By 18th century German etcher and engraver GEORG FRIEDRICH SCHMIDT (1712-1775), this is a fine and beautiful print, titled "Der Bartige Orientale" (The Bearded Oriental), signed in the plate at upper left "G F Schmidt fec" and dated there 1750. Engraved in the plate at lower left in French: "dedie a Monsieur le Comte Algarotti Chambellan de su Majeste Russienne par su tres humble et tres obeissant serviteur Schmidt" (dedicated to Mr. le Comte Algarotti Chambellan from Her Russian Majesty by her very humble and obedient servant Schmidt"). Schmidt is known today for his etchings and engravings in the style of Rembrandt, considered some of the best such work in 18th century Germany. He studied in Berlin with Busch and in Paris with Nicolas Larmessin. In 1744 Schmidt was appointed engraver to Frederick II in Berlin, and in 1757 he was summoned to St. Petersburg by Empress Elizabeth of Russian to engrave her portrait and create a school of engraving. Schmidt is known to have created on the order of 200 plates in his lifetime. This example is not laid down though it is affixed along left edge with some adhesive to a thin card. There are margins all around, and even age browning of the paper. There are old Butterfield and Butterfield (California auction house since absorbed into Bonhams) labels on the backing. At first glance this truly does resemble a fine Rembrandt etching. It is an image that will be appreciated by the fine print collector. Measurements are 8 1/2" by 6" inside the mat and 14" by 11" in nondescript framing.
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