Polynesian objects from early European exploration, £19.99
Height: 370.000 mm
Width: 255.000 mm
PD 1932-6-11-3;PD 1932-6-11-4
Prints and Drawings
Anonymous Netherlandish, Portrait of the Duchess of Gelders and Portrait of the Duke of Gelders, colour woodcuts
Netherlands, AD 1519
Ferdinand Columbus owned an impression of this print
These twin portraits are unique surviving impressions. They were published on the occasion of the marriage of Charles of Egmont (1467-1536), Duke of Gelders, and his wife Elizabeth (1494-1572), daughter of Henry, Duke of Brunswick, in February 1519. Both are holding carnations, symbols of friendship and their betrothal.
Impressions of these prints were part of the now-lost collection of Ferdinand Columbus (1488-1539), son of Christopher Columbus. An inventory in Seville describes in careful detail 3,204 prints that once formed part of this his outstanding library, which at the time of his death contained 15,000 volumes. Although Ferdinand's print collection has now vanished, the Seville inventory has allowed its partial reconstruction using other impressions of the prints from around the world.
M. McDonald, Ferdinand Columbus: Renaissanc (London, British Museum Press, 2005)