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Man Protected by the Shield of Faith

Artist:
Maarten van Heemskerck (Netherlandish, Heemskerck 1498–1574 Haarlem)
Date:
1559
Medium:
Pen and brown ink, over traces of black chalk; indented for transfer. Framing line in pen and brown ink
Dimensions:
14-5/16 x 10-3/16 in. (36.4 x 25.9 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Purchase, Charles and Jessie Price and Guy Wildenstein Gifts, Fletcher Fund, and Gift of Dr. Mortimer D. Sackler, Theresa Sackler and Family, 2000
Accession Number:
2000.150
Not on view
Maarten van Heemskerck arrived in Rome in the early summer of 1532. He stayed about four or five years in Italy, primarily concentrating on drawing ruins, classical sculpture, landscapes, and city views. He also studied the works of contemporary Italian artists, especially Michelangelo and Giulio Romano. The present allegorical drawing was created after the artist's return to the Netherlands. It depicts Satan sitting on a rug decorated with the Seven Vices, and hurling burning arrows from atop a globe at a praying man. The personification of faith, a woman holding a cross and a Bible, protects the man by holding a shield above his head. Delicate hatching in pen and brown ink reveals the muscular forms of the figures of the devil and the praying man. The interest in their anatomy demonstrates the influence of Michelangelo and classical sculpture on Heemskerck's work. Like many of the artist's drawings, a print was made after this work. These prints were extremely important in the dissemination throughout Northern Europe of the Mannerist style Heemskerck had acquired in Italy.
Signature: At lower left, inscribed "Martinus van Heemskerck / inventor" in pen and brown ink; at lower right, inscribed "1559" in pen and brown ink

Inscription: Verso: at lower left, inscribed "Heemskerk fec." in graphite; at lower left, inscribed "200" in graphite; at lower left, inscribed "Maarten van Heemskerk fec. / Wyvke" (?) in pen and black ink
sale, Sotheby's, London, July 7, 1999, lot 18; Vendor: Katrin Bellinger Kunsthandel, Munich
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," June 27, 2000–September 10, 2000.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," August 13, 2001–November 4, 2001.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," April 25, 2005–July 24, 2005.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paper Chase: Two Decades of Collecting Drawings and Prints," December 9, 2014–March 16, 2015.

Sotheby's, London Old Master Drawings [July 7, 1999]. 1999, cat. no. 18, ill.

Carmen C. Bambach, Elizabeth E. Barker, Colta Ives, Michiel C. Plomp, Perrin Stein, Gary Tinterow "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2000-2001." in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 59, no. 2, Autumn 2001, p. 26, ill.

Nadine Orenstein Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Drawings and Prints. Exh. cat. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2001, pp. 43-44, fig. 42, ill.



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