The Seven Liberal Arts

Jan Sadeler’s engravings of The Seven Liberal Arts

Jan Sadeler I, after Maarten de Vos,<i> Rhetoric,</i> from the series <i>The Seven Liberal Arts,</i> after 1575. Engraving
Jan Sadeler I, after Maarten de Vos,<i> Arithmetic,</i> from the series <i>The Seven Liberal Arts,</i> after 1575. Engraving
Jan Sadeler I, after Maarten de Vos,<i> Geometry,</i> from the series <i>The Seven Liberal Arts,</i> after 1575. Engraving
Jan Sadeler I, after Maarten de Vos,<i> Dialectic,</i> from the series <i>The Seven Liberal Arts,</i> after 1575. Engraving
Jan Sadeler I, after Maarten de Vos,<i> Astronomy,</i> from the series <i>The Seven Liberal Arts,</i> after 1575. Engraving
Jan Sadeler I, after Maarten de Vos,<i> Music,</i> from the series <i>The Seven Liberal Arts,</i> after 1575. Engraving
Jan Sadeler I, after Maarten de Vos,<i> Grammar,</i> from the series <i>The Seven Liberal Arts,</i> after 1575. Engraving

These photographs show Jan Sadeler’s engravings of The Seven Liberal Arts, based on designs by Maarten de Vos. According to Susan Dackerman’s catalog for Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe, even though the iconography of the series stems from medieval and Renaissance traditions, it also marks an evolution in the visual treatment of the topic. Each print bears a two-line inscription in Latin describing its art. Learn more about this Harvard Art Museums exhibit in Jennifer Carling and Jonathan Shaw’s article “Spheres of Knowledge,” from the November-December 2011 issue. 

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