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Ornament With Flower and Eight Wild Folk

A work made of engraving in black on cream laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of engraving in black on cream laid paper.

Date:

1490/1500

Artist:

Israhel van Meckenem the Younger
German, c. 1440/45-1503

About this artwork

Ornament prints with mischievous tiny figures were in such demand in late-15th- and early-16th-century Europe that engravers like Israhel van Meckenem frequently borrowed imagery and entire compositions from other artists. The flower stalk that the naked wild men and women scale comes from a print by an earlier artist, the Master E. S. This print bears an inscription that translates to “The noble bees draw honey from the beautiful flower; from this one however, the frivolous vermin extract a stronger potion.” The ripe blossom thus symbolizes sexual consummation, and the print simultaneously tempts and warns the viewer about “the birds and bees.”

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

Israhel van Meckenem, the younger

Title

Ornament With Flower and Eight Wild Folk

Origin

Germany

Date

1465–1503

Medium

Engraving in black on cream laid paper

Dimensions

205 × 136 mm

Credit Line

Bequest of Mrs. Potter Palmer, Jr.

Reference Number

1956.855

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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