Oct 20, 2010

The Lovers (after the Housebook Master)

The Lovers (after the Housebook Master)

c. 1490


Support: Laid paper

Sheet: 16.9 x 11.3 cm (6 5/8 x 4 7/16 in.); Image: 16.7 x 10.9 cm (6 9/16 x 4 5/16 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 2010.262

Catalogue raisonné: Bartsch, vol. VI, pp. 336-37, no. 48; Lehrs, pp. 79-80, no. 68; Passavant, vol. 2, p. 134, no. 48



The Lovers is related to representations of the garden of love, a popular setting for romance in chivalric literature, and depicts the ideal of courtly love as a noble and inspiring relationship distinguished by faithfulness and mutual devotion. The Housebook Master first executed The Lovers, of which only two mediocre impressions are known. Wenzel’s faithful copy, which preserves the subtle psychology of love and devotion expressed in the original, is also extremely rare; six impressions exist, but only one is as fine as the museum’s. Wenzel produced careful copies of the work of other printmakers as well, such as Martin Schongauer and Albrecht Dürer. In the 1400s, little value was placed on artistic originality, so the imitation of one artist by another carried with no stigma.


Christopher Marlowe
See also
PR - Engraving
Type of artwork: 

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email imageservices@clevelandart.org.