Otto van Veen

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Otto van Veen
Virtutem Minerva perficit
Brush and off-white 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; incised with the stylus.
7 1/8 x 5 3/4 inches (182 x 146 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1909.
Van Veen Album, folio 9

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, "Virtútem Minerva perficit (title) / Fortes creantur fortibus et bonis / Est in juvencis, est in quis patrum / Patrúm [crossed out] virtus: nec inbellem feroces / Progenerant aquilae columbam / Doctrina sed vim promovet insitam / Rectique cultus pectora roborant / útcúmque defecere mores. / Dedecorant bene nata cúlpae" ('Tis only from the sturdy and the good that sturdy youths are born; in steers, in steeds, appear the merits of their sires; nor do fierce eagles beget timid doves. Yet training increases inborn worth, and righteous ways make strong the heart; whenever righteousness has failed, faults mar even what nature has made noble). The text is from Horace, "Odes", Book IV, 4, lines 29-36. In the title opposite the illustration in the 1607 edition, the word "Naturam" is used instead of "Virtutem" inscribed here on the album page.

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.

Stampfle, Felice, with the assistance of Ruth S. Kraemer and Jane Shoaf Turner. Netherlandish Drawings of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries and Flemish Drawings of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries in the Pierpont Morgan Library. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1991, p. 71, no. 121.

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