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Kunst voor Kracht

Major collection: Hart Nautical
Named collection: Allan Forbes Collection
Object type: engraving
Maker: Cats, Jacob; Venne, Adriaen van der
Place made: unknown
Date made: 1600-1699
Materials: ink; paper
Measurements: 5 1/4 in x 8 in
Nomenclature: whaling scenes
Classification: whales

Front image: In a round frame housed inside a square outer frame, three men on a rowboat sail towards a large whale. The man in front has a bald spot. The man in the rear, the only one whose face is visible, wears a cap and has a beard. He and the man in the middle are in shadow, and only the head and shoulders of the man in front are illuminated. The whale is spouting and its head and tail are visible above the water. In the distance and to the right is a large ship. It flies two flags: one with a pattern of dark-light-dark-light-dark lines from bottom to top, and one with a dark stripe, a light stripe with an eight-pointed asterisk, and a dark stripe (bottom to top). Behind the whale a distant landmass is visible. The pattern of clouds in the sky is rendered in detail. No artists' names are visible. Verso: Same framing: circle inside a square, with corners embellished. A hand approaches a basket with a vine growing through its base; the basket is raised on two sticks. The hand holds a sickle to the trunk of the vine below the basket's base. In the distance is a river or shore and some trees, behind which is nestled a peaked building with a simple steeple and what appears to be a cross atop the steeple. No artists' names are visible. From a book of Jacob Cats, likely one of the editions of "Alle de Wercken van den heere Jacob Cats". The recto accompanied a verse that begins [in translation] as follows: "See here, this giant whale-fish, See what a monster he is, See here that clumsy bull [...]" The verso accompanies a verse discussing vineyards, the moral of which is that it is a priceless good to be one's own master, followed by supporting quotes from Classical literature.


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