21
21
Jan Wierix
PORTRAIT OF PHILIPS VAN MARNIX
Estimate
6,0008,000
LOT SOLD. 35,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
21
Jan Wierix
PORTRAIT OF PHILIPS VAN MARNIX
Estimate
6,0008,000
LOT SOLD. 35,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Master & British Drawings

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London

Jan Wierix
ANTWERP CIRCA 1549 - AFTER 1615
PORTRAIT OF PHILIPS VAN MARNIX
Pen and brown ink, on vellum;
signed with initials, bottom centre: IH.W. F and inscribed and dated in cartouche, top right: REPOS / AILLEURS / 15.81
135 by 98 mm
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Provenance

John Kemeys-Tynte, 9th Baron Wharton (1908-1969)

Catalogue Note

Philips van Marnix (1540-1598), lord of St. Aldegonde, was a statesman, poet and theologian who was one of the most important leaders in the first decades of the Dutch revolt against the Spaniards.  This drawing would appear to be the study for an engraved portrait, executed by Wierix in 1581, which corresponds closely to the drawing, apart from the addition of a Latin text in a cartouche at the bottom (for which Wierix has left space in this drawing).  

Despite his historical importance, only a very few images of Marnix are known, the earliest of which is a woodcut by Antoon van Leest, depicting Marnix at the Diet of Worms in 1578, where he delivered the famous Oration to the German Emperor and Princes, in which the Netherlands pleaded for help in their struggle against Spanish oppression.  The British Museum has a medal, dated 1580, which is very similar to Wierix's print, and in the year of Marnix's death Jacques de Gheyn made a fine portrait drawing of him, now in the Amsterdam Museum, in preparation for an engraving published in the year after the sitter's death.1

Marnix's political legacy is undoubtedly overshadowed by his varied intellectual achievements, which included translating the Bible, working as a brilliant cryptographer, and writing various poems, including the words to the Dutch national anthem, Wilhelmus van Nassouwe.

1.  I.Q. van Regteren Altena, Jacques de Gheyn, Three Generations, The Hague/Boston/London 1983, vol. II, pp. 113-4, no. 694, vol. III, p. 45, pl. 20   

Old Master & British Drawings

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London