Offered by Art & Antiquities Investment
Black stone, pen and ink, black and grey wash with white highlights on laid paper.
Our drawing, from the hand of an artist of the late 16th or early 17th century, is a free interpretation of one of the engravings of the famous series The Seven Wonders of the World. In fact, apart from the composition, many details differ: vegetation is introduced, the city in the background has a more medieval character, the sharp rocks have been transformed into a hill and the characters, dressed "à la romaine", adopt more dynamic positions. This makes our drawing a perfectly original work in a very beautiful state of conservation.
The construction of the Lighthouse of Alexandria was ordered by Ptolemy I (368 - 283 BC) and completed during the reign of his son Ptolemy II (309/308 - 246 BC) in the early 3rd century BC. Jean-Yves Emperor, the famous French archaeologist, hypothesizes that the architect of the lighthouse may have been Euclid, the famous mathematician of Alexandria and author of the Elements.
With a supposed height of 135 meters, the Lighthouse is considered as the Seventh of the Seven Wonders of the World. Alas, it will not be able to withstand the multiple earthquakes that undermined its foundations, but it will have guided sailors until the beginning of the 14th century AD.
The drawing is presented in a blue and gold wash, under an antique glass and framed by an elegant Bérain style wand.
Dimensions: 17 x 29 cm - 34 x 48 cm with the frame
Maarten van Heemskerck (Heemskerk 1498 - Haarlem 1574) is a major painter and engraver of Dutch history in the 16th century. Main disciple of Scorel with whom he stayed from 1527 to 1529, Maarten van Heemskerck is, after his master, the most outstanding representative of Italianism in the Northern Netherlands in the 16th century.
Like so many other Nordic artists, he visited Italy - from 1532 to 1536 - where he drew abundantly after Antiquity and after Michelangelo. His careful sketches retain an admirable topographical value that betrays well the militant enthusiasm of the young Romanist. On his return from Italy, he became Haarlem's most prominent artist and became Dean of the Guild in 1540.