Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.


  • Place of origin:

    Antwerp (city)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Collaert, Adriaen (engravers (printmakers))

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level D, case EO, shelf 12

In this six plate series after Adriaen Collaert, seven figures from the episode of the Judgement of Paris are represented. The three contestants for Paris’ apple, Juno, Minerva and Venus, are each accompanied by an identifying attribute. Minerva is armed and holds a shield with the Gorgon’s head, Juno carries a sceptre and is accompanied by a peacock, and Venus, the winner, holds the apple in one hand while leading Cupid, the god of desire, with the other. Paris holds his shepherd’s staff under a tree, extending the apple towards the victor. Two other figures, Mercury and an older male figure, possibly Neptune as a river god, are not central to the narrative, but by incorporating them, Collaert shows his mastery as a draughtsman by presenting the nude forms in a variety of postures. Especially in the figures of Paris and the river god, it is possible that Collaert was looking to Marcantonio Raimondi’s Judgement of Paris after Raphael, an engraving from the 1510’s. In the Collaert series, each medallion is set in a dark field a decorated with intricate grotesques, sometimes relating to the central figure. Given the close association of grotesques with Roman wall decoration in the 16th and 17th centuries and the Classical theme of the central figures, the series displays a deep interest in emulating antique decorative art.

Physical description

Ornamental design with the figure of Paris in a medallion, surrounded by a shaded background and grotesques.

Place of Origin

Antwerp (city)


Collaert, Adriaen (engravers (printmakers))

Marks and inscriptions

"Adrian Collaert invent. sculp. & excudit"
"Adriaen Collaert designed, executed, and printed [this print]"


Width: 8.8 cm, Length: 13.9 cm

Descriptive line

Adriaen Collaert (designed and executed), 1 from a suite of 6 ornamental designs with the Judgement of Paris. Published in Antwerp

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Berliner, R. and G. Egger, Ornamentale Vorlageblätter des 15. bis 19. Jahrhunderts, München 1981, 726.
Döry, L., Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg. Katalog der Ornamentstichsammlung, Hamburg, 1960 p. 28, 114.
Guilmard, D., Les Maitres Ornemanistes, Paris, 1880-1881, p. 479, 12.
Hollstein, F.W.H., et al., Dutch and Flemish etchings engravings and woodcuts, ca. 1450-1700, Amsterdam 1949-87; Roosendaal 1988-93; Rotterdam 1995-2004, 402.
Jessen, P., Der Ornamentsstich: Geschichte der Vorlagen des Kusthandwerks seit dem Mittelalter, Berlin 1920, pp. 96-98, ill. 69.
Jong, M. de and I. de Groot, Ornamentprenten in het Rijksprentenkabinet I: 15de & 16de eeuw, Amsterdam 1988, 61.
Katalog der Ornamentstich-Sammlung der Staatlichen Kunstbibliothek Berlin, Berlin-Leipzig 1939 [reprint New York 1958], 235.
Nagler, G.K., Die Monogrammisten, München, 1858-79, vol. I, p 127, 294.
Omodeo, A. Grafica per orafi. Modellidel cinque e seicento. Mostra di incisione da collezioni italiane, exh cat. Istituto Universitario Olandese de Storia dell’Arte, Firenze 1975, pg. 36, 55, ill. 46-49.
Ritter, F. Illustrierter Katalog der Ornamentstichsammlung des K.K. Österreich. Museums für Kunst und Industrie, Wien 1871, p. 38.
Wagner, B. Untersuchungen zur Ornamentgroteske in Französischen Vorlageblättern des 16. Jahrhunderts (unter Berücksichtigung der Französischen Ornamententwicklung zwischen ca 1500-ca. 1570), [Ph.D. diss. Universität Graz 1974], p. 476.
Warncke, C.P., Die ornamentale Groteske in Deutschland 1500-1600, Berlin 1979, vol. I, 242-47.
Wurzbach, A. von, Niederländisches Künstler-Lexicon, Wien-Leipzig 1906-11, 23 (Adriaen).
Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design, Accessions 1912, London, Printed for His Majesty’s Stationery Office 1913





Subjects depicted

Lizards; Grotesques; Subject; Unicorns; Rabbits; Moths


Ornament prints


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.