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Maerten van Heemskerk (1498-1574)
Maerten van Heemskerk (1498-1574)

The Stoning of the Elders, from the Story of Susanna

Details
Maerten van Heemskerk (1498-1574)
The Stoning of the Elders, from the Story of Susanna
dated '1562'
black chalk, pen and brown ink, the outlines incised, traces of printers ink verso
192 x 252 mm.

Lot Essay

Engraved in 1563, one of six plates illustrating The story of Susanna, published first by Hieronymus Cock and secondly by Carel Collaert (Holl. 219-24). The engraving bears the inscription 'EODEM SVPPLICIO QVOD IN INSONTEM INTENDERANT AFFICIVNTVR' and is the fifth in the series. The drawing for plate 3, Daniel intervening on behalf of Susanna, from Chatsworth, was sold in these Rooms, 3 July 1984, lot 51, and that for plate 2, The Elders accusing Susanna of Adultery, remains at Chatsworth (inv. 667). The plates have sometimes been attributed to Philips Galle. Heemskerk had produced another series of four vertical compositions on the story of Susanna twelve years earlier, which were engraved by Dirk Volkertsz. Coornhert (Holl. 215-8).
The elders, who had spied on the Susanna as she bathed, threatened her with false accusations should she rebuff their advances. She refused, and was tried and sentenced to death. It was only the last minute intervention of the young Daniel, who proved her innocence by clever cross-examination, that saved her and resulted in the stoning of the unjust elders seen here.
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