Lot 21
  • 21

Maerten de Vos Antwerp 1532 - 1603

3,500 - 4,500 GBP
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  • Maerten de Vos
  • esdras and the angel on mount sion
  • signed and dated, lower left: M.D.VOS.F./1582
  • pen and brown ink and wash over indications in black chalk, indented for transfer


Sale, London, Sotheby's, 6 July 1992, lot 73 (purchased by the present owners)

Catalogue Note

This is the design, in reverse, for the first plate in a series of four depicting episodes from the Apocryphal Second Book of Esdras, engraved by an anonymous engraver and published by Gerard de Jode in his Thesaurus of 1585.  In this obscure text (chapter 2, verses 42-47), we read how Esdras saw upon Mount Sion a crowd singing praises to God, amongst whom was a man, taller than the rest, who was crowning each of them and presenting them with palms.  Asking an angel who these people were, Esdras was told they were those who had 'put off the mortal clothing, and put on the immortal', and that the central figure was the Son of God.

Dr Carl Depauw has kindly informed us that studies by De Vos for other prints in the same series are in the Koninklijke Musea voor Schone Kunsten, Brussels, and in the Museo Civico, Pavia.