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Venus honoured by Nymphs c.1591

Jan Harmensz Muller

* 1571 in Amsterdam † 1628 in Amsterdam

Engraving. Size of sheet: 28.1 x 20.2 cm.

After Bartholomeus Spranger (1546 -1611). Published by Harmen Jansz. Muller. Watermark: Close to Winged Mythological Figure, Churchill 285 (1603).  

LITERATURE:   New Hollstein (Dutch & Flemish) 73.II;

Bartsch/Le Peintre graveur (III.288.73);

Diez 1909, p.133.

Beautiful impression trimmed within plate-mark. At the earliest this print is from 1591, the year Jan Muller began to include his father’s name as publisher[1].

This complex composition reflects Spranger’s mature style as an artist and Muller’s mastery as an engraver. Muller collaborated with Spranger on many occasions, in total he made twelve engravings after Spranger. According to Filedt Kok, Muller sent proofs back to Spranger, who meticulously corrected them.[2] Before 1590 Muller may have worked in the Goltius workshop, however most likely all his engravings after Spranger were made after leaving the Haarlem workshop.[3] About the same time, his father, Harmen Jansz. Muller, became the publisher of his prints.

Very fine untouched impression with small margins around the borderline. 

An ivory relief after the design, made about 1730, is a proof of the popularity of the image. (V&A Museum, London, A.22-1962).





 Jacob Dobbermann (1682 – 1745) Homage to Venus, c.1730. Size: 14 x 11.6 cm. Ivory relief. 



[1] Metzler, Sally, Bartholomeus Spranger, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2014, p.293.

[2] Filedt Kok, Jan Piet, “jan Harmensz Muller as printmaker, Print Quarterly 11, 1994, p.249.

[3] Metzler, Sally, Bartholomeus Spranger, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2014, p.266.



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