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The Mousetrap

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

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  • A work made of engraving on ivory laid paper.


c. 1655


Cornelis Visscher
Dutch, c. 1629-1658

About this artwork

Despite his brief lifespan, Cornelis Visscher gained notoriety in 17th-century Holland for his accomplished portraits and unusual depictions of Dutch peasant life. Though many of the latter were derived from paintings, The Mousetrap appears to be Visscher’s original design. In this closely cropped scene, he depicted a couple moments after they have successfully captured an unwelcome critter. The lit candle held by the man illuminates their triumphant expressions as well as the trap’s effectiveness, emphasizing the picture’s contrast.


Currently Off View


Prints and Drawings


Cornelis Visscher


The Mousetrap


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.



Engraving on ivory laid paper


Sheet: 14 × 19.7 cm (5 9/16 × 7 13/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Horace S. Oakley

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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