Oct 20, 2010

The Lovers

The Lovers

c. 1490

Wenzel von Olmütz


after Master of the Housebook

(German, 1430-1530)


Support: Laid paper

Image: 16.7 x 10.9 cm (6 9/16 x 4 5/16 in.); Sheet: 16.9 x 11.3 cm (6 5/8 x 4 7/16 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 2010.262

Catalogue raisonné: Bartsch, vol. VI, pp. 336-37, no. 48; Lehrs, pp. 79-80, no. 68; Passavant, vol. 2, p. 134, no. 48



In this image, a man and woman sit facing one
another; the woman casts her eyes down shyly
as the man makes a tender touch, an invitation
to love. This artist pared down a garden of love
to an arbor with a low fence, a vase of flowers,

and a basin of water holding a jug of wine and
cup. The love displayed in the garden is chaste,
as intended. This is apparent by the wine in
the water bath, suggesting cooled desire; the
carnations in the vase, symbols of virginity;
and the woman’s small dog, a sign of fidelity.


Christopher Marlowe
See also
PR - Engraving
Type of artwork: 

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