The Master E. S. was the most important engraver active in northern Germany around the middle of the
15th century when, for the first time, printmakers signed their work. His representation of the garden
of love departs from pictorial tradition, which usually portrayed the scene as an idyllic realm of music, feasting, and games where women inspired dedicated service from their admirers. Here, however,
the Master E. S. satirized the ideals of courtly love and warned against the immoral behavior forbidden by the Roman Catholic Church and local authorities. While the woman opening the man’s coat in the foreground represents temptation and sin, her companion, the fool, symbolizes lust. One of the most important prints by the Master E. S., The Garden of Love (Large Plate) is known in only five impressions.
Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, Prints 1400-1800, cat. no. 24.Washington, DC: The National Gallery of Art "Love and War: A Manual for Life in the Middle Ages" November 8, 1998 - January 31, 1999.The Cleveland Museum of Art (10/31/15-3/6/16) "Imagining the Garden"New York, NY: The Frick Collection (5/17/99 - 7/25/99) "The Medieval Housebook: The Real and the Ideal - A Fifteenth-century View of Life" 56, fig. 20.CMA, "Treasures on Paper from the Collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art" (Mar. 9, 2014-Jun. 8, 2014)