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Lycurgus reads from his treatise on the benefits of education, 1596

  • burin engraving, paper
  • 203 x 276 mm
  • Inv. 2014-NE-2

Public Domain

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Lycurgus, the famous Spartan lawgiver, stands in the foreground on the right and reads from a book. A market square with spectators can be seen in the background. Two dogs are let loose in the market square. One dog eats from a bowl of food prepared for them, the other dog runs after a released hare. The performance depicts a parable of Lycurgus. The lawgiver wanted to demonstrate the importance of education and trained two dogs from the same litter differently. One dog had to hunt for its food, while the other dog was always fed. When he released the two dogs in the forum of Sparta, the dogs behaved according to their upbringing. The parable appears in Plutarchus' Moralia (3:16). The print has a Latin text in the margin with explanations.


Jan Saenredam RKD
Zaandam 1565 - 1566 - Assendelft 1607
engravers (printmakers)AAT

Paulus Bernardus Mercator

Title Lycurgus reads from his treatise on the benefits of education
Date 1596
Period 16th century
Location Assendelft TGN
Medium and support burin engraving AAT
Collection print room
Object type burin engraving AAT
Inventory number 2014-NE-2
Acquisition credit unknown
Current whereabouts Work currently not on display
IIIF Manifest
Art & Architecture Thesaurus 300189808 figures (representations) AAT
300015571 cityscapes (representations) AAT
Keywords Iconclass 25I city-view, and landscape with man-made constructions Iconclass
25I12 prospect of city, town panorama, silhouette of city Iconclass
31A231 standing figure Iconclass
31A71 male sex; man Iconclass
31D16 old man Iconclass
34A3 training of dogs Iconclass
34B11 dog Iconclass
41A1 civic architecture; edifices; dwellings Iconclass
41A14 urban housing Iconclass
41C111 giving food Iconclass
42A461 parental care Iconclass
42A56 growing up Iconclass
43C11 hunting, chase Iconclass
43C1147 hunting dogs Iconclass
44C34 politician, e.g. party leader Iconclass
44G law and jurisprudence Iconclass
48(+431) art (+ copy, copying ~ work of art) Iconclass
48A712 the audience ~ art performance Iconclass
61B2 historical persons Iconclass
61E(SPARTA) names of cities and villages (SPARTA) Iconclass
98B(LYCURGUS) (story of) Lycurgus, the Spartan Iconclass
98B(LYCURGUS)51 Lycurgus, the Spartan, demonstrates the importance of good education by comparing the behaviour of two dogs: one eats from his dish, the other chases a hare Iconclass
School / Style Renaissance AAT
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