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Jan van Orley

(1665–1735, Brussels)

The Flaying of Marsyas. Etching. 16.5 x 20 cm. Wurzbach 1, Hollstein 4.

Jan van Orley, a painter and draughtsman from Brussels, produced just four etchings, all of which are very rare. The present etching arose after one of the artist’s own inventions, as is indicated by the inscription “j.v. orley inv et fecit”. Strikingly illuminated in a highly dramatic scene, Apollo carries out the cruel punishment of Marsyas, whose helpless twists and turns are reflected in the direction of growth taken by the tree to which he is lashed. A very fine, sharp impression with even narrow margins around the distinct platemark.

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