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Thursday 8 February 2024

Jacob Matham’s engraving, "Hope", 1593, after Goltzius

Jacob Matham (1571–1631)

"Hope" (aka “L’Espérence”; “Hoop”; “Spes”), 1593, plate 2 from the series of seven engravings, “The Virtues and the Seven Deadly Sins” (aka “The Virtues [in niche]”), after artist’s teacher and stepfather, Hendrik Goltzius (aka Hendrick Goltzius) (1558–1617).

Engraving on laid paper with a narrow margin around the image borderline and an ink inscription by an old hand in French verso.

Size: (sheet) 32.6 x 17 cm; (image borderline) 32.3 x 16.6 cm.

Numbered and lettered in plate: (within the image borderline at left) “2”; (within the image borderline at right) “[ligature monogram of Hendrik Goltzius] HG Inue.”; (below the image borderline in two lines of Latin verse) “Spes humiles luiquit, terras, ect nubile tranat,/ In [que] Deum rapitur, cęli[que] per atria sertur.// F. E.” (Franco Estius [fl.1580s–1594]—the author of the Latin verse).

Inscribed in ink verso by an old hand in French (with many possible errors in the reading): “

“L'esperence soutient les humbles,

eclaire leur esprit et dissipe tous

les tenebres qui se rependent sur

Lesprit les superbes.”

(Hope sustains the humble,

enlighten their minds and dispel all

the darkness that spreads over

The spirit is superb.)

TIB 4 (3).126 (164) (Walter L Strauss 1980, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Netherlandish Artists”, vol. 4, New York, Abaris Books, p. 115, cat. no. 126 [164]); New Hollstein (Dutch & Flemish) 146; Hollstein 264.

See also the descriptions of this print offer by the British Museum and the Rijksmuseum:;

The curator of the BM also gives the following information about the series:

“This is one from a series of seven numbered plates by Jacob Matham (New Hollstein 150-156) after Goltzius …. The set was first published by Goltzius in Haarlem; then by Claes Jansz Visscher in Amsterdam (before 1652); and finally by Jochem Ottens. Seven preparatory drawings by Goltzius are in the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, inv.nos.Dr.975.2-8 (Reznicek 89-95) ( 

Condition: a well-printed impression trimmed with a narrow margin around the image borderline. The verso has an ink inscription from a previous collector, otherwise the sheet is in a very good condition for its considerable age with no tears, holes or significant stains.

I am selling this marvellous impression of an important and very beautiful engraving, for the total cost of AU$390 (currently US$253.31/EUR235.07/GBP200.74 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this masterwork of engraving showing the female personification of hope holding the anchor of trust/faith sustaining hope (forgive me if my understanding of the symbolism is incorrect), 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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