Otto van Veen

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Otto van Veen
Improvisa Lethi vis
Brush and gray and light brown oil, and pen and brown ink; on a paper prepared with a 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 6 inches (181 x 152 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1909.
Van Veen Album, folio 97

Inscribed on the album page below the design, in brown ink, "Improvisa lethi vis (title) / Frústrà crúento marte carebimús / Fractisque raúci flúctibus Adriae / Frústrà per aútúmnos nocentem/ Corporibús metúemús Austrum" (In vain shall we escape from bloody Mars and from the breakers of the roaring Atlantic; in vain through autumn tide shall we fear the southwind that brings our bodies harm). The title is from Horace, "Odes", Book II, 13, lines 19-20. The text is from "Odes", Book II, 14, lines 13-16.

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. 97, no. 209.


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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