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Hoefnagel image

Jacob Hoefnagel (1575–ca. 1630)
Orpheus Charming the Animals
Watercolor and gouache, heightened with white gouache, over traces of black chalk, on vellum mounted on panel, bordered in gold
Signed and dated at lower left in gold, Ja: Houfnagl / 1613.
6 9/16 x 8 1/4 inches (166 x 210 mm)
Purchased on the Sunny Crawford von Bülow Fund 1978; 1998.22
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Court painter to Rudolf II in Prague from 1602 to 1613, Hoefnagel specialized in small format mythological scenes on vellum or copper. This drawing is such a work, and its date and exquisite finish suggest that it may have been a courtly commission. The subject was popular in northern European art in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, reflecting the vogue for encyclopedic representations of nature.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.