00:00
/
00:00
Maker Once Known; Heemskerck, Maerten van (after)
Tobit Blinded; No. 1 in a series of 10: The Story of Tobias Tobit Blinded; No. 1 in a series of 10: The Story of Tobias
1556 1556

This engraving belongs to a series of ten prints made after designs by Maerten van Heemskerck illustrating the Book of Tobit. The main subject of this work is the blinding of Tobit, depicted in the left foreground. A muscular looking Tobit lies asleep on some sacks of grain in a barn-like setting. Above him, nesting birds rest on a wooden beam and droppings are about to fall into Tobit’s eyes causing him to go blind. Several other episodes from the first two chapters of the Book of Tobit are represented in this engraving. In the back centre, Tobit clothes the naked and offers alms to the poor. Through the opening of the wooden structure near Tobit’s head, the protagonist is burying a dead man. To the right, friends and family, including Tobit’s wife and son, Anna and Tobias, partake in a feast celebrating Pentecost. The figures seated closest to Tobit around the dinner table listen to him intently and sport a range of distinct headgear. Van Heemskerck was profoundly affected by the Classical sculptures he saw while visiting Rome and this translated into his works through the emphasis he placed on anatomical detail. The individual who executed this print gave weight to this element of Van Heemskerck’s art. Philips Galle transferred many of Van Heemskerck’s designs on to copper and took part in the print publishing business in Antwerp in the sixteenth century. The name of Theodoor Galle, Philips’s son, appears near the bottom right corner of the current work.

 
Maker Once Known; Heemskerck, Maerten van (after)
Heemskerk, Netherlands 1498-Haarlem, Netherlands 1574 Heemskerk, Netherlands 1498-Haarlem, Netherlands 1574
Tobit Blinded; No. 1 in a series of 10: The Story of Tobias Tobit Blinded; No. 1 in a series of 10: The Story of Tobias
1556 1556
Engraving, state 2 of 3 Engraving, state 2 of 3
overall: 20.1 cm x 24.7 cm
Purchase, Bader Acquisition Fund, 2010 Purchase, Bader Acquisition Fund, 2010
53-046.030

Subscribe to our “This Week at Agnes” e-newsletter to stay abreast of events, news and opportunities at the art museum.