Jul 21, 2015
Aug 4, 2006
Dec 1, 2005

The Garden of Love (Large Plate)

The Garden of Love (Large Plate)

c. 1465

Master ES

(German, active 1450–67)


Plate: 23.5 x 15.8 cm (9 1/4 x 6 1/4 in.); Sheet: 23.8 x 16.5 cm (9 3/8 x 6 1/2 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1993.161

Catalogue raisonné: Lehrs 215



Master ES’s action-packed scene presents a love garden before a landscape with knights playing jousting games. Love gardens were locales for displaying chaste love, but the behavior here, such as touching and wine drinking between couples at the table, indicates that their love is rather more physical. A traveling poet at the door brings musical enticements, and a man with a fool’s cap in the foreground signifies lust. The many birds throughout the scene refer to coupling, since “birding” was a euphemism for the sex act.

See also
PR - Engraving
Type of artwork: 

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