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  • Proverbs by Marten van Cleve

by Marten van Cleve

Available at Sarah Sauvin (IFPDA)




Edition Size: unknown

Image Size: 15 x 30,5 cm

Sheet Size: 16,5 x 32 cm

Reference: Hollstein 302-307ad (attributed to Crispin de Passe I or his workshop).


Condition: Pristine


Details — Click to read

Anonymous engraving; images: ⌀ 150 mm, copperplate: 150 x 305 mm. Hollstein 302-307ad (attributed to Crispin de Passe I or his workshop).

10 circular scenes (from a series of 12) printed on 5 sheets (2 scenes were engraved on each copperplate).

Superb early impressions printed on laid paper with watermark (Basle Crozier watermark, similar to Briquet 1311, dating from 1578 and 1579). Generally in good condition.

The letter engraved around the print reveals an erotic meaning behind the literal sense:

– De koning drinkt (Der König trinckt, besicht sein stroβ): The King drinks and De netdroogster (Was macht ihr hie mein Magdlein fein…): The Nets drying

– Worstmakers (Dasselb sich, Theiβgen, gar nicht…): The Sausages’ Makers and Doedelzakspelers (Habt ihr mein rommel wel betast…): The Bagpipes Players

– De boogschutter (Hertz lieb, mein pfeil gantz unverfehrt…): The Archer and De hennentaster (Daβ ist ein groβe not furwar …): Feeling the Hen

– De krijgsman (Ach Rombert, ich muβ schreijen ie…): The Soldier and De handwerkende vrouw (Ihr kuβt mich Hanslein daβmans…): The working Wife

– De spreeuwpot (Barblein hallt ewren Sprepott still…): The Nest and De opgewonden melkmeid (Ist snel Nelis, zaugt euch darvon…): The Milkmaid getting excited

Two scenes are missing: De verloren jeugd (Was dunckt euch liebes Cläβlein fein…): The lost Youth and De impotente visser (Moch ich in ewrem weierlein Fischen…): The impotent Fisherman.

Only 6 scenes of this series are listed by Hollstein. They are attributed to Crispin de Passe I or his workshop. Ger Luijten attributes the series to an anonymous engraver working after works by Marten van Cleve.

At the Bibliothèque nationale de France, a volume of prints from the collection of Michel de Marolles, titled Facéties, c’est à dire, de choses bouffonnes & grotesques [Jokes, i.e. comical and ludicrous scenes] includes some plates from this series. The Albertina, the British Museum and the Rijksmuseum hold complete series of the twelve subjects printed on 6 sheets.


Reference: G. Luijten, ‘Teljoren in druk: een prentreeks naar Maarten van Cleve met mannen en vrouwen in het rond’, in Bulletin van het Rijksmuseum no. 49 (2001), pp. 153-169.

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