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Earth, plate one from The Four Elements

A work made of etching and engraving on ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of etching and engraving on ivory laid paper.




Jan van de Velde II (Dutch, c.1593-1641)
after Willem Buytewech (Dutch, 1591/92-1624)

About this artwork

This four-sheet series on the elements earth, air, fire, and water offers an updated view of the antique categories for understanding the natural world by demonstrating the types of nourishment the elements provide. Earth invokes cattle and plants, Air shows falcons ready to ensnare birds, Water displays the abundant fruits of the sea, and Fire shows cannon fire and also alludes to the power of heat for cooking. Jan van de Velde II copied several sets of designs after Willem Butewech, including four plates on the story of Jonah and costume imagery.


Currently Off View


Prints and Drawings


Jan van de Velde, II


Earth, plate one from The Four Elements


Holland (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1622


Etching and engraving on ivory laid paper


Image: 17.3 × 27.9 cm (6 13/16 × 11 in.); Sheet: 19.4 × 29.3 cm (7 11/16 × 11 9/16 in.)

Credit Line

William McCallin McKee Memorial Endowment

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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