“Abraão e os Três Anjos” – Glairon-Mondet / Alessandro Turchi
Abraham and the Angels (Apparition des anges à Abraham / Prédiction des Anges à Abraham / La visite des anges / il vecchio Abramo e tre angeli), ca. 1790, E. J. Glairon-Mondet (French Engraver and Printmaker, active late 18th–early 19th century, pupil of Jacques-Firmin Beauvarlet, 1731-1797), etching, after Alessandro Turchi (called L’Orbetto or Alexandre Veronèse, Italian Baroque Era Painter, 1578-1649), Illustration to Genesis 18:2-5, from Galerie du Palais-Royal, Paris, France. More details: British Museum, London, UK. Large size here.
Notes: Robert Bowyer (British Miniature Painter and Publisher, 1758–1834) begun his illustrated Bible in 1791 and finished in 1795, included 32 engravings by James Fittler (British Engraver and illustrator, 1758–1835) after Old Master paintings. Bowyer also bought prints in France that he incorporated into a later edition known as “Bowyer’s Bible“; he had an agent purchase even more during the Napoleonic wars. These were added to Thomas Macklin (British Printseller and Picture Dealer, 1752/3–1800) illustrated edition of the Bible. The six volumes of the “Macklin Bible” have been expanded by careful grangerisation, extending it to 45 volumes. These volumes containing 6,330 illustrations. It was donated to Bolton libraries by his descendants in 1948 and is now on display in Bolton Museum, Greater Manchester, England.
It seems, the oldest source was the “Bible de Mortier”. Pieter Mortier (Dutch Mapmaker and Engraver, 1661–1711) worked on etchings for Bybelsche Tafereelen (Bible stories), published in Amsterdam in 1700. David van der Plas (Dutch Golden Age Portrait Painter, 1647–1704) worked with Mortier on the etchings. “Bible de Mortier” was “L’Histoire du vieux et du Nouveau Testament, Enrichie de plus de quatre cens Figures en Taille Douce, & c. Avec Privilege de nos Seigneurs les etats de Holland et de West-Frise”. Amsterdam and Antwerp. Pierre Mortier. 1700. 2 parts in 2 vols. Folio. 141 full-page plates for the first volume; 73 full-page engraved plates in the second volume. In all, 400 compositions engraved etching under the direction of David van der Plaes by the best artists of the time – including 216 inset plates and 5 double cards. The compositions are due to Bernard Picart, Elliger, Tredeman, Jan Luyken, etc. Another important source was the popular “Sailor’s Bible” called “Lusthof des Gemoeds“, by Jan Philipsz Schabaelje, 1714.
Currently, some copies of these etchings are exhibited in museums around the world. Recently a work was conducted by Phillip Medhurst, formely chaplain of Malvern College, Worcestershire, England. Medhurst’s purchase and collation of prints illustrating the Bowyer’s Bible (“The Phillip Medhurst Collection“) uses the photographic works of Harry Kossuth, formely scholar of Wadham College, Oxford, UK. The collection is housed at Belgrave Hall, Leicester, UK.