About This Artwork

Master E.S.
German, active c. 1450-1467

Ornament with Women Fighting, c. 1460

Engraving on cream laid paper
95 x 136 mm (sheet trimmed within plate mark)

Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection, 1934.443

Passavant II.199.265 and 244.234; Lehrs II.381.308

Master E. S., perhaps the most significant Northern printmaker working prior to Martin Schongauer, popularized this type of ornamental motif, which was widely used as a decorative model for later artists. This particular image depicts five naked women entangled in a mass of vines and leaves, fighting over undergarments to cover their exposed bodies. The comical subject reflects a sort of grotesque humor often found in engravings by Master E. S., especially his Fantastic Alphabet.

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