Signorum Veterum Icones  thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level D , Case EO, Shelf 113, Box A

Signorum Veterum Icones

Etching
1665-1675 (published)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This suite of 100 prints by de Bisschop comprises of classical sculptures housed in Dutch and Italian collections in the seventeenth century. Ancient statues were highly regarded as works of art, in particular by artists who admired their representation of anatomy, drapery and poses. This suite includes some of the most important sculptures, from various view points, from which the artist could study.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Additional TitleDancing Faun (generic title)
Materials and Techniques
engraving
Brief Description
Dancing Faun, from a suite of 100 etchings entitled Signorum Veterum Icones, Dutch, 1669.
Physical Description
Plate 3 from de Bisschop’s suite entitled Signorum Veterum Icones showing the ‘Dancing Faun’
Dimensions
  • Height: 23.2 cmcm
  • Width: 14 cmcm
Marks and Inscriptions
  • Lettered in the lower right of the plate: “JE f.”
  • Numbered in the upper right of the plate “3”
Object history
Jan de Bisschop (1628-1671), also known as Johannes Episcopius, was a Dutch painter and printmaker. He first studied to be become a lawyer but then abandoned the profession in order to study art with Bartholomeus Breenbergh (1598 c.-1657 c.), a Dutch painter specialising in Italianate landscapes. In 1656 de Bisschop took part in the foundation of the Confrerie Pictura, a club of artists, in The Hague.

He was particularly interested in the teaching of art and this resulted in his making two series of prints based on classical statues and on sixteenth and seventeenth century artists for students to draw from. The first of these suites is the Signorum Veterum Icones which was published by Nicolaes Visscher in two parts in 1668 and 1669 while the Paradigmata Graphices variorum artificum in 1671. The two volumes of the Icones were subsequently published in one single edition, together with the Paradigmata. The Icones comprises of a suite of 100 plates of reproductive prints of sculptures, including a large number of well known statues of the Greek and Roman period. The second suite, the Paradigmata, consists of 57 reproductive plates of paintings and sculptures by Italian and Dutch sixteenth and seventeenth century artists.

The object was acquired by the Museum along with eight other prints from the same book (Museum numbers 23908.1-23908.3).

The Dancing Faun, housed in the Uffizi, is a Roman work of the 2nd century B. C. after an original Greek sculpture in bronze, now lost., Another version of the same statue, now kept at the Louvre, used to be in the Borghese Collection, Rome. Plates 1 to 3 of the Signorum Veterum Icones show the statue from three different angels. This plate shows the faun from a frontal view point. As with many prints from the suite this plate shows the statue in reverse to its original composition.

The Dancing Faun is one of the best known statues of the Uffizi sculpture collection. This ancient sculpture was particularly useful to seventeenth century artists for studying movement and muscle tension of a naked dancing figure.

Summary
This suite of 100 prints by de Bisschop comprises of classical sculptures housed in Dutch and Italian collections in the seventeenth century. Ancient statues were highly regarded as works of art, in particular by artists who admired their representation of anatomy, drapery and poses. This suite includes some of the most important sculptures, from various view points, from which the artist could study.
Bibliographic References
  • Le Blanc, Paris 1854-1888, vol. 1, 348.
  • Naglar, Munchen 1835, vol. 1, 512.
  • Hollstein, Amsterdam, 1949, vol. 2, 42-44.
Collection
Accession Number
23908:2

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record createdJune 30, 2009
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