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Tuesday 2 August 2022

Jan Saenredam’s engraving, “Mars Presiding over War”, 1596, after Goltzius

Jan Saenredam (c1565–1607)

“Mars Presiding over War” (TIB title) (aka “Mars” [Rijksmuseum title]; “Mars, à la guerre” [Bartsch title]), 1596, plate 3 from the series of seven engravings, “Gods of the Seven Planets”, after the design by Hendrik Goltzius (aka Hendrick Goltzius) (1558–1617) and with two lines of Latin text by Cornelis Schonaeus (aka Cornelius Schonæus) (1541–1611): (transl.) “It is seen in doubt how great the potential of war is, Through me death is trifling, through me joyous victory.”

Engraving on laid paper trimmed slightly within the platemark with replenished losses of the two upper corners and backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 25 x 17.8 cm; (image borderline) 23.8 x 17.6 cm.

Numbered in plate within the image borderline: (lower-left corner) “3”.

Lettered in plate below the image borderline: (centre) “Cernitur in dubio mea magua potential bello,/ Per me mors trisfis, per me victoria læta.”

State ii with the addition of the number (“3”) at lower left.

TIB 4 (3).75 (245) (Walter L Strauss [ed.] 1980, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Netherlandish Artists”, vol. 4, New York, Abaris Books, p. 391, cat. no. 75 (245); Hollstein Dutch 52.II (George Shepard Keyes [comp.] 1980, “Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts ca. 1450–1700: Jan Saenredam to Roelandt Savery”, vol. 23, Amsterdam, Van Gendt & Co, p. 42, cat. no. 52).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:

“Plate 3: Mars presiding over the arts of war. A statue of Mars seen from behind, surrounded by soldiers and cavalry, a drummer seen from behind and stooping in foreground; zodiacal signs (Aries and Scorpio) in top corners; second state with number; after Hendrik Goltzius. 1596 Engraving” ( ).

See also the description of this print offered by the Rijksmuseum:

Condition: a well-printed early impression (based on the quality of line showing no sign of wear to the printing plate), trimmed slightly within the platemark and laid upon an archival support sheet of millennium quality washi paper. The two upper corners have been replenished, otherwise the sheet is in a good condition with no significant stains or foxing.

I am selling this masterpiece of engraving exemplifying the period style of Mannerism, for the total cost of AU$438 (currently US$303.54/EUR296.74/GBP248.90 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 engraving executed with exceptional sensitivity by one of the most famous of the old master printmakers, 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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