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Charles Grignion the Elder (1721–1810) - 18th Century Engraving, The Viper


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An incredibly crisp and well preserved 18thC engraving documenting the Bible story of Paul in Acts 28. Like the famous hero Philoctetes, Paul is bitten by a poisonous snake on a secluded island. Philoctetes suffers extreme agony after his snakebite; Paul does not register any pain at all. Philoctetes issues horrible cries illustrating the depths of his suffering; Paul does not let out a whimper. Philoctetes begs to be burned with fire; Paul casually shakes off his viper into a fire. Philoctetes must be healed by doctors; Paul himself, after being bitten, becomes a healer. The engraving is completed with botanical ornamentation and an inscription with a dedication to the Dean Of Lincoln. On laid.


The engraving is in remarkable condition given its age, with no discolouration and only a few spots of dirt to the lower left corner.


24.3 x 15.7cm (9.6" x 6.2")

Artist Biography

Charles Grignion the Elder (1721–1810) was a British engraver and draughtsman.
Grignion was born in London to Huguenot refugees. He was a prolific historical engraver and book illustrator.
He studied in London at Hubert-François Gravelot's school in Covent Garden. He also engraved the earliest record of a cricket match, published in the General Advertiser in 1748.

In 1754, his nephew Charles Grignion the Younger was born. His nephew, in turn, became a history and portrait painter.

More Information
Code qn140
Artist Charles Grignion the Elder (1721–1810)
Date 18th Century
Dimensions 24.3 x 15.7cm
Medium Engraving
Style Classical
Subject Religious
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