Martin Engelbrecht and his brother Christian were printsellers and engravers in Augsburg, Germany. Martin engraved some plates after Rugendas and other masters. His other works included illustrations for Ovid’s Metamorphoses, The War of Spanish Succession, and P. Decker’s Les Architectes Princiers, as well as other views, including 92 views of Venice. In about 1730, he created cards for miniature theaters depicting religious scenes or genre pictures of daily life that created a dimensional scene in one-point perspective when inserted into a peep box. Notably, he composed and etched a series of prints of workers and their dress, Assemblage Nouveau Des Manouvries Habilles, published at Augsburg, circa 1730. Some of his etchings of tradespeople and sportsmen are documentary or tell a story, with explanatory text or poems. Others are anthropomorphic inasmuch as the tradespeople are dressed by cleverly assembling respective trade objects that resemble clothing. Numerous examples of these are offered by George Glazer Gallery.
Publication credits: Cum Pr. S. C. Maj. Numbered 10, upper right margin.
Verse on bottom:
Ces Jeux jadis aimés des Empereurs, les Rois,
Se faisoient admirer sous d’équitables Loix,
Comme sous les beaux Yeux des plus charmantes Dames:
Les nobles Champions par le Prix animés,
Moins que par les Regards de ces rares Beautés,
En hazardant les Corps gagnoient alors leur Ames.
These games once beloved by the emperors, the kings,
Were admired under equitable rules,
As well as under the beautiful eyes of the most charming ladies:
The noble champions less motivated by the prize,
Than by the gazes of these rare beauties,
By risking their bodies they won their souls.]
Condition: Generally very good, recently professionally cleaned and deacidified with the usual remaining light overall toning and wear.
Bénézit, E. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs. France: Librairie Gründ, 1966. Vol. 3, p. 582.
McNiff, Megan. “Early Home Entertainment: Engelbrecht’s Miniature Theaters.” Houghton Library Blog, Harvard University. 14 August 2015. https://blogs.harvard.edu/houghton/2015/08/14/early-home-entertainment-engelbrechts-miniature-theatres/ (19 June 2018).
Williamson, George C., ed. Bryan’s Dictionary of Painters and Engravers. London: G. Bell and Sons: 1930. Vol. 2, pp. 128-129.