Otto van Veen

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Otto van Veen
Incipiendum aliquando
Brush and light brown and gray oil, and pen and brown ink; on a paper prepared with a light brown ground of lead white tinted with yellow-brown ochre and a little red in oil medium.
7 x 5 7/8 inches (178 x 150 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1909.
Van Veen Album, folio 14

Watermark: since the drawings are laid down, no watermarks, if any, are visible, even with fiber-optic light.
Engraved in reverse, 1607.
Also see records on Van Veen Album (III, 146-157).


Inscribed on the album page below the design, in brown ink, "Incipiendúm aliquando (title) / Dimidiúm facti qúi coepit habet; sapere aúde. / Incipe, vivendi rectè qúi progorat horam / Rustìcús expectat, dúm defluat amnis, at ille / Labitúr et labetur in omne volúbilis aevúm" (Well begun is half done; dare to be wise; begin! He who puts off the hour of right living is like the bumpkin waiting for the river to run out; yet it glides, and on it will glide, rolling its flood forever). The text is from Horace, "Epistles", Book I, 2, lines 40-43.

Charles Fairfax Murray (1849-1919), London and Florence; from whom purchased through Galerie Alexandre Imbert, Rome, in 1909 by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913), New York (no mark; see Lugt 1509); his son, J. P. Morgan, Jr. (1867-1943), New York.

Netherlandish drawings of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and Flemish drawings of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in the Pierpont Morgan Library / Felice Stampfle ; with the assistance of Ruth S. Kraemer and Jane Shoaf Turner. New York : The Library, 1991, p. 72, no. 126.

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