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Wednesday 26 July 2017

Jan Sadeler I’s engraving, “Children of Venus (Friday)”, 1585

Jan Sadeler I (aka Johannes Sadeler; Johann Sadeler) (1550–1600)
“Children of Venus (Friday)” (TIB title), 1585, after a lost drawing by Maarten de Vos (1532–1603), from the series of eight plates, “Planetarum effectus et eorum in signis zodiaci” (Effect of the planets and zodiac signs) (aka “The Seven Planets”), engraved and published by Jan Sadeler I.

Engraving on fine laid paper trimmed close to the image borderline.
(sheet) 21.3 x 24.3 cm
Titled in top centre on the rainbow: "VENVS"; above, to the left: Libra and the zodiac symbol for Libra; to the right: Taurus and the zodiac symbol for Taurus.
Lettered within the image borderline: (lower left) “Ioan. Sadler scalp. et excud."; (lower right) “M. de Vos figura."

TIB 2003 70 Part 3 (Supplement) 7001.482 (pp. 79–80); Nagler 1835–52, no. 167; Le Blanc, no. 173; Wurzbach, no. 140; Hollstein 1980, vo. 21, no. 522; Edquist, p. 96, no. 112b; Hollstein 1995–96, vol. 44, no. 1385.

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Venus accompanied by Cupid riding in a chariot drawn by two doves on the clouds in the sky, an extensive landscape with figures enjoying outdoor pursuits below; zodiac signs of Libra and Taurus in ovals in top corners; … after Maarten de Vos.” (

Condition: crisp and well-printed impression trimmed to thread margins around the image borderline. The sheet is in excellent condition apart from a small closed tear at the middle of the lower edge.
I am selling this rare and beautiful engraving for AU$332 (currently US$262.66/EUR225.56/GBP201.26 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this important print—please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

This stunning engraving featuring a sweeping panorama beneath a scene of Venus and cupid being drawn by chariot across the sky by two turtledoves is the first of six prints from Sadeler’s famous series, “Effect of the planets and zodiac signs” that I will be listing over the next week.

From my standpoint, this print exemplifies the highly disciplined skills possessed by master engravers during the Renaissance period. Note, for instance, how Sadeler has carefully adjusted the tones of the townscape so that darkly shadowed buildings help to accentuate lighter toned buildings in front. See also the way that Sadeler creates a transition from strokes that curve with the contours of the featured subject matter in the foreground to a schematic mix of horizontal and vertical strokes rendering the buildings in the far distance.

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