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    Sale 5432

    Old Master & British Pictures

    29 October 2008, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 31

    After Lucas van Leyden

    The Poet Virgil suspended in a basket

    Price Realised  


    After Lucas van Leyden
    The Poet Virgil suspended in a basket
    oil on copper
    10¾ x 8½ in. (27.4 x 21.6 cm.)

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    After the engraving by van Leyden of 1525, of which there are examples in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Hermitage, St. Petersburg.

    Van Leyden produced two series of woodcuts and several engravings on this theme, in which Virgil was left by the Roman Emperor's daughter to dangle in a basket and be mocked by passers-by, rather than carried to her room for a tryst, as he had expected. In this depiction of a woman's ability to make a fool of even the wisest of men, the artist places the suspended poet in the background, inviting the viewer to join the characters in the foreground as they discuss the event.

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    The Hague, Gemeemtemuseum, Oude Kunst uit Haagsch Bezit, December 1936 to February 1937.