Catalog Archive
Auction 191, Lot 428

"[Atahualpa Is Garrotted] ", Bry, Theodore de

Subject: Peru, Natives

Period: 1597 (circa)

Publication: Grands Voyages, Part VI

Color: Black & White

7.3 x 6.6 inches
18.5 x 16.8 cm
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This copper engraving is from a remarkable series of publications, illustrating voyages of discovery and travels of exploration to various parts of the world. The project was begun by Theodore de Bry of Frankfurt, in 1590 and was to continue for another 54 years. They became known collectively as the Grands Voyages (to America and the West Indies) and the Petits Voyages (to the Orient and the East Indies). De Bry died after the first six parts of the Grands Voyages were completed. The project was completed initially by his widow and two sons, Johann Theodore de Bry and Johann Israel de Bry, then by his son-in-law, Matthaus Merian in 1644.

This shocking engraving depicts the execution of Atahualpa and, by extension, the whole Inca Empire. The conquistador Francisco Pizarro captured Atahualpa in November 1532. Increasingly paranoid of an oncoming Inca attack, Pizarro decided to execute the emperor on July 26, 1533. He was strangled by slaves under Spanish control. On a sheet of German text measuring 8.1 x 13.2".


Condition: B+

There are a few light spots in the engraved image and a 2" edge tear at the bottom of the sheet that has been closed on verso with archival tape.

Estimate: $110 - $140

Sold for: $60

Closed on 2/8/2023