Allegory of the Death of the Brothers de Witt
etching, circa1672-76, on laid paper, watermark Three Circles under Coronet (similar to Haewood 259-62), a very fine impression of this rare print
Plate 333 x 252 mm.
Sheet 433 x 310 mm.
Sotheby's, London, 9 December 1982, lot 750 (£ 71).
Eric G. Stanley (1923-2018), Oxford; acquired at the above sale (through Artemis Fine Arts, London).
Muller 2423
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Lot Essay

This allegory on the death of the brothers Johan and Cornelis de Witt, Dutch statesmen who were lynched in The Hague in 1672, has all the traditional, allegorical elements and symbols of the transience of time and of death: Father Time with scythe and hourglass, contemplating a skull, and a large pendulum. What is remarkable are the portrait engravings of the two brothers - prints within the print - and the depiction of various books, including a copy of Joost van den Vondel's play Palamedesof 1625 (itself a political allegory) and Plutarch's Lives of the noble Greeks and Romans.
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