The Country Wedding (Nos. 1-4)
Hans Sebald Beham (1500-1550). The first four engravings from the set of twelve, 1537, 49 x 35 mm., Bartsch 166-169; Pauli 155-158, ex collection: Dr. Herweg (not in Lugt). Fine impressions on laid paper, mostly with thread margins, in places trimmed on or just inside the plate mark. The group includes Two Musicians (playing bagpipe and shawm), Couple Dancing to the Left, Couple Walking to the Left and Couple Dancing Back to Back. Beham’s peasant scenes were as much a part of the cultural and social legacy of Germany in the 16th century as any portrait of a reigning prince or documentation of an architectural monument. They were collected avidly by intellectuals of the time as well as by the peasants themselves, at least the wealthier ones, and they evoke for us today something of the life of 500 years ago. Beham worked in Nuremberg and was a student of and, for a time, principal assistant to Albrecht Dürer, whose incredible engraving technique he almost matched. In engraving, he worked always on a small scale and he, together with his brother Bartel, Georg Pencz, the Master IB, Albrecht Altdorfer and Heinrich Aldegrever, who usually worked similarly, make up the primary group of what has come to be called the Little Masters. We have other works by the Behams and other Little Masters; please inquire by email.