A fine copper engraving of the year 1596, by the noted Old Master JAN PIETERSZ SAENREDAM (1565-1607), featuring young couples in a festive mood, in a Dutch town at the end of the sixteenth century. The print (Hollstein catalogue raisonne #133) is titled "Feiernde und Tanzende Junge Paare" (roughly, "Celebrating and Dancing Young Couples"). It measures 12" by 15 3/8" inside the present mat and the piece is 18 1/2" by 24 3/4" in the contemporary strip gold framing. It is in remarkable condition considering its great age. I opened up the backing to inspect the print. I can confirm that it is NOT laid down, only hinged at top. The margins on right and left sides are so-called "thread" margins--very narrow. Saenredam is best known today as a master of copper engraving, although he was also a Mannerist painter and a cartographer. Born in Zaandam, he showed precocious artistic abilities, and was sent to study drawing with Hendrik Goltzius in Haarlem. Saenredam engraved imagery came from the Bible, from classical mythology, and from paintings by Goltzius, Abraham Bloemaert, Cornelis van Haarlem, Polidoro da Caravaggio, and his own works.
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