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Last updated: 1/30/2019

Images of Women in Old Master Prints and Drawings: The Bible

Biblical Subjects
Mythological Subjects
Allegorical Subjects
Historical Subjects
Adam and Eve
Lot and his Daughters
Jephthah and his Daughter
Susanna and the Elders
De Vos Old Testament Women 1
De Vos Old Testament Women 2
De Vos New Testament Women
The Virgin Mary
Mary Magdalen
The Woman taken in adultery
The Crucifixion
The Lamentation
The Resurrection
North Italian Illuminated Manuscript
Italian Old Master Drawings: An Overview
Italian School, 16th-Century Drawings
Michelangelo Buonarotti (After)
Giulio Romano
Perino del Vaga
Marcantonio Raimondi
Titian (after)
Andrea Schiavone
Taddeo Zuccaro
Federico Zuccaro
Alessandro Casolani
Jacopo Palma il Giovane
Cherubino Alberti
Luca Cambiaso
Annibale Carracci
Ludovico Carracci
Italian School, 17th-Century Drawings
Bolognese School
Giovanni Baglione
Matteo Rosselli
Ercole Bazzicaluva
Baldassare Franceschini called Il Volterrano
Pier Francesco Mazzuccelli, il Morazzone
Odoardo Fialetti
Simone Cantarini
Francesco Albani
Giovanni Lanfranco
Pier Francesco Mola
Antonio Busca
Italian School Printmakers, 15th-17th Centuries: Venetian School, c. 1497
Raphael School
Giovanni Jacopo Caraglio
Marcantonio Raimondi
The Master of the Die
Anea Vico
Agostino Veneziano
Nicholas Beatrizet
Michelangelo Buonarotti (After)
Giulio Bonasone
Giovanni Battista Franco
Girolamo Fagiuoli
Cherubino Alberti
Titian (after)
Tintoretto (after)
Giorgio Ghisi
Diana Scultori
Annibale Carracci
Ludovico Carracci
Agostino Carracci
Simone Cantarini
Elisabetta Sirani
Gerolamo Scarsello
Netherlandish School, 15th-17th-Century Drawings
Flemish School, 17th-Century
Bernaert van Orley
Lucas van Leyden
Maarten de Vos
Jan Baptiste de Wael
Abraham Bloemaert
Peter Paul Rubens
Philipp Sadeler
Nicolaes Maes
Rembrandt School
Netherlandish Printmakers 16th-17th Centuries: Lucas van Leyden
Maarten van Heemskerck
Cornelis Cort
Philips Galle
Abraham de Bruyn
Hans (Jan) Collaert
Adriaen Collaert
Karel de Mallery
Theodore Galle
Hendrik Goltzius
Julius Goltzius
Jacob Matham
Jan Sanraedam
Maarten de Vos
Jan Sadeler
Aegidius Sadeler
Raphael Sadeler
Crispin de Passe
Magdalena de Passe
Wierix Brothers
Rembrandt School
Jan Lievens
Jan Joris van Vliet
Ferdinand Bol
Govert Flinck
German Drawings: Hans Sebald Beham
Virgil Solis / Hans von Aachen
Joseph Heinrich Roos
German 16th century printmakers: Heinrich Aldegrever
Jost Amman
Hans Sebald Beham,
Hans Brosamer
Hans Burgkmair
Lucas Cranach
Albrecht Durer
Albrecht Durer (After)
Hans Holbein (After)
Hopfer Brothers
Georg Pencz
Hans Schäufelein
Virgil Solis, Wolfgang Stuber
French Drawings: Charles de La Fosse
Etienne Parrocel
François Boucher
Jean-François de Neufforge
French printmakers: Etienne Delaunne
Rene Boyvin
Thomas de Leu
Jean Cousin the Younger
Jacques Callot
Abraham Bosse
Sebastien Bourdon
Claude Gelle "le Lorraine"
Jean LePautre
Claudine Bouzonnet Stella
Antonette Bouzonnet Stella
Gabriel Perelle
19th-Century Drawings
20th-Century Drawings

Before the Reformation, the subjects most likely to be depicted in religious art included images of the Virgin Mary (over one third of Italian churches at the end of the 15th century had at least one image of the Virgin and child with or without saintly companions), devotional images of saints commissioned for altar pieces, devotional works for side chapels in churches, events from the life of Jesus, specific local miracles, and images from the Old Testament beginning with Adam and Eve's fall in the Garden of Eden. With the explosive growth in the production of prints, opportunities to create images abounded and the audience for them multiplied: now even those much lower down on the financial tree could own their own art and with the Reformation, doctrinal issues seem to have become central for many commissioning and publishing prints. Prints could depict individuals who were either positive or negative examples and prints could depict biblical histories by showing cycles devoted to significant biblical events like creation, temptation, fall, the life of fallen man, heroes and heroines of the Old and New Testaments, and subjects from the life of Christ, usually focusing on his miracles or his sufferings, and images showing the acts and sufferings of the faithful.

In the North, the centers of artistic activity in the early part of the century were focused in Nuremberg, where Albrecht Durer and the artists he influenced (like Hans Sebald Beham, Heinrich Aldegrever, Georg Pencz, Daniel and Hieronymous Hopfer, and others) worked; and in the Netherlands, where Lucas van Leyden's works were a starting point for those who came after. As Netherlandish artists started traveling to Italy and returning with a whole new set of ideas about how prints ought to look and work, Mannerism based upon Italian models (especially Raphael, Michelangelo, and Titian) but drawing as well upon the works of Durer and Lucas became the dominant style and the lands that would become Belgium and Holland became the center of the print world. During the mid to late 16th century and the fiirst part of the 17th century, artists and print publishers located in Antwerp (like Cornelis Cort, Jan Sadeler, Phillip Galle, the Wierix brothers, the Collaert brothers) or, after the fall of Antwerp to the Spanish, in other Dutch cities (including artists like Hendrick Goltzius or Rembrandt) produced large bodies of work published in books, in portfolios, and as single sheets for large publishers like Hieronymous Cock or the Plantin-Moretus publishing dynasty.

Within this large body of images, we have chosen to present several groups as identified above and several overviews. The two sets of prints depicting the heroines of the Old Testament and of the New by Adrien and Hans Collaert and by Carel de Mallery after drawings by Maerten de Vos (see links above) provide an easy introduction to the question of the role of individuals in 16th- and early 17th-century art; the links to specirfic individuals like Adam and Eve, Lot and his daughters, Samson and Delilah, Judith, Susanna, Jephthah and his Daughter, the Virgin, and Mary Magdalene among others provide extended glimpses of some different kinds of presentations of these key figures suggesting that Renaissance artists and viewers may have been both more complex and more spohisticated in their presentations than they have recently been given credit.

Select Bibliography: W. Th. Kloek et al, Northern Netherlandish Art 1525-1580: Art Before the Iconoclasm (Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, 1986); H. Diane Russell, Eva / Ave: Women in Renaissance and Baroque Prints (Washington DC: The National Gallery of Art, 1990); Ellen Schultz, ed. Gothic and Renaissance Art in Nuremberg 13000-1550 (NY: Metroplitan Museum of Art, 1986).

Jan Sadeler (Antwerp, 1550-1600), Creation of the other animal and of man (TIB 7001: 015 i/ii). Engraving after Maarten de Vos, c. 1586. A very good impression on laid paper trimmed on or within the plate mark. Inscribed on the plate: "Genes. cap. j" (bottom left); "M. de Vos figur, I. Sadeler scalpt, excu" (bottom right ), "VI" (upper center). Published in Imago Bonitatis Illivs (1584). The engraving is actually a rectangle; the sides lifted up while I was photographing it. The creation of Eve is shown Image size: 191x252mm. Price: Please call or email for current pricing information.

Jan Sadeler (Antwerp, 1550-1600), The Fall (TIB 7001: 006 ii/iii). Engraving after Crispin van den Broeck, 1585. A very good impression on laid paper with margins. Inscribed on the plate: "Crispin JV" (lower center right); "6" (lower right center); "JSaeyler . f " (lower right); "Genes C. 3 V. g" (in inscription area). The first edition (TIB 7001: 006 ii/ii) from which this image comes was published by Gerard de Jode in the Thesaurus Sacrum Historian Veteris Testamenti / The Sacred History of the Old Testament (Antwerp, 1583); the second edition replaced the images of God the Father with the Tetragrammaton and inscriptions; it was published in the Theatrum Biblicum / The Theatre of the Bible published by Claes Jan Visscher (Amsterdam, 1643). Image size: 201x247mm. Price: Please call or email for current pricing information.

Albrecht Dürer (Nuremburg, 1471-1528), The Expulsion from Eden (B. 18, S. 138). Original woodcut, c. 1510 for the Small Passion. In 1844 plaster casts were made from Dürer's original woodblocks for the Small Woodcut Passion, which had just been acquired by the British Museum. From these casts, metal plates were made and a small edition produced. Our impression is from this edition. Image size: 125x96mm. Price: Please call or email for current pricing information.

Cornelis Cort (Netherlandish, 1533-1578), God instructing Noah to build the Ark (New Holl. 3 iii/iii. TIB 52: 004). Engraving after Maerten van Heemskerck, c. 1560. Plate 1 of The Story of Noah (6 plates). Inscribed "M. Hemkerck invent / CIVisscher excudebat" (lower left); Cor. Cort fcit" (lower left center); "I" (lower left). First published by Hieronymus Cock, ours is a strong impression with large margins from an edition published by Nicolaes (Claes) Jansz. Visscher (Amsterdam, c. 1587-1660?). The most significant change was the replacement of an image of God in the first two editions with a circle of light with a Hebrew inscription, but the plate was reworked before printing. The Visscher edition was used in the Theatrum Biblicum (1643) and the Grooten figur-bibel (1646). Image size: 203x249mm. Sold only as a set of six. Price: Please call or email for current pricing information for the set.

Hans Sebald Beham (German, 1500-1550), The Drunkeness of Noah (Bartsch Woodcuts 6, Pauli 276). Original woodcut, 1537. A very good impression on laid paper of this work for Biblische historien. This woodcut portrays the episode when the one just man in the world gets drunk and passes out with his genitals showing. Two of his sons cover him without looking; the third looks and is condemned by God to become his brothers' servant. The sinless new world is no longer sinless. Michelangelo also portrayed this scene on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Image size: 51x71mm. Price: Please call or email for current pricing information.

Bernaert van Orley (Netherlandish, 1492-1542)), Susannah and the elders. Pen and sepia ink drawing on laid paper without a watermark, c. 1530. Image size: 115x82mm. Price: Please call or email for current pricing information.

Hans I Collaert (Brussels, c. 1525/30-1580, Antwerp), The Story of Susanna (4 plates) published by Gerard de Jode (Dutch, 1509-1591), 1579. Engravings after Gillis Coignet. Plate 1 inscribed "G. de Jode excud"; plate 4 signed lower left with the artists monogram "HCF" (Hans Collaert fecit). Plate 1: Susanna and the Elders (Eva/Ave, fig. 19a; New Hollstein 74 i/iii). A very good impression of the first state of three trimmed on or within the platemark. For discussion of the theme and an illustration of this print, see Eva/Ave: Images of Women in Renaissance Prints (National Gallery of Art, 1990). Image size: 200x261mm. Price: Please call or email for current pricing information.

Phillip Galle (Antwerp, 1537-1612), Samson and Delila (Hol. 228). Engraving after Marten van Heemskerck, c. 1569. Plate 5 from The Story of Samson published in Antwerp by Theodor Galle (Dutch, 1509-1591). Very good impression on laid paper. "Martinus heemskerck inuentor. Phillipus galle fecit. Theodor Galle excudidt." Image size: 258mm diameter. Price: sold only as part of a complete set of six (see Samson).

Phillip Galle (Antwerp, 1537-1612), Samson pulling down the pillars (Hol. 229). Engraving after Marten van Heemskerck, c. 1569. Plate 5 from The Story of Samson published in Antwerp by Theodor Galle ((Dutch, 1571-1633). Very good impression on laid paper. "Martinus heemskerck inuentor. Phillipus galle fecit. Theodor Galle excudidt." Image size: 258mm diameter. Price: sold only as part of a complete set of six (see Samson).

Georg Pencz (German, 1500-1550), Georg Pencz (German, 1500-1550), Christ and the Adulterous Woman (Bartsch 55). Original engraving, c. 1532. A good impression on laid paper cut on or within the platemark. Titled in the plate. Image size: 46x74mm. Price: Please call or email for current pricing information.

The Lamentation (B. 13, M. 122b, S. 60). Original woodcut, 1498-99. Executed in the late fifteenth century for the Large Passion, our impression is a very good dark and evenly-printed impression from the 1511 edition with the Latin text on the verso printed on paper with a High tower with crown watermark (Meder 259). Repaired tear upper-center going from the space between the tree and the top group of birds up to the top border line. The long vertical crack on the left seen in later impressions has not yet occurred. Image size: 392x283mm. Price: Please call or email for current pricing information.

Phillip Galle (Antwerp, 1537-1612), Pentecost (Hol. 209) . Engraving after Johan Stradanus. Plate 3 from The Acts of the Apostles published in Antwerp by Nicholas Visscher (Amsterdam, 1587-1660). Very good impression on laid paper with large margins. Image size: 201x265mm. Price: Please call or email for current pricing information.

Gerard de Jode (Nijmegen 1509 or 1517-1591 Antwerp), The Last Judgment (New Holl. de Vos 621 i/ii). Engraving after Maerten de Vos, c. 1580-82. Very good impression on laid paper trimmed on or within the borders showing Jesus seated on a globe surrounded by the Virgin and many saints with a rising sun's rays illuminating him from the rear. Inscribed lower right: "M. de Vos inuentor" and in the lower right text block: G. de Jode Excudebat. Image size: 207x242mm. Price: Please call or email for current pricing information.

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