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1640 Liège – 1711 Amsterdam


Theseus fights the Amazons attacking Athens – c.1670


Etching. Published by Nicolaus Vischer. Lettered: “Per Gerardum de Lairesse inv. et sculp. et per Nicolaum Visscher edit. cum Priv: Ord. General: Belgii Foederati”. Watermark: Strasbourg Lily (Churchill 400). Size of sheet: 8.5 x 15 cm.


Timmers 1942/Gerard Lairesse (51); Hollstein Dutch 51.


Crisp lifetime impression with small margins..


Comparative impression: the British Museum – inv.ref. 1869,0410.1267; Rijksmuseum – inv.ref. RP-P-OB-46.699.



Gerard de Lairesse: Theseus fights Amazons, c.1670

  • Gérard de Lairesse was a painter and art theorist, who won recognition and fame in his lifetime. He was called the ‘Dutch Apelles’ or ‘Dutch Poussin’ by his admirers. He trained first with his father and then, from 1655, with Bertholet Flémal. In 1664, Lairesse moved away from Liège and finally settled in Amsterdam. Here he attracted a wealthy clientele with his complex mythological works and his illusionistic decoration. He was also a prolific and gifted printmaker. He became blind in 1690 and began to give art lectures which were published by his sons.

    The Amazons were a mythical race of warrior women in Asia Minor, who figure in many Classical stories; the scene depicted here is their rout by the Greeks under Theseus.

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