Ornament with Dance of the Lovers

c. 1490
(German, c. 1440–1503)
Sheet: 12.1 x 26.8 cm (4 3/4 x 10 9/16 in.)
Catalogue raisonné: Lehrs IX.457.617
State: II/II
Location: not on view
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Did You Know?

Ornament prints such as this were often used by other artists and craftsmen as source material for motifs on decorative arts or furniture.


In this image, the competitive nature of love and sexual desire plays out on treacherously thorned vines that block the young suitors from their ultimate prize, the elegant lady in the center. Given the presence of two musicians, the male suitors may be performing a type of folk dance, known as a Morris dance, which was popular in courtly circles at the
time, and which relates, as well, to courtly love poetry performed by troubadours (lyrical poets of the Middle Ages).
Ornament with Dance of the Lovers

Ornament with Dance of the Lovers

c. 1490

Israhel van Meckenem

(German, c. 1440–1503)
Germany, 15th century

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