Gallery of prints for sale

Tuesday 15 November 2022

Jan Sadeler I’s engraving, “Majesty”, 1579, after Maarten de Vos

Jan Sadeler I (aka Johann Sadeler; Johannes Sadeler) (1550–1600)

“Majesty” (aka “Maiestas”), 1579, plate 1 in a series of nine plates, “Virtues Victorious over Vices” (TIB 7001.495–.503; Hollstein 1182–1190), after a drawing by Maarten de Vos (aka Maarten de Vos; Maerten de Vos) (1532–1603) in the Louvre, Paris (inv. 21.238b), published in Venice by Jan Sadeler and later used illustrate Giovanni Palazzi’s (1646–1703) “Aquila Romana”. This impression is from the Palazzi edition showing letterpress text verso to page 309.

Engraving on laid paper with small margins and letterpress text verso as published, backed with a support sheet.

Size: (support sheet) 28 x 21.1 cm; (sheet) 16.3 x 10.7 cm; (image borderline) 13.1 x 9.3 cm.

Lettered in plate within the image borderline: (in cartouche) “MAIESTAS”; (above lion head) “FORTITVDO”; (lower left corner) “MORS INNOCENTIS”; (lower centre) “I”; (lower right) “TIRANNIS.”

Lettered in plate below the image borderline: (left) “Aurea …/ … Tÿrannos.”; (right) Sadeler. Fe./ et excud”.

State i (of ii) before the erasure of the plate number of the second state.

TIB 7001.495 SI (Isabelle de Ramaix 2003, “The Illustrated Bartsch”, vol. 70, Part 3 [Supplement], New York, Abaris Books, p. 96, cat. no. [7001].495 SI); Hollstein 536 (Sadeler; vol. 21); Hollstein 1182 (Vos; vol. 44); Nagler 161; Wurzbach 131; Reinsch 99.5.

The Rijksmuseum offers the following description of this print: (transl.) “The personification Dignity (Majestas), with crown and sceptre, sits on a globe. An eagle flies above her head. Next to her is the personification of Strength (Fortitudo), a lion with a raised sword. Dignity tramples on the personification of Tyranny (Tirannis), a man in armour with two dead children (Mors Innocentii) next to him.” (

Condition: a well-printed impression in an excellent condition for its age with no tears, holes, folds, significant stains or foxing and laid onto a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper providing larger margins.

I am selling this sensitively executed engraving—a first state impression—by one of the most famous of the Flemish old masters, for AU$387 (currently US$261.95/EUR252.44/GBP220.66 at the time of posting this print) 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 small allegorical engraving showing the personification of Majesty overwhelming the personification of Tyranny shown under her feet—note the allusion to the killing of the innocents symbolised by the dead children lying next to Tyranny—please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

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