Miracle of the Five Loaves
Hollstein, 332 II/II; New Hollstein (de Gheyn), 035, II/II; Filedt Kok, 332, I/II
Sheet: 26.9 x 32.3 cm (10 9/16 x 12 11/16 in.) Platemark: 25.4 x 31.7 cm (10 x 12 1/2 in.)
Medium or Technique
Not On View
Jacques de Gheyn’s 1595 engraving after Abraham Bloemaert’s “Miracle of the Five Loaves” writhes with the sinuous Mannerist line and flashes with the period’s array of lighting effects. The long-lived and highly influential Bloemaert is numbered among the most imaginative artists of the period, and de Gheyn transformed his ideas by rendering them in engraving of unparalleled brilliance and refinement. Engraving required time-consuming, focused discipline that was outside the scope of Bloemaert’s own activity. The composition plays a game of hide-and-seek by reducing the scale of the protagonist and pushing him into the background. Another visual game is the use of engraving to produce a printed rival to esteemed crafts in other media: de Gheyn and Bloemaert here compete with the silver repousse trays produced by famous metalsmiths such as Adam van Vianen, who like Bloemaert worked in Utrecht.
In plate, in oval border surrounding the image: Ecce Dei curam duris in rebus, opemg. Quam placide iustis prospicit ille suis. Diuinis igitur ne ingrstus abutere donis: Sipotes et miseros ipsi invare, iuva. Sic tibi ius titia magus incrementa resurgent, Progue datis plures restituentur opes. A Bloem: Inven: JGeÿn Sculps: KRazet Devulg:/.1595.
Signed in plate upper center: JGeÿn sculps
watermark [not identified]; verso, in ink: 193; MFA stamp with accession number in pencil: 2006.1454; in pencil: de Gheyn/Hollstein 332
Hill-Stone (dealer),New York; purchased from Hill-Stone by Robert and Barbara Wheaton (Concord, MA); September 20, 2006, given by Robert and Barbara Wheaton to the MFA.
Gift of Robert Bradford and Barbara Ketcham Wheaton