Emanuel von Baeyer

The Triumph of Wisdom. After 1591

Aegidius Sadeler
ca. 1570 Antwerpen – 1629 Prague

Engraving after Bartholomäus Spranger. Sheet size: 52.5 x 37 cm. Watermark: Double cross with letters K and P. T.I.B. (de Ramaix) Vol. 72, p. 184.114.p1. I (of II).

Very good impression of the first state, before the crosshatching above the name of the engraver Eg Sadeler. With even margins on all sides (up to 1.3 cm). Of excellent preservation.

After the painting in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (Gemäldegalerie, Inv. no.1133) The engraving retains the composition of the painting but introduces some changes in details. Unusually for a reproduction print the plate edges have been left uneven. The density and depth of the burin marks, particularly in the background, suggest several stages of working before the plate was actually printed for the first time.

The Triumph of Wisdom is probably the most significant painting of the Rudolfine Mannerism. For Konrad Oberhuber it typifies the aspirations of the Rudolfine Court and of the late Mannerism in courts right across northern Europe. (Konrad Oberhuber, Die stilistische Entwicklung im Werk Bartholomäus Spranger, Vienna 1958, p. 151ff).