Otto van Veen

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Otto van Veen
Album of Drawings (103) Preparatory for the Engraved Illustrations of Quinti Horatii Flacci Emblemata, Antwerp, 1607
Brush and oil, with opaque watercolor; on paper prepared with a light brown ground of lead white tinted with yellow-brown ochre and a little red in oil medium; typically outlines, and occasionally some hatching, in pen and brown ink (sometimes executed before the brushwork in oil, sometimes after it) and additional applications in brown and gray gouache; the figures and the setting of the drawings are most often worked up in pale gray oil, sometimes more nearly a cream color; except folios 36 and 103 that are in pen and brown ink with wash on unprepared paper; 38 of the 103 drawings were incised with the stylus.
Leaves: 14 1/4 x 9 1/4 inches (363 x 235 mm); binding: 14 5/8 x 9 3/4 inches (370 x 248 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1909.
Van Veen Album (III, 146-157)

Watermark of album leaves: fleur-de-lis with IV below (Heawood 1713: ca. 1724-26). Since the drawings are laid down, no watermarks, if any, are visible, even with fiber-optic light.
With one exception, (folio 75) all of the drawings in the album were engraved, in reverse, in Van Veen's "Quinti Horatii Flacci Emblemata", Antwerp, 1607.
Each drawing (except folio 75) is accompanied by a quotation of an ethical and moralizing nature selected by Van Veen from the works of Horace, but augmented by citations from a number of other classical authors, chiefly Cicero and Seneca, and the Flemish humanist poet and painter Dominicus Lampsonius.
Also see records for the individual drawings in the album.


Variously inscribed by previous owners on opening leaves of the album. On the first leaf, in a nineteenth-century hand, in graphite, "Emblems by Otho Vaenius/ Original Drawings". On another leaf is a notation of the life of Van Veen in a relatively modern hand, in brown ink, probably copied from a nineteenth-century source. It begins: "At Rome was a disciple of Federigo Zucchero and acquired a delicate manner of pencilling, an agreeable style of colouring and a complete knowledge of chiaroscuro..." Below this (with the exception of the title which is written at the top of the page) is the following notation by Fairfax Murray in black ink: "Horatii Emblemata/ 103 drawings, the last a duplicate of a design./ The first ed. of the book would appear to be that printed at Antwerp by Verdusson in 1607. It has 103 plates but two of those figured are not here pp. 157 & 167, a[nd] there is one drawing in this colln. ["n" in superscript above period] not engraved./ It was printed many times. Brunet cites eds. of 1612, 1683, 1684, a[nd] 1777 under the title 'Theatre moral de la vie humaine' 1672 a[nd] 1678 also a Spanish Theatro moral etc. 1669, 1672 'Doctrine des Moeurs' 1646./ Brunet cites this last as having the same plates as the 'Emblemata' but they are reengraved, the originals being reversed a[nd] the copies like drawings."

Greffier François Fagel the Elder (1659-1746), The Hague; his nephew, Greffier François Fagel the Younger (1740-1773); his son, Greffier Hendrik Fagel the Younger (1765-1838); sale [François Fagel the Elder], London, T. Philipe, 29 May 1801, lot 127 (to Lord Palmerston for £5.5.0); Henry Temple, second Viscount Palmerston (1739-1802); Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston (1784-1865); probably his stepson, William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple (1811-1888); his nephew, the Right Honorable Evelyn Ashley (1836-1907), biographer of the second Viscount Palmerston; Ashley's sale of the collection formed by the second Viscount Palmerston, Christie's, 24 April 1891, lot 199 (to Fairfax Murray for £6.17.6); 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.
Associated names: 

Fagel, François, 1659-1746, former owner.
Fagel, François, 1740-1773, former owner.
Fagel, Hendrik, 1765-1838, former owner.
Palmerston, Henry Temple, Viscount, 1739-1802, former owner.
Palmerston, Henry John Temple, Viscount, 1784-1865, former owner.
Mount Temple, William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron, 1811-1888, former owner.
Ashley, Evelyn, 1836-1907, former owner.
Murray, Charles Fairfax, 1849-1919, former owner.
Morgan, J. Pierpont (John Pierpont), 1837-1913, former owner.


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. 65-68, no. 113-215.

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