The Personification of the Element Earth

16th century

Kortrijk 1565/1567 – 1603 Amsterdam

From the series ‘The Four Elements’

Etching. c. 13,3 cm (circular)
Two lines of Dutch verse outside the borderline, and with the number 4 below in the image.

Provenance: Friedrich August II (Lugt 971, recto)
Literature: Hollstein 4 II (II); TIB 5314.004

An exquisite impression, well-inked and evenly printed, trimmed to the platemark, in a very fresh and original state of conservation.

An extraordinarily rare print.

Previously, the whole series was attributed to Willem Buytewech (Haverkamp-Begeman 1959, 1962) but nowadays generally accepted as by Jacob Savery. Hollstein lists only one complete series (Hamburger Kunsthalle / second state) in addition to three single impressions in the Rijksmuseum (Holl. 1-3). No other impressions are known to exist in public collections.

The first state after the proof (before the numbering and text) as recorded by Hollstein based on a manuscript by J. Ph. van der Kellen, but which is only documented for a single sheet of the third plate of the element “Air” (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam). Before the address of Claes Jansz. Visscher as seen in later impressions within the series, but not known to exist for this plate.

5 1/4 x 5 1/4 inches