1721 Copper Engraving Portrait Pope Gregory VIII Ugo Boncompagni Catholic EUM1

151219_EUM1_046

This is an original 1721 black and white copper engraving of "Gregorius XIII. Pont. Max.,' better known as Pope Gregory XIII. Born Ugo Boncompagni, Gregory VIII reigned as Pope from 1572 to 1585, commissioning the Gregorian calendar for which he was the namesake. Gregory VIII was committed to reforming the Catholic Church, enforcing the recommendations of the Council of Trent and designating a committee to update the Index of Forbidden Books. The portrait is surrounded by a wonderful decorative motif mimicking a frame set against an etched background. The design features a subtly ornate frame with two sets of drapes resting atop a base with a decorative broach-like oval framed by two additional cherubs draped in a botanical design.

CONDITION

This 290+ year old Item is rated Near Mint / Very Fine+. Light foxing and aging. No creases. No natural defects.No surface rub.No tears. No water damage. Please note: There is a plate impression bordering the image in this print.

  • Product Type: Original Copper Engraving; Black / White
  • Grade: Near Mint / Very Fine+
  • Dimensions: Approximately 8 x 13.5 inches; 20 x 34 cm
  • Authentication: Serial-Numbered Certificate of Authenticity w/ Full Provenance
  • Protection: Packaged in a custom archival sleeve with an acid-free black board (great for display, gift-giving, and preservation)

Period Paper is pleased to offer an extremely rare and impressive early eighteenth century collection of biographies and portrait engravings and etchings, produced in Leipzig, Germany in 1721 and 1722. Included are notable monarchs, rulers, religious figures, and members of notable Houses throughout Europe, including several genealogical charts of dynastic lines, spanning the sixteenth to early eighteenth centuries. The collection is comprised of exquisitely engraved and etched copper portrait plates framed by varying decorative motifs, all engraved by Johann Friedrich Rosbach. Many of the portraits include separate biographical pieces ranging in length from a single paragraph to several pages for more notable European monarchs and emperors. If present, the accompanying text is in German and is composed of beautiful woodcut text, with most pages containing elegantly etched drop cap initials, head-and tail-pieces and vignettes. The superb, folio-sized stock upon which the collection is engraved and etched employed the latest advances in eighteenth century paper making and highlights the era's predilection for strong, lightly sized paper with a fine structure and smooth surface. The paper's characteristics are thus similar to Japanese Gampi, and the result is well-preserved and crisp images that exceptionally capture Rosbach's fluid and sharp line work. This collection represents a unique opportunity to collect a valuable part of European history stunningly composed and illustrated.

Keywords specific to this image: Holy Roman Empire, Pontiff, Catholic Reformation, Catholic Counter-Reformation, Catholic Revival, Holy Roman Church, Roman Catholic Church

EUM1C21