Man Protected by the Shield of Faith

Maarten van Heemskerck Netherlandish

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.

Man Protected by the Shield of Faith, Maarten van Heemskerck (Netherlandish, Heemskerck 1498–1574 Haarlem), Pen and brown ink, over traces of black chalk; indented for transfer; framing lines in pen and brown ink

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.