish paintings, see French, op. cit. (note 34), pp. 66–8. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/open_access/funder_policies/chorus/standard_publication_model)

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Journal of the History of CollectionsOxford University Press

Published: Oct 12, 2017

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