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Black-and-white etching of man sitting at desk with scientific instruments

A man with a long white beard sits at a desk in profile facing left toward a rondel window. Two posts sit on the table. A cable stretches from the left post to another, larger post behind the man. He touches the right post with his right hand. On the desk is a paper with a geometric shape, a drafting compass, and a few other hard-to-identify instruments. A panel with another geometric shape is propped against the windowsill. Two alcoves in the wall behind him house a book, an hourglass, and a sculpture of blocks.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Jost Amman, Swiss (Zurich, Switzerland 1539 - 1591 Nuremberg, Germany)
Wenzel Jamnitzer: Goldsmith, Mathematician, Designer of Instruments
Work Type
c. 1572-1575
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Etching on off-white antique laid paper
plate: 16.7 × 25.3 cm (6 9/16 × 9 15/16 in.)
sheet: 16.9 × 25.5 cm (6 5/8 × 10 1/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • watermark: coat-of-arms Nuremberg (similar to Briquet 921, Nuremberg 1591)


Recorded Ownership History
[Daniela Laube Fine Art, New York] sold; to Harvard Art Museums, 2007

State, Edition, Standard Reference Number

Standard Reference Number
New Hollstein 137 (Jost Amman, part I)

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Acquisition Fund for Prints
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art

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Publication History

  • Susan Dackerman, ed., Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2011), cat. 63 p.264-265, repr

Exhibition History

  • Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/06/2011 - 12/10/2011; Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Evanston, 01/17/2012 - 04/08/2012
  • 32Q: 2540 Renaissance, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 02/13/2020 - 07/27/2021
  • Captured Visions: Optics in Early Modern European Art, Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College, 11/12/2022 - 03/26/2023

Verification Level

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at