VENNE, Adriaen Pietersz van der. Proteus ofte Minne-Beelden. Verandert in Sinne-Beelden. By Jacob Cats. , 35, ; 315,  pp. Illustrated by Adriaen Pietersz van der Venne with a full-page frontispiece and 52 circular emblematic copperplates in full contemporary Dutch colouring and illuminated in gold. The first two emblematic plates signed: "Pdr. a.v. Venne In. / J. Swelinck Fecit 1626." Others signed with initials "JS." Tot Rotterdam: Bij Pieter van Waesberge, 1627. BOUND WITH:
Emblemata D. Jacobi Catsii, in linguam Anglicam transfuse. 28 pp. BOUND WITH:
Emblemata Moralia et Aeconomica. 91,  pp. Illustrated by van der Venne with 44 circular emblematic copperplates in full contemporary Dutch colouring and illuminated in gold. BOUND WITH:
Argumentum. Phyllis et Anna. 46 pp. Illustrated with a hand-coloured woodcut endpiece of a snail in oval medallion. BOUND WITH:
Galathee ofte Harder Minne-Klachte. By J. Catz. 48, , 49-55,  pp. Illustrated by van der Venne with 2 full-page allegorical portrait copperplates by J. Matham after van der Venne and 4 half-page copperplates by J. Swelinck after van der Venne, all in full contemporary Dutch colouring and illuminated in gold. BOUND WITH:
Thooneel van de Mannelicke Achtbaerheydt, Aen-Gewesen inde Voor-Sprake, Tegen-Sprake, end VVt-Sprake… Derde Druck. By J. Cats. , 49 pp. Illustrated with a half-page woodcut on title-page and a woodcut headpiece, both in full contemporary Dutch colouring and 4 half-page engraved plates after van der Venne in full contemporary Dutch colouring and illuminated in gold. In 'sGraven-Hage: Adriaen vande Venne, 1632. BOUND WITH:
Aller Princessen-Spiegel, aller Vrovwen-Spoor. 31 pp. Square 4to., 223 x 170 mm, bound in deluxe Dutch polished calf, covers paneled in gilt, the outer panel incorporating a fillet and a wide roll of stylized intertwined foliage and pointille arches, inner panel of gilt ornamental fillets and large floral decorative pieces at corners, floral arabesque at center, spine gilt with raised bands in six compartments, tan morocco lettering piece in the second, the others with repeat decoration centered on a large flower spray tool, gilt edges.
A Masterpiece of Dutch Golden Age colouring, possibly coloured by the artist Adriaen Pietersz van der Venne himself (see below). This is the only edition of these emblem books printed in the larger quarto format. The first two, and most spectacular, of the circular emblematic copperplates appear in print in this edition for the first time. The combination of the particularly fine hand-colouring, with ample gold highlights, and a high-quality binding, suggest that this copy was prepared for a high-status owner.
Jacob Cats (1577-1660), poet, statesman, moralist and jurist, was the most influential figure of the Golden Age of Dutch literature. "The most popular author of that period was a productive poet from the province of Zeeland, who was justifiably called "Father Cats," for he gave the Dutch people didactical and pious ideas in the patronizing manner of a steadfast priest… Cat's success had begun with a collection of sinne-beelden, which popularized the genre of emblems" (translated from the German in Kindlers Literatur Lexikon I, 283).
Adriaen Pietersz van der Venne (Delft 1589- The Hague 1662) "was one of the most prolific designers for book illustration. No other seventeenth-century Dutch painter or illustrator recorded in such detail the daily life of all classes of Dutch society" (Ackley, Printmaking in the Age of Rembrandt, p. 105). The exquisite genre illustrations in this volume offer an unparalleled window onto everyday Dutch life, with Dutch citizens portrayed in precisely-delineated indigenous costumes and pursuing activities particular to seventeenth-century life in the Netherlands. Whether emblematic or genre scenes, the copperplates by van der Venne show us prosperous Dutch couples shopping at an open-air market, reading a book before a blazing fire in an interior Dutch household; plus scenes of cooking, dancing, courting, fishing, sailing, smoking, embroidering, playing mandolins, etc. In this special volume van der Venne's genre scenes have literally been transformed into small genre paintings, achieved with the most aesthetic and artistic application of colour and gold.
The present copy combines a very fine contemporary binding and extraordinary hand colouring. The colouring has clearly been executed by a contemporary colourist of the highest order. The attention to detail, and the careful touches of gold all indicate a wish by the colourist to make the illustrations as beautiful as possible. Many images transcend the "hand-coloured engraving" genre and are akin to miniature paintings. The expert on seventeenth-century Dutch colouring, John Landwehr (see his Studies in Dutch Books with Coloured Plates Published 1662-1875, the Hague, 1976) has suggested that the elegant colouring in this copy is by van der Venne himself. Regardless, the result is a masterpiece. Slightest of wear along hinges of the binding.
Landwehr, Romantic Emblem Books 214. Landwehr Emblem Books in Low Countries 92. Adams, Rawles & Saunders, Bibliography of French Emblem Books F.154. Heckscher & Sherman, Emblem Books in the Princeton University Library 800. Praz, p. 540. Meertens pp. 217-241. Hollstein IX, 205, no. 119; XXXV, nos. 438-445.
Item nr. 148358