Thomas Neale (1657)

Thomas Neale: The cardinal
Thomas Neale, Cardinal

V ery little is know about Thomas Neale; except that he made a number of prints in Paris 1657-1659 much in the style of Wenceslaus Hollar.

Neale, Thomas (fl. 1657), engraver, worked in the style of Wenceslaus Hollar [q. v.] He engraved, copying Hollar, twentyfour plates of Holbein's 'Dance of Death.' The first plate is dated 'Paris, 1657,' and the plates are signed 'T. N.,' or with his name in full. Nagler supposes him to have engraved the plates for the eighth edition of John Ogilby's 'Fables of Æsop,' and states that he engraved some of the plates for Barlow's 'Diversæ Avium species,' Paris, 1659 [see, however, under Barlow, Francis].

(Dictionary of national biography, 1908, page 149)

A copy of his dance of death was for sale in 1882:

8024 A Series of 29 beautifully engraved Plates by H. Weyen, after Hans Holbein, sm. 8vo. brilliant impressions, carefully mounted and bound in green morocco extra, gilt edges, by Niedrée, £5.
                                   Paris, 1657
This rare edition appears to be unmentioned by either Douce, Dibdin, Brunet or Nagler.

(Catalogue of Romances of Chivalry: Novels, Tales, Allegorical Romances; Apologues, Fables ..., 1882, page 745)

The catalogue remarks that the series is »unmentioned by either Douce, Dibdin, Brunet or Nagler«. It had not, however, escaped Eustache-Hyacinthe Langlois:


Gravé par Thomas Neale.

97. — 1657. Mortalium nobilitas || Memorare nouissima et in æternum non peccabis j| II. Weyen ex.|| — Les armes de la Mort servent de frontispice, et on lit au bas de cette planche : Tho : Neale 1657 Paris. — In-16. 50 gravures assez jolies, copiées d'après Hollar, plus petites que les planches originales et exécutées en sens inverse. Beaucoup d'entr'elles portent : Tho. Neale fecit ou T.N. simplement. — Se trouve à Rouen (Bibl. Leber, n° 1565). Cité par Brunet (1842,11,606), et non par Maßmann.

(E.-H. Langlois: Essai historique, philosophique et pittoresque sur les danses des morts, 1851, volume 2, page 130)

The series is also mentioned by Pennington in his catalogue of Hollar's works:

The Escutcheon of Death
"Thos neale Fecit"
"H. We(r)yen Ex."
Thomas Neale, Escutcheon

Deuchar was not the only artist to copy the Hollar Dance of Death. The series was copied in reverse and in slightly smaller size, but without the Diepenbeck borders, and issued in Paris in 1657. On the dais of P 262 [[i.e. the escutcheon of Death]] is the illegible signature 'G Son...(?) 1657. paris": and in the lower r. corner 'H. Weryen (?) ex'. The prints are approximately 74 × 54, 111 × 90 including the borders. Some are signed 'TN'.

(Richard Pennington: A Descriptive Catalogue of the Etched Work of Wenceslaus Hollar 1607-1677, 2002, page 30)

Thomas Neale: An almost complete collection
Thomas Neale, Collection

Pennington interprets the doodles below The Escutcheon of Death (to the left) as "G Son...(?)", but it says something like "Thos neale Fecit, 1657, Paris". Many of the scenes are signed "T:N", or more rarely: "Tho. Neale fecit".

In the lower, right corner of the same scene it says in very legible letters: "H. Weryen Ex". This was presumably Herman Weyen, an engraver of Flemish origins, who worked in Paris, He was born in 1638, and he sold his stock as printer and publisher in 1669.

Neale's prints are blatant copies of Hollar. The various authorities disagree as to whether the series consists of 24, 29 or all 30 scenes. A set was offered for sale on Ebay in 2012 where the old man was missing. As can be seen below, Neale has in fact copied all of Hollar's 30 etchings.

Fall of man
Thomas Neale 1657: Fall of man
Thomas Neale 1657: Expulsion
After the Fall
Thomas Neale 1657: After the Fall
Thomas Neale 1657: Pope
Thomas Neale 1657: Emperor
Thomas Neale 1657: Cardinal
Thomas Neale 1657: Empress
Thomas Neale 1657: Queen
Thomas Neale 1657: Bishop
Thomas Neale 1657: Duke
Thomas Neale 1657: Abbot
Thomas Neale 1657: Abbess
Thomas Neale 1657: Lawyer
Thomas Neale 1657: Preacher
Thomas Neale 1657: Monk
Thomas Neale 1657: Nun
Old woman
Thomas Neale 1657: Old woman
Thomas Neale 1657: Physician
Thomas Neale 1657: Usurer
Thomas Neale 1657: Merchant
Thomas Neale 1657: Count
Old man
Thomas Neale 1657: Old man
Thomas Neale 1657: Countess
Thomas Neale 1657: Noblewoman
Thomas Neale 1657: Peddler
Thomas Neale 1657: Child
Thomas Neale 1657: Escutcheon
Thomas Neale 1657: Soldier
Thomas Neale 1657: Waggoner
Thomas Neale 1657: Gambler
Thomas Neale 1657: Collection

External Link

Other interpreters of Holbein's dance of death


Hans Holbein (1526) - so-called proofs
Hans Holbein (1538) - the originals
Heinrich Aldegrever (1541)
Heinrich Vogtherr (1544)
Vincenzo Valgrisi (1545)
Arnold Birckmann (1555)
Juan de Icíar (1555)
Valentin Wagner (1557)
Jiří Melantrich (1563)
Georg Scharffenberg (1576)
Leonhart Straub (1581)
David Chytraeus (1590)
Peter Paul Rubens (ca. 1590)
Fabio Glissenti (1596)
Eberhard Kieser (1617)
Rudolf and Conrad Meyer (1650)
Wenceslaus Hollar (1651)
De doodt vermaskert (1654)
→ Thomas Neale (1657) ←
Johann Weichard von Valvasor (1682)
Erbaulicher Sterb-Spiegel (1704)
Salomon van Rusting (1707)
T. Nieuhoff Piccard (1720)
Christian de Mechel (1780)
David Deuchar (1788)
John Bewick (1789)
Alexander Anderson (1810)
Wenceslaus Hollar (1816)
"Mr. Bewick" (1825)
Ludwig Bechstein (1831)
Joseph Schlotthauer (1832)
Francis Douce (1833)
Carl Helmuth (1836)
Francis Douce (1858, 2. edition)
Henri Léon Curmer (1858)
Tindall Wildridge (1887)

Neale has copied Hollar.
Hollar, Emperor