|Artist||Wenceslaus Hollar after Anthony van Dyck|
|Published||W. Hollar fecit 1649|
|Dimensions||Image 83 x 54 mm, Plate 90 x 57 mm, Sheet 100 x 68 mm|
German title to right of image: Ein Englische grosse Dam in Winter tracht (English noblewoman in winter dress)
A proof plate from Wenceslaus Hollar's Aula Veneris. The print shows a full length depiction of a lady turned slightly to the left, gazing directly at the viewer. She is wearing a dark hood with a visard mask, covering the top half of her face. Her left hand is contained within a large fur muff and a large fur stole is draped over her shoulders, her right hand holding it in place.
A visard is a mask, normally made of velvet, which was worn by women in the 17th century. The masks, frequently worn while travelling, were worn to protect the wearer against the cold in the winter and the sun in the warmer months, to maintain a desirable pale complexion.
Aula Veneris sive Varietas Foeminini Sexus diversarum Europa or The Variety and Differences of the Female habits of the nations of Europe is an illustrated costume series produced by Wenceslaus Hollar during the mid to late 1640's. The series illustrates the various fashions of women from all over Europe and even some parts of Northern Africa. They cover all aspects of society from the country woman to the noblewoman from each of the nations. It is not known how many etchings were originally produced for the series, with no numbering and multiple states being produced in various languages including English, German and Dutch.
Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677) left his native Prague in 1627. He spent several years travelling and working in Germany before his patron, the Earl of Arundel brought him to London in 1636. During the civil wars, Hollar fought on the Royalist side, after which he spent the years 1644-52 in Antwerp. Hollar's views of London form an important record of the city before the Great Fire of 1666. He was prolific and engraved a wide range of subjects, producing nearly 2,800 prints, numerous watercolours and many drawings.
Pennington 1884A, as described by Pennington, same as the proof copy held at the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge, New Hollstein (German) 606, i/ii (Hollar)
Condition: Trimmed outside the plate, partially rubbed out text, arms in outline only, time toning and staining to sheet.