Journal ARS 49 (2016) 2


Genre Engravings from the Collection of Ostrolúcky Family


The noble Ostrolúcky family owned a large collection of engravings until the end of the World War II. Part of it is nowadays in the Museum of Forestry and Wood Technology in Zvolen. Most of the engravings are portraits and vedute, the least are genres, on which focuses this study. They are presented and interpreted for the first time, together with brief biographies of the authors, cultural and artistic contexts. The oldest engravings are from the 16th and 17th century the Nederlandish and German engravings with exotic hunting scenes after Jan van der Straet and his pupil Antonio Tempesta made by various engravers, among them Matthäus Merian Sr. The Czech-English engraver Wenceslaus Hollar is the author of three etchings of greyhounds, which are also in an engraving from the production of Thomas Burford after James Seymour from the 18th century. Baroque is also represented through Johann Jacob Haid’s mezzotint titled Sleeping after Godefrid Schalken. Seven French Roccoco engravings once illustrated a songbook Choix de chansons mises en musique by Jean Benjamin de la Borde. An English stipple engraving – Hope – by William Wynne Ryland after Angelika Kauffman is chronologically the first Neoclassicistic piece in selected part of the Ostrolúcky‘s collection. Under this allegoric image are verses from Essay on Man written by Alexander Pope. Depiction of a lady as goddess Diana was the subject of the engraving by Thomas Watson after miniaturist James Nixon, RA. Mythological contexts can be followed in engravings Prudence and Beauty and Flora, both after Giovanni Battista Cipriani, RA, a Florentine artist who lived in London. Five graphics referred to the Renaissance – The Tamborine, The Falling Out, Marcela, Olivia, and Cupids Revenge, framed the same way. Their authors are C. White, Thomas Burke and Sarah Reading. In the engraving Society in Solitude by John Raphael Smith there is a reading lady. Another stipple engraving – Sleeping – was made by Peltro William Tomkins. Romantic allegorical composition Past and Future made after Scottish paintress Margaret Gillies by A. Simon is a steel engraving. The only engraving with historical theme is by Georg Goldberg after benedictine Gabriel. It depicts the torture of Rudolph de Warth for the killing of Albrecht Habsburg. These thirty two engravings by twenty two authors shows that the Ostrolúcky family was able to pick excellent exemplars of the European graphic art.