Uylenspiegel

Hendrik HONDIUS
Date
1644
Description

Hendrik Hondius I (1573-1649) after Lucas van Leyden (1494-1533): etching and engraving, 1644, 171 x 142 mm., New Hollstein (Hondius) 35, New Hollstein (Leyden) 159 copy c; ex collections: Veste Coburg (Lugt 451a); Ferdinand of Coburg (?) (Lugt 961), or an older and yet unidentified mark. Fine impression on a brownish laid paper, trimmed to just outside the borderline, the image complete, but lacking the text; stain upper right. While the original Lucas print is a great rarity, the Hondius copy is also quite scarce. Uylenspiegel (or Til Eulenspiegel, both, literally, owl-glass or owl-mirror) is a character from medieval German folklore, a wanderer and prankster who plays practical jokes that expose vice, greed, hypocrisy and ignorance. But Lucas has given him not only the profession of bagpiper, but also a huge family of children. His identity, though, is maintained by the owl riding on the shoulder of the first boy. The print carries the date 1520 plus Lucas's initial, a reminder of the image's origin.

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