Last Updated: Mar 29, 2019     Views: 146

Image: [Early 17th century pen and ink drawing of interior with lampworker at table] [art original], [1600-1650?]. CMGL 121962.

Hello! Thank you for your question! From your description, it seems that you may be referring to the pen and ink drawing pictured here and available for download as a PDF from the Library catalog.

The following comes from the notes in our catalog record for this item:

Drawing depicts lampworker seated at table with four others looking on at far end of table. Lampworker is holding rod in each hand while working it over flame. A model, or diorama, of a waterfront city, probably Venice, is displayed on lower right corner of table; model includes several floating vessels. Various tools and pieces of equipment have been placed on table, floor, and near fireplace. A stained glass window is pictured in background.

"Intérieur hollandaise, Atélier d'orfevre, par de Gheyn" -- penciled in on verso.

Artist unknown; attributed in the past to Jacob de Gheyn II (1565-1629). Debate exists surrounding the origin of this drawing, some claim it is Dutch while others suggest lampworking was not practiced there at the time and a more likely attribution is Innsbruck, with the model depicted in the drawing being that of Venice. Some also theorize that the lampworker depicted in the drawing is Archduke Ferdinand II, citing Ferdinand as having set up his personal glasshouse to produce glass à la fac̜on de Venise, practicing the art himself.

Research was conducted by Tatyana Duval in 2012 to confirm date and artist. Four historians of art, specializing in the Dutch seventeenth century graphic arts, were contacted. The general consensus of these specialists is that this work was not done by Jacob de Gheyn II; they do agree that the type of clothing and interior is consistent with the Dutch or Flemish, early 17th century.

It is possible that the primary support paper was made in the Low Countries (currently Belgium and the Netherlands) at the end of the fifteenth century. Research supports that the paper is a white, fine quality, European handmade paper with an antique-laid pattern and that the paper was most likely made between 1480 and 1750; it is composed of the bast fiber of flax and/or hemp.

Drawing was previously affixed to mid-brown, wove secondary support paper also composed of flax or hemp; this secondary paper, absent of cotton fiber, was made from lower-quality paper probably before the nineteenth century but after 1757 when the wove mould was introduced or even after 1785 when its use gained popularity. A full, archival copy of the final report is housed with the drawing.

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