Maerten v. Heemskerck  /  Dirk v. Coornhert

The King who made a supper - Ca. 1558

Maerten Van Heemskerck                Dirk Volkertsz Voornhert           Theodor Galle            Hieronymus Cock 


The preparation of the banquet and the king sending out his servant to invite guests; in the foreground a group of men butcher a large bull;

The First excuse:
The man who bought a piece of land; at a city gateway the servant approaches a figure with a stick who points to a farmstead and field;

The second excuse:
The man who bought five oxes; the servant converses with a figure who points towards his herd cattle;

The third excuse:
The man who married a wife; the servant approaches a finely attired figure who gestures towards his seated wife;

The servant inviting the sick and the poor to the banquet;

The fate of the man who came without a wedding garment; at an entrance the King confronts a man; inside the building guests sit around a table; outside, he's thrown in a pit


The parable of the great banquet


Maarten van Heemskerck ( 1498 - 1574)
Painter and print designer; worked in Haarlem and Italy. Born in Heemskerck; son of a farmer. Trained in Haarlem under Jan van Scorel; in Italy 1532-6/7; later career in Haarlem, where one of the richest citizens. Prolific designer of compositions for prints, almost all made by others. Artists who engraved after his designs include Dirk Coornhert (c.1547-59), Philips Galle (from 1559), Cornelis Bos, Theodoor de Bry

Dirk Volkertsz Coornhert (1522 - 1590)
Engraver, poet and freethinker. Born in Amsterdam; began printmaking in Haarlem in 1547 and collaborated with Heemskerk until 1559. In 1560s became town clerk, but fled to Cologne in 1568. Remained in exile in Germany until 1576 when he returned to Haarlem, bringing with him Goltzius as a pupil. Died at Gouda.


New Hollstein 343-348
A series of six plates
BM inventory number 1949,0709.189...194

Theodoor Galle (1571 - 1633)

Etching and engraving. Complete with text line.
General good condition. Some restoration in the margins.
Measures 21,50 by 26 cm. Full plate border and good margins.
Watermark: crowned eagle with spread wings

Based on the bible verses :Luke 14:15-24

“A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’  “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’ “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”

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