Otto van Veen

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Otto van Veen
Vera philosophia mortis est meditatio
Brush and gray and light brown 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; incised with the stylus.
7 1/8 x 5 3/4 inches (180 x 145 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1909.
Van Veen Album, folio 79

Inscribed on the album page below the design, in brown ink, "Vera philosophia mortis est meditatio (title) / Inter spem cúramqúe, timorem inter et iras, / Omnem crede diem tibi illúxisse súpremum / Grata superveniet, qúae non sperabitur Hora" (Amid hopes and cares, amid fears and passions, believe that every day that has dawned is your last. Welcome will come to you another hour unhoped for). The text is from Horace, "Epistles", Book I, 4, lines 12-14.

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. 92, no. 191.


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).

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