Schöne und rahre Landschafften in Italien und andern Ländern nach dem Leben gezeichnet von Joh. Wilhelm Baurn Solche von Melchior Küßel in Kupffer gestochen. Augsburg: Johann Ulrich Krauss, [ca. 1700?].
Oblong 4to (240 x 282 mm). 18 plates: engraved title and 17 numbered etchings, engraved captions in German, by Melchior Küsel after Baur. Watermarks: 1) hunting horn, 45 x 32 mm., lettered below A I F; 2) serpent (95 x 37 mm.) coiled around an anchor(?) with leaf-shaped upper escutcheon lettered MD(?). Most in very good impressions. Some marginal soiling or foxing, a stain to title from erasure of shelfmark, crease marks to a few plates, plate 6 just shaved at foremargin. Modern morocco-backed boards (bowed). Provenance: Carl Gustav Schmidtsche Bibliothek, purple ink-stamp on title with ink shelfmark no. 494 (old attempts to erase the same number elsewhere on title-page causing small stain).***
Only separate edition of a suite of delightful landscape etchings after the miniature painter and engraver J. W. Baur, etched by Melchior Küsel, Augsburg engraver and goldsmith, and published by his son-in-law Johann Ulrich Krauss, the preeminent Augsburg print publisher of his generation. The etchings show mountainous or riparian vistas from Italy, the Alps, the Pyrénées, and Dalmatia, dotted with castles, waterfalls, grazing sheep, etc., most painted from life by Baur on his travels to and from Italy in the 1630s. These sensitive small format landscapes and views, which Baur painted habitually on vellum and with which he came to be associated, are depicted as subjects in their own right or dominate foreground scenes of, for example, Neapolitan peasants playing ball, hunting parties, mythological or religious subjects such as Daphne and Phoebus or St. Leopold’s discovery of his wife’s veil (on which site he founded Klosterneuburg), or even a pair of unidentified strolling angels. Some of Küsel’s more experimenal etchings, with their sensitive renderings of light and shade prefigure the landscape prints of early German romanticism.
This is one of at least five different thematic tirages à part published by Krauss of selected plates from Baur’s and Küsel’s Iconographia, a four-part collection of Baur’s work, encompassing a Passion suite as well as a selection of his landscapes, emblems, garden views, etc., first published (also by Krauss) in 1670-72 and reprinted four times thereafter, with the last edition appearing in 1702. The plates appeared in part 3 of the Iconographia; for this issue the imprints were re-engraved within the image, the plates were renumbered, and the captions, in letterpress in the Iconographia, were engraved (and occasionally shortened) in the lower blank margins of each plate.
I locate no copies of this offprint in the US; OCLC and KVK list 4 copies in German libraries. VD17 1:073094G (16 plates only); Hollstein German 22:476-490; cf. Thieme-Becker (Seeman reprint) 3:89-90 and 22:73-4. Item #2519