Nov 02, 2021 - Sale 2585

Sale 2585 - Lot 42

Price Realized: $ 17,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 15,000 - $ 20,000
The Blind Leading the Blind.

Engraving, circa 1560. 226x257 mm; 9x10 1/4 inches, small margins. First state (of 5). Engraved by Pieter van der Heyden. A brilliant, richly-inked and early impression of this extremely scarce engraving.

Provenance: Hill-Stone, Inc., New York.

This is an illustration of a parable about spiritual blindness and poor religious guidance accompanied by texts in Latin and French below the subject. That the text appears in both Latin, the language of the educated classes throughout Europe, and French, commonly spoken in the southern Netherlands (modern-day Belgium), indicates that the Antwerp publisher, Hieronymus Cock, intended this engraving for a wide audience of both learned and popular collectors.

The Latin text reads: "The blind man offers himself as guide to another blind man; it is lamentable that this happens so often nowadays. But what awaits them? What? Save only, ignorant of the way by which one is given to reach an intended destination, will they end up tumbling into an open ditch?" Hollstein 21.