1617 Marcus Geerhaerts (died 1636) “The Ants & the Grasshopper" - Insects - Fable
Marcus Gheeraerts the Elder (c. 1520-1590);
Master engraving. Hand coloured
The Grasshopper and the Ants [Aesop]
Aesop, “The Ants & the Grasshopper"
One bright day in late autumn a family of Ants were bustling about in the warm sunshine, drying out the grain they had stored up during the summer, when a starving Grasshopper, his fiddle under his arm, came up and humbly begged for a bite to eat.
"What!" cried the Ants in surprise, "haven't you stored anything away for the winter? What in the world were you doing all last summer?"
"I didn't have time to store up any food," whined the Grasshopper; "I was so busy making music that before I knew it the summer was gone."
The Ants shrugged their shoulders in disgust.
"Making music, were you?" they cried. "Very well; now dance!" And they turned their backs on the Grasshopper and went on with their work.
There's a time for work and a time for play.
Issued in the series:
Vorstelijcke warande der dieren; waer in de Zeden-rijcke Philosophie, Poëtisch, Morael, en Historiael, vermakelijck en treffelijck wort voorghestelt
Plate: 13 x 12 cm. Trimmed to outside plate mark. Text to verso.
Marcus Gheeraerts the Elder (c. 1520 – c. 1590) was a Flemish printmaker and painter associated with the English court of the mid-16th century and mainly remembered as the illustrator of the 1567 edition of Aesop's Fables.
Gheeraerts is most noteworthy as a printmaker. He was a keen innovator and experimented with etching at a time when woodcut and engraving were dominant techniques. Gheeraerts' style resembles that of Pieter Bruegel the Elder. In his own day, Gheeraerts was particularly famous as a draughtsman of birds and animals, and since the Protestant Reformation had halted the church art market, he showcased his talent in the fable book De warachtighe fabulen der dieren from 1567. He etched the title page and 107 fable illustrations and had his friend, Edewaerd de Dene, write the book's fables in Flemish verse.
This edition 1617. Dutch text to verso. Later hand colour with some use of gilt.
de Vries, De Nederlandsche Emblemata, 73; Landwehr, Dutch Emblem Books, 252a; Hollstein, Dutch and Flemish, VII, p. 100, nos. 1-108