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The Seven Liberal Arts

10.11.11

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, Rhetoric, from the series The Seven Liberal Arts, after 1575. Engraving

Image courtesy of Department of Digital Imaging and Visual Resources, Harvard Art Museums, © 2011 President and Fellows of Harvard College

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, Arithmetic, from the series The Seven Liberal Arts, after 1575. Engraving

Department of Digital Imaging and Visual Resources, Harvard Art Museums, © 2011 President and Fellows of Harvard College

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, Geometry, from the series The Seven Liberal Arts, after 1575. Engraving

Department of Digital Imaging and Visual Resources, Harvard Art Museums, © 2011 President and Fellows of Harvard College

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, Dialectic, from the series The Seven Liberal Arts, after 1575. Engraving

Department of Digital Imaging and Visual Resources, Harvard Art Museums, © 2011 President and Fellows of Harvard College

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, Astronomy, from the series The Seven Liberal Arts, after 1575. Engraving

Department of Digital Imaging and Visual Resources, Harvard Art Museums, © 2011 President and Fellows of Harvard College

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, Music, from the series The Seven Liberal Arts, after 1575. Engraving

Department of Digital Imaging and Visual Resources, Harvard Art Museums, © 2011 President and Fellows of Harvard College

Jan Sadeler I, after Maarten de Vos,<i> Grammar,</i> from the series <i>The Seven Liberal Arts,</i> after 1575. Engraving

Jan Sadeler I, after Maarten de Vos, Grammar, from the series The Seven Liberal Arts, after 1575. Engraving

Department of Digital Imaging and Visual Resources, Harvard Art Museums, © 2011 President and Fellows of Harvard College

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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