The present composition represents Spring – a girl and a boy study a bird’s nest containing chicks, with a kid goat and a young deer beside them.
This work is a copy after a design that was copied by several printmakers. The original composition was devised by one of the most inventive proponents of Northern Mannerism, the Dutch artist Hendrik Goltzius, in a set of four prints depicting the Seasons, published in 1601. Jan Saenredam reproduced his own versions in the same year,1 before Claes Jansz Visscher published his own set before 1652, and Theodoor Danckerts, Wilhelmus Koning and Isack Greve all produced replica prints in the first few decades of the 18th century.
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