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Goldweigher, 17th century

Goldweigher, 17th century


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Goldweigher, 17th century

Goldweigher. 17th-century artwork of a goldweigher, with a balance and accounts book, handing a bag of weighed gold to a kneeling assistant. This etching is by the Irish engraver William Baillie (1723-1792). It is based on a 1639 etching by the Dutch artist Rembrandt (1606-1669), in which he depicted Jan Uytenbogaert (1608-1680), Hollands Receiver-General (chief tax collector). The caption for this engraving (not shown) reads: Scilicet improbae crescunt divitiae. This Latin quote on the inevitability and immorality of the growth of wealth is from the Odes of the 1st-century BC Roman poet Horace

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Media ID 9213123

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1600s 1700s 17th Century 18th Century Adolescent Art History Bags Balance Chest Child Commercial Dutch Etching Finance Financial Gold Holland Irish Laid Paper Money Record Recording Teenager Weighing Weight Weights Writing Youth 1639 Accounts Horace Jan Uytenbogaert Ledger Paying Rembrandt Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn Taxation Taxes Taxman Transaction Transactions William Baillie


EDITORS COMMENTS
This print showcases a 17th-century artwork titled "Goldweigher". The etching, created by the talented Irish engraver William Baillie, is based on a 1639 piece by renowned Dutch artist Rembrandt. In this scene, we witness a goldweigher diligently at work with his balance and accounts book in hand. With precision and expertise, he carefully weighs out gold before handing a bag of weighed treasure to his kneeling assistant. The historical significance of this image is further emphasized by the Latin quote inscribed on the original engraving: "Scilicet improbae crescunt divitiae" taken from Horace's Odes. This thought-provoking phrase explores the inevitability and moral implications surrounding wealth accumulation. Through this artful depiction, we are transported back in time to an era when financial transactions were meticulously recorded on paper ledgers. The monochrome illustration adds depth and texture to the composition while highlighting every intricate detail of both men involved in this transaction. As we admire this remarkable piece, it serves as a reminder of how commerce has evolved over centuries. It also offers us an opportunity to reflect upon our own relationship with money and its impact on society throughout history.

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