An amorous Nun between two Clerics at a Table

Monogrammist HCF Monogrammist HCF
16th Century

Nagler Monogrammisten III, 786; Hollstein, Monogrammists, 1; under Hans Collaert the Elder, 50
Provenance: Old Colnaghi stock
A very good impression, trimmed along or just within the platemark. A vertical central fold with a short split at the top and a longer one at the bottom, upper right corner skinned on verso, other minor flaws, backed with thin japan, generally very intact. 253 x 310mm.

This very curious scene is loaded with obscure symbolism: plucked chickens fly off the table, two broken eggs fall – is this at the behest of the cleric with a type of wand, echoing the miracle Moses is performing by drawing water with a wand in the painting above the table?-- while the other cleric applies a knife to an unidentifiable object and four, not three Fates spin in the background. Even the dog and cat look untrustworthy. It may be a critique of the want of chastity among the religious orders, three of which are here represented, but the allegory seems to go well beyond this.
Nagler ascribes this print to Herman Coblent, but Hollstein listed the print both under this name and under Hans Collaert the Elder.
Excessively rare.