Maerten de Vos (1532 - 1603)

The Death of Lucretia Sold

Pen and brown ink and brown wash, with touches of white heightening.
The outlines partially indented for transfer.
Inscribed Mart de Vos / fec. on the verso.
133 x 110 mm. (5 1/4 x 4 3/8 in.)


a preparatory drawing, in reverse, for an engraving of Lucretia by Raphael Sadeler I. The print, signed Raphael Sadeler fec and M. de vos invent., is inscribed Nec caste, nec Christiane in the top margin and Tarquinij...pudor in the bottom margin. The engraving was one of a series of three prints depicting women as examples of chastity - the others being Susanna and Sophronia - designed by the artist and executed by Sadeler. The present sheet can be dated to 1590, the date on the engraving of Susanna.

De Vos also designed another engraving of the The Death of Lucretia, different in composition, which was executed by Hieronymus Wierix and intended as a companion to two other prints of Cleopatra and Sophonisba, designed by Philips Galle.

The popularity of Marten de Vos’s designs, and the prints made after them, among other contemporary printmakers is shown by an engraved design for the metal tip of a dagger sheath by Theodor de Bry (1528-1598), which incorporates at its centre the identical figure of Lucretia.

An unidentified collector’s mark indistinctly stamped in purple ink on the verso
Jacob H. Wiegersma, Utrecht (Lugt 1552b), his mark at the lower left
Anonymous sale, Amsterdam, Sotheby’s, 10 November 1998, lot 29 (as Flemish School, 17th Century)
P. & D. Colnaghi, London, in 1999
Private collection, Spain.

Maerten DE VOS

The Death of Lucretia

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