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drawing

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    SL,5218.175

  • Description

    Venus and Cupid, after Dürer; Venus at r, holding a flaming object, Cupid being chased and stung by a swarm of bees at l, two beehives behind him on a bench Pen and brown ink, with coloured washes

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1515-1525 (circa)
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 213 millimetres
    • Width: 303 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Rowlands 1993
        Inscribed by an early hand in pen and brown ink, upper left, "Plato / Der Binen Stich bringt grossen Schmerz, / So auch die lieb verwund manchs Herz, / Mit freud vnd lust mit angst und qual, / lieb ist voll honig vnd bitter gall"
  • Curator's comments

    Summary of J.Rowlands 'Drawings by German Artists and Artists from German-speaking regions of Europe in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum: the Fifteenth Century, and the Sixteenth Century by Artists born before 1530', London, BM Press, 1993, no. 275:

    'This is an early copy of the drawing by Dürer now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, signed and dated 1514, which which was formerly, with two other drawings by Dürer of similar subjects in the 'Ambraser Kunstbuch' in the Schloss Ambras (Winkler, 'Dürer', i, pl. 236, iv, pl. 944). This 'Kunstbuch' contained a collection of prints and drawings by Dürer. The subject of each drawing is a reinterpretation by Dürer from classical antiquity. They are each executed in the same way with the outline and brush modelling established before the pen is used to confirm the outline. In the case of the present drawing, the copyist has not followed Dürer's method of working, as the pen-work was evidently done before the brush-work. The subject of the drawing, its first representation in Germany, is taken from Theocritus' nineteenth Idyll (one of the Idylls whose authorship by Theocritus is no longer accepted), not from Plato as suggested by the inscription on the present copy, which is not on the original. The verses explain the meaning: Venus tells Cupid, who is being stung by bees, that his pain is as nothing compared to the bitter pain inflicted by Cupid's arrows. In this design, as in the others in the group, Dürer has adopted a consciously Italianate manner, evidently modelling himself, as the Tietzes observed, on the style of Marcantonio Raimondi's engravings. There is also a superficial resemblance of Venus to Eve in his engraving of 1504 'Adam and Eve' (Meder 1). Winkler, both this copy and that formerly in the Countess de Béhague's collection now belonging to the Marquis de Ganay (Paris) are by 'der Kopist der Wiener Kunstbuches' (see F. Winkler, Prussian Jahrbuch', liii, 1932, pp. 76ff.) whom Ernstotto Graf zu Solms identified as Hans Döring (q.v.; Pfaff, 'Studien', cat. pp. xxix—xxx, under no. 55).'

    Lit. from Rowlands 1993: Waagen, Treasures, i, p. 232, no. 175; Hausmann, Naumann's Archiv, p. 41, no. 175; Hausmann, p. 112, no. 151; Thausing, ii, p. 231, n.; BM Guide, 1928, p. 31; Winkler, Dürer, iii, p. 80, under no. 665; Strauss, iii, p. 1456, under no. 1514/33

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Rowlands 1993 275 bibliographic details
    • Strauss 1974 iii, p.1456 bibliographic details
    • Winkler 1936-9 iii, p.80 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (German Roy XVIc)

  • Exhibition history

    1928 BM London, Guide Woodcuts, Drawings of A. Dürer, p.31
    2010/11 Oct-Jan, Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Lucas Cranach the Elder

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1753

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number

    SL,5218.175

  • Additional IDs

    • C,07.175
Venus and Cupid, after Dürer; Venus at r, holding a flaming object, Cupid being chased and stung by a swarm of bees at l, two beehives behind him on a bench Pen and brown ink, with coloured washes

Recto

Venus and Cupid, after Dürer; Venus at r, holding a flaming object, Cupid being chased and stung by a swarm of bees at l, two beehives behind him on a bench Pen and brown ink, with coloured washes

Image description

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