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Jacob Matham (Haarlem 1571-1631 Haarlem)

Trou moet Blycken

35.8 x 23.4 cm
signed and dated ‘HGoltzius Inventor./ JMatham sculptor’ (in cartcouche) and inscribed ‘Getrouheyt […] wel.’ and Gaf […]was’ in cartouche and decorative border
The New Hollstein 56[1] , second and final state, a very good impression, trimmed just inside the platemark, laid down on a 17th century backing sheet, some discolouration to the paper, but otherwise in good condition

This rare engraving depicts the blazon of the Haarlem chamber of rhetoric ‘Trou moet Blycken’, also known as the Pellicanists. These chambers, which flourished in the 15th and 16th centuries in the Low Countries, brought together men who shared dramatic and lyric interests. Their members engaged in competitive contests and organised lotteries and Hendrick Goltzius is known to have designed stage props and costumes for one organised by the Pellicanists in 1596.
The design for the present print was also supplied by Goltzius. He also produced the design for the painted blazon of the Pellicanists executed in 1606 by his pupil Frans Pieter de Grebber which remains with the Pellicanists to this day. While the compositions of both works differ, the iconography is closely related. They show different stories concerning different forms of suffering, loyalty and self-sacrifice; both depict Christ crucified at the centre of the composition, a pelican nourishing its chicks by picking its chest below and the story of Aeneas carrying his father Anchises in the background.

[1] L. Widerkehr, 'The New Hollstein, Dutch & Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts. 1450-1700, Jacob Matham, Part I', Ouderkerk aan den IJssel, 2007.

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