Gallery of prints for sale

Sunday 18 October 2020

Pieter van der Heyden’s engraving, “Representations of the Four Elements: Water”, 1566

Pieter van der Heyden (aka Pieter Verheijden; Pieter Verheyden; Petrus Ameringius; Petrus á Merica; Pietro Martini; Petrus Mericinus; Petrus Miricenys; Petrus Miricinus; Petrus Miriginus; Petrus Myricenis) (c1525–c1584)

“Representations of the Four Elements: Water” (aka “Voorstellingen van de vier elementen: water”), 1566, after Jacob Floris the Elder (1524–1581) from the series of 16 engravings (including the title plate), “Compartimentorum Quod vocant Multiplex Genus Lepidissimis Historiolis Poetarumque Fabellis Ornatum” ([Google Transl.] “What are the fables of poets call the authors give the family the most pleasant of a little history of their ornament compartments”), published by Hieronymus Cock (c1510–1570) in Antwerp in 1570.

Engraving on fine laid paper trimmed to the image borderline and backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 6.5 x 10 cm.

Lifetime/early impression (based on the engraving showing no sign of wear to the printing plate).

Orn Cat I 81.5 (Irene Margaretha de Groot 1988, “Ornamentprenten in het Rijksprentenkabinet”, Den Haag, Rijksprentenkabinet, Rijksmuseum Staatsuitgeverij).

See also Peter Fuhring (1989), “Ornament Prints in Amsterdam”, Print Quarterly 6, p. 328.

The Rijksmuseum offers a description of this print:

Condition: faultless impression showing no sign of wear to the printing plate, trimmed along the image borderline and laid upon an archival support sheet of millennium quality washi paper. The sheet is in pristine condition for its considerable age (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, stains, foxing or signs of use).

I am selling this SMALL but important masterwork of early engraving commissioned by the great, Hieronymus Cock, as a part of a pattern book of ornament designs showing use of elaborate frames of strapwork, grotesques and putti surrounding allegorical scenes—here, Aquarius (the water bearer) pouring an endless supply of water from his urn—for the total cost of AU$291 (currently US$206/EUR175.66/GBP159.59 at the time of this listing) including Express Mail (EMS) postage and handling to anywhere in the world, but not (of course) any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries.

If you are interested in purchasing this interesting example of how designers of the 16th century maintained design harmony, despite a clear joy in creative inventiveness—note how this design is crafted within the convention of colour codes so that dots in the strapwork would be read as gold—please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

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