Otto van Veen

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Otto van Veen
Mediis tranquillus in undis
Brush and off-white opaque watercolor, 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 3/16 x 5 3/4 inches (183 x 147 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1909.
Van Veen Album, folio 32

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 within the design at lower center, in brown ink, "Justus non timebit" (The just man is unafraid). On the album page, below the design, in another hand, in brown ink, "Mediis tranqúillus in úndis (title) / Jústúm et tenacem propositi virum / Non civiúm ardor prava júbentiúm / Non vúltus instantis tyranni / Mente qúatit solidâ, neqúe aúster./ Dux inqúieti turbidús Hadriae / Nec fúlminantis magna jovis manús. / Si fractus illabatur orbis / inpavidum ferient rúinae" (The man tenacious of his purpose in a righteous cause is not shaken from his firm resolve by the frenzy of his fellow citizens bidding what is wrong, not by the face of threatening tyrant, not by Auster, stormy master of the restless Adriatic, not by the mighty hand of thundering Jove. Were the vault of heaven to break and fall upon him, its ruins would smite him undismayed). The text is from Horace, "Odes", Book III, 3, lines 1-8.

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. 77, no. 144.

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