Maerten de Vos (Antwerp 1532-1603)
Maerten de Vos (Antwerp 1532-1603)
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Maerten de Vos (Antwerp 1532-1603)

The Colossus of Rhodes

Maerten de Vos (Antwerp 1532-1603)
The Colossus of Rhodes
with inscription in ink '216: martin de voss' (verso)
black chalk, pen and brown ink, brown wash, heightened with white, indistinct watermark
11 3/4 x 17 1/4 in. (30.6 x 20.6 cm)
Alleyne Fitzherbert, Lord Saint Helens (1753-1839) (L. 2372).
Lodewijk Arnold Houthakker (1926-2008), Amsterdam (L. 3893).
with David Tunkl Fine Arts, 1991, Zurich.
P. Fuhring, Design into Art: Drawings for Architecture and Ornament: The Lodewijk Houthakker Collection, London, 1989, II, no. 1096, ill.
published by Gerard de Jode (Fig.)
Sale room notice
Please note: Without direct knowledge of the drawing, the design of the related print published by Gerard de Jode has been attributed to Jan Snellinck by Christiaan Schuckman, quoted in Marjolein Leesberg, The New Hollstein. Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts, 1450-1700. The De Jode Dynasty. Part II. Gerard de Jode, Ouderkerk aan den IJssel, 2018, p. 319, under no. 623.

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Lot Essay

The monumental statue of the sun-god Helios was erected in Rhodes in 280 B.C. to celebrate the island's victory over the ruler of Cyprus. Of mythical status as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the monument with a mirror on his chest, holding a spear and a sword and standing astride Rhode’s harbor entrance, is set by de Vos in what looks closer to a North European location than a Mediterranean one, with a ship sailing through its legs. This large, highly finished drawing is preparatory for the print published in Antwerp by Gerard de Jode (1509-1591) (Fig.): the outlines of the design were incised with a stylus to transfer it to the copperplate, which follows the drawing almost exactly, only lacking the Sun above the figure’s head. As argued by Ilja Veldman, in this representation of the Colossus de Vos was possibly inspired by an illustration of the same statue published by André Thevet in his Cosmographie de Levant, published in 1556, a date that constitutes a terminus post quem for the present drawing and the related print.

Fig. Anonymous engraver after Maerten de Vos, Colossus solis, The British Museum, London.

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