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Thursday 30 July 2020

Hieronymus Wierix’s engraving, “Invidia,” 1563–before 1612, after Philips Galle

Hieronymus Wierix (aka Jerome Wierix; Hieronymus Wierx) (1553–1619)

“Invidia” (Envy) (aka "L'Envie"), 1563–before 1612, plate four from the series of eight plates (including the title plate), “The Seven Vices” (aka “VII Peccatorum Capitalium”; “Les Péchés Capiteaux” [The Capital Sins]), after the design by Philips Galle (aka Philippe Galle; Philippus Gallaeus) (1537–1612) and published by Philips Galle in Antwerp in the first edition (this impression is from the first edition) and published later in a second edition by Philips’ son, Theodoor Galle (aka Theodor Galle; Dirck Galle) (1571–1633).

Note that the Latin text (“Vita cranium, Sanitas cordis: putredo ossium Invidia”) is proverb 14:30 from “Biblia Sacra Vulgata”: (transl.) “The life of the mind; rottenness of envy.”

Engraving on fine laid paper with a small margin around the plate mark.
Size: (sheet) 20.3 x 14.7 cm; (plate) 18.9 x 13.5 cm; (image borderline above text box) 16.2 x 13 cm.
Lettered on plate within the image borderline: (upper centre) “INVIDIA.”; (along lower edge of oval frame) "Phls Galle invent. et excud. Hireon. Wierx sculp."
Lettered and numbered on plate below the image borderline: “Vita cranium, Sanitas cordis: putredo ossium Invidia./ Proverb. 14./ 4”.
State i (of ii?) 

Mauquoy-Hendrickx 1376 (Marie Mauquoy-Hendrickx 1978, “Les Estampes des Wierix ... Catalogue Raisonné [Part II], Brussels, Bibliotheque Royale Albert, p. 246, cat. no. 1376, ill. p. 181); New Hollstein (Wierix) 1762 (Zsuzsanna van Ruyven-Zeman [comp.] 2004, “Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts ca. 1450–1700: The Wierix family: part VIII”, vol. 66, Rotterdam, Sound and Vision Rijksprentenkabinet, p. 99, cat. no. 1762); Alvin 1300 (I) (L Alvin 1866, “Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre des trois frères Jan, Jérome et Antoine Wierix”, Brussels).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Plate 4: Envy. Bust of an old woman eating an apple and with snakes around her neck, in an oval; four putti in each corner, three eating apples; after Philips Galle. Engraving”

See also the description offered by the Rijksmuseum proposing that the personification of Envy (the old lady) is eating a heart rather than an apple:
(Transl.) “Bust of the female personification of Envy (Invidia). She bites a heart and holds a snake in her hand. The image is set in a cartouche surrounded by putti. In the margin, a Bible quote from Spr. 14 in Latin”

Condition: superb/near faultless, lifetime impression with a small margin around the platemark. The lower right corner is thin (if the print is lifted to the light) otherwise the sheet is in excellent/museum quality condition for its considerable age (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, stains, foxing or significant signs of handling).

I am selling this remarkably fine lifetime impression from the first edition, for AU$322 (currently US$229.74/EUR195.60/GBP176.93 at the time of posting this print) including 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 superb and very rare engraving, 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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