Augsburg: l'Académie Impériale d'Empire des Arts Libéreaux (sic), ND (ca 1760). First edition. Boards. Folio (16 1/2 x 12 1/4"). Ten loose engravings mounted on cardboard, and housed in a modern half calf over spotted paper covered portfolio. Raised bands.
Complete set of ten striking hand-colored copperplate engravings by German artist Balthasar Friedrich Leizelt, depicting the ten plagues of Egypt.
Each engraving is captioned in German and French at lower margin and contains the actual Bible verses referring to each plague.
In fine details, Leizelt depicts the following ten calamities inflicted upon Egypt to persuade the Pharaoh to release the ill-treated Israelites from slavery:
- 1) The Nile is turned into blood (some trimming to the top heading: "se vend à Augsburg au négoce comun (sic) de l'Académie Impériale d'Empire des Arts Libéreaux (sic), avec Privilege de Sa Majesté Impériale et avec défense ni d'en faire, ni de vendre des copies" with minor loss of text)
- 2) Swarms of frogs
- 3) Men and animals covered with lice
- 4) Swarms of flies and other insects into people's homes
- 5) Extermination of the Egyptian livestock (top and bottom edges trimmed, lacking the heading, and the reference of the Bible verse)
- 6) Egyptian people affected with skin disease (partly lacking the reference of the Bible verse in French)
- 7) Thunderstorm of hail and fire (top trimmed with loss of heading)
- 8) Swarms of locusts (top trimmed with loss of heading)
- 9) Darkness spread over Egypt (heading partly missing)
-10) Death of each first-born of Egypt (partly lacking the reference of the Bible verse in German)
Calf slightly rubbed along upper front joint. Moderate age-toning, and minor and sporadic closed tears or tiny chipping along edges. Upper left corner of third plate slightly chipped (not affecting engraving). Captions in German and French. Portfolio in overall good+ to very good, plates in good to very good condition. g to vg. Item #40382
About the artist: Balthasar Friedrich Leizelt (also spelled Leizel, 1727-1802, active 1750-1800) was a German artist and copperplate engraver working from Augsburg. Leizelt is best known for having produced a series of European and American scenic views at a time when pictures of foreign countries and people were popular and designed for use in optical viewers. As is normal for these prints the series title is a mirror image because optical viewers made use of mirrors which reversed the image.