18th Century engraving by Paul Decker the Elder and Jeremias Wolff


18th Century architectural engraving by Paul Decker the Elder and Jeremias Wolff. A tower including bells, and a water feature is called a “Glockenspiel” or carillion. The frame is silver, the glass is painted with verre églomisé, meaning reverse painted on glass in gold and black.

Paul Decker , also Paul Decker the Elder (1677-1713) was an engraver, architect and inventor who worked in the style of Baroque architecture.   Paul Decker attended the Nuremberg Academy of Painters, where he trained as an engraver under astronomer and engraver Georg Christoph Eimmart. After completing his apprenticeship in 1699, Decker moved to Berlin where he was taught architecture by Andreas Schlüter. Decker was noted as an architectural theorist known for his classic and grand Baroque designs.

Jeremias Wolff (1678-1735) was an engraver and publisher. From a small trained watchmaker and egraver to the largest art publishing firm of the first half of the 18th century he drove most popular engravings. The most prints were illustrated thesis leaves (never built) that were sold throughout Europe. The publishing house employed the best copperplate engravers of his time. On most engravings, however, only the name of the publisher Wolff was listed.

Carolus Rembshart (1678-1735) sculptor.

Architectural engraving is a technique of making prints from metal plates into which a design has been incised with a cutting tool called a burin. Modern examples are almost invariably made from copper plates, and, hence, the process is also called copperplate engraving. Another term for the process, line engraving, derives from the fact that this technique reproduces only linear marks. Tone and shading, however, can be suggested by making parallel lines or crosshatching. Engraving originated independently in the Rhine valley in Germany and in northern Italy about the middle of the 15th century. During the rest of the 16th century, engravers continued to develop increasingly brilliant techniques. Simultaneously, however, engraving became more and more restricted to reproducing paintings. This trend, which continued throughout the 17th century, was facilitated by the popularization of techniques capable of producing gradations of tone. The dotting of the plate with short jabs of the burin, common from the late 15th century, evolved in the late 17th and 18th centuries into the techniques of stipple engraving and crayon manner (also called chalk-manner, or pastel-manner, engraving). These techniques scored the plate with numberless dots and nicks made with a burin or special tools called rockers and roulettes. With mezzotint, a related technique invented in the 17th century by Ludwig von Siegen, they almost completely replaced line engraving in the 18th century. It was revived to an extent in the 20th century. The latter demonstrated that line engraving is a suitable medium for much modern art, including abstraction.

Dimensions: 24″ wide x 46″ high