|Artist||after Pieter Schenk|
|Dimensions||Image 232 x 178 mm, Plate 245 x 180 mm, Sheet 246 x 181 mm|
A very fine impression of a memento mori mezzotint after Pieter Schenk's 'Vanitas-Stillleben mit dem Selbstbildnis des Künstlers.' A human skull, garlanded with flowers and stalks of wheat, sits centrally upon a table on a tasselled cloth. Flanking the skull are other items common to the vanitas genre, including a snuffed out and smoking candle in an elaborate candlestick decorated with baroque dolphins, a clam shell of bubbles, a large cinerary urn or ewer, and a pair of books. One of the books, open to a portrait of Schenk himself features a latin inscription on its facing page which reads: 'Ecce, quid est mundus quid mundana? Omnia vana' - 'Behold, what is the world, and what are the things of this world? All is vanity.'
Petrus Schenk, also known as Pieter or Peter (1660 - 1718/9) was a Dutch engraver and mezzotinter, and became a major publisher of both prints and maps. Born in Elberfeld, Germany in 1660, Schenk moved to Amsterdam in 1683 where he became a pupil of Gerard Valck. He became a skilled exponent of mezzotint engraving, which he practised until 1695, at which point he focused on making and selling maps. Schenk's work was similar to that of Jacob Gole, and was mostly copies of portraits and topography.
New Hollstein 470.
Condition: Thread margins. Professionally false-margined with archival tissue. Small repaired tear to left of inscription space. Minor surface abrasion to bottom left and top right corners of plate. Framed in an antique frame.