Charles Eastlake. [Christ Blessing Little Children]. Very early proof impression. Philadelphia: Bradley & Co., 1861. 11 3/4 X 16 (image). Rich mezzotint engraving by Samuel Sartain. Very early proof impression before engraving was completed. Dress of female figure in the foreground has not been completed. Minor staining and scuffing in margins not affecting image. Large margins. Otherwise, very good condition. Very scarce. Sold together as a pair.
Charles Eastlake. "Christ Blessing Little Children." Philadelphia: Bradley & Co., 1861. 11 3/4 x 16 (image). Mezzotint engraving by Samuel Sartain. Minor staining and scuffing in margins not affecting image. Large margins. Otherwise, very good condition. Sold together as a pair.
These two handsome engravings illustrate the New Testament story of Jesus explaining to his disciples that one must have the child-like innocence and acceptance of God in order to be welcomed into Heaven. Under the image are several lines of text from the tenth chapter of the Gospel of Mark in the New Testament:
And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.
Engraved by Samuel Sartain, the son of the famous printmaker John Sartain, the print is after the painting by Sir Charles Lock Eastlake (1793-1865) who painted it in 1839 and can be viewed today at the Manchester Art Gallery in England.
The first is a very early proof impression that was printed before the engraving was completed. One will note that the dress of the female figure in the foreground lacks detail. In addition, compare the quality of the inking and impression between the two prints. As multiple prints were pulled from the plate the engraved image began to wear and lost engraved detail and ability to retain ink. Very rare to have both an early unfinished proof and the finished product.