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german school
ca. 1620


Two Mismatched Couples. Two etchings. 12 x 13.8 cm. Undescribed.

The two anonymous etchings reproduce two engravings after Jacques de Gheyn II in reverse and on an almost identical scale (The New Hollstein, The De Gheyn Family, part I, 157–158). These two engravings, which were probably published around 1610 and served as the model for our etchings, may have been the work of Andries Jacobsz. Stock (ca. 1580 Antwerp – ca. 1648 The Hague). Their theme is that of the mismatched couple, which was popular in early 17th century Dutch art and is shown here in two variants. In the first a young woman is courted by an old man with a beard, while in the second an old woman woos a young man. The Dutch verses scathingly mock the foolishness of the two old people for thinking that money can buy them love. In comparison to the Dutch model our version exhibits a coarser and more primitive style of draughtsmanship, although both prints radiate great expressiveness with an almost folkloristic touch. The inscription has been replaced by a new German text. Our etchings, which date to around 1620 and hence were produced not long after the originals, illustrate the popularity beyond the Netherlands of this genre of moralizing prints and the way in which German artists and publishers sought to follow this trend.

Very fine impressions printed with burr and with narrow margins around the borderline and the platemark respectively. In excellent condition.