Saint Roch hands out alms to the poor after Anibale Carachi

Etching, entitled; S Rocco che dispensa la sua roba a ‘poviri’ (Saint Roch hands out alms to the poor) by Baldassare Aloisi Galanin to Annibale Caracci. The print was published in Paris around 1670 by Pierre Mariette le fils.The image is 44 x 27.5 cm, the sheet measures 48 x 32 cm. The print comes in a passe partout. Nice clean print, faint discoloration in the lower righthand corner.



This print has the BB collectors stamp, identifying it as part of the ‘Brentano-Birckenstock’ collection. This collection was assembled by the Imperial Johann Melchior Birckenstock (1738-1809). The collection was inherited by his only daughter, Antonie Birckenstock, who married Franz Brentano, hence the later reference to that famous collection as ‘Brentano-Birckenstock’. Antonie Birckenstock is almost certainly the “immortal beloved”, the recipient of the famous love letter that Beethoven wrote in 1812, and her father, based in Vienna throughout most of his career, was also in correspondence with Beethoven. When Antonie inherited the vast collection, she did not keep every sheet. In close consultation with none other than Bartsch, she kept only the choicest treasures, selling the remainder in Vienna in the early 1810s. The remainder of the collection amounting to more than 3.500 lots, was sold posthumously through the – still extant – Galerie F.A.C. Prestel in Frankfurt am Main in April 1870. The British Museum snatched almost a third of it via Colnaghi. Unfortunately, the house of Brentano-Birckenstock in Frankfurt’s Neue Mainzer Straße no longer exists, having been reduced to rubble during the Second World War. It is right in the heart of the banking district.

Annibale Carracci ; November 3, 1560 – July 15, 1609) was an Italian painter and instructor, active in Bologna and later in Rome. Along with his brothers, Annibale was one of the progenitors, if not founders of a leading strand of the Baroque style, borrowing from styles from both north and south of their native city, and aspiring for a return to classical monumentality, but adding a more vital dynamism. Painters working under Annibale at the gallery of the Palazzo Farnese would be highly influential in Roman painting for decades. Annibale Carracci was born in Bologna, and in all likelihood was first apprenticed within his family. In 1582, Annibale, his brother Agostino and his cousin Ludovico Carracci opened a painters’ studio, initially called by some the Academy of the Desiderosi (desirous of fame and learning) and subsequently the Incamminati (progressives; literally “of those opening a new way”). While the Carraccis laid emphasis on the typically Florentine linear draftsmanship, as exemplified by Raphael and Andrea del Sarto, their interest in the glimmering colours and mistier edges of objects derived from the Venetian painters, notably the works of Venetian oil painter Titian, which Annibale and Agostino studied during their travels around Italy in 1580–81 at the behest of the elder Caracci Lodovico. This eclecticism was to become the defining trait of the artists of the Baroque Emilian or Bolognese School.


Pierre Mariette II, also knowns as Pierre Mariette le fils was born in 1634. He was a print dealer and publisher, the greatest publisher of the century; son of Pierre Mariette I; married Madeleine, the widow of François Langlois, in 1655 and managed the Langlois business at the ‘Colonnes d’Hercules’. In 1657 settled at his father’s address (rue st Jacques à l’Espérance) of which he owned a quarter, before buying all the remaining shares in 1663. In 1658, he bought the ‘Colonnes d’Hercules’, and for a while rented it to a hat-maker then to a book-seller before passing it to his son Jean in 1691. The signature ‘PMariette’ seen on the versos of numerous prints is almost always of the younger Pierre: the earliest recorded is of 1646 (at the age of 12) on a Rembrandt etching (see Hinterding 2006, fn.155) and on the recto of Dürer’s engraving of Pirckheimer in the BM. Pierre Mariette died in 1716