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Old Masters, Allegory, Arts & Sciences, Set of 4 Antique Prints, Germany, 18th Century


Georg Daniel Heumann (1691-1759)
La Musique [Music]
La Peinture [Painting]
La Sculpture [Sculpture]
L’Astronomye [Astronomy]
Nuremberg: 18th Century
10 x 14 each, overall, average approximate
$1,600, the set of four

Four rococo engravings illustrating the subjects of music, painting, sculpture, and astronomy by showing the practice of each discipline with aristocratic men and women among the observers or participants. Such varied endeavors were popular among the wealthy in the Age of Enlightenment. The activities take place in the kind of picturesque garden settings combining statuary and architectural fragments that were popular in the 18th century. All are titled in French lower center.

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La Musique depicts two couples sitting on the grass and two other women listening to a man playing the flute. In the background steps lead to a palace. Printer’s credit lower left, numbered “No. 5” upper center, and “j” upper right.

La Peinture  shows a group of well-dressed men and women watching a woman seated at an easel paint an oval portrait. Her subject is another woman seated on an upholstered settee, a dog sleeping on the ground beside her. Numbered “5” upper right.

La Sculpture  shows stone carvers at work on life-size figures, working with hammers and chisels, while another worker sharpens chisels on a grinder operated by a foot pedal. A well-dressed man and woman look on. Completed sculptures are in the background. Numbered “2” upper right.

L’Astronomye shows a group engaged in the study of astronomy.  In the center, a man holds up a magnifying glass to inspect an armillary sphere. Beside him a man holds a telescope for a woman to view. Another man peers through a telescope, and a seated man looks at a globe in his lap. A couple and another woman complete the group; the women are all holding right angle rulers. The background incorporates classical ruins and a stone arch with plants sprouting from it. Numbered “3” upper right.

Georg Daniel Heumann was a German artist, draftsman and printmaker who was born and died in Nuremberg. He engraved works after Menkel, Desmarée, Sandrart and other artists, and was engraver to the English court as well as to the Academy of Göttingen. Among his notable works were many of the engravings for Johann Jakob Scheuchzer’s Physica Sacra, architectural views published in Augsburg in 1724, and portraits of prominent Germans.

Full publication information: G.D. Heumann Excudit Norimb.

Condition:  Generally very good, recently professionally cleaned and deacidified, with some remaining toning, wear, handling. Outer dimensions of sheets vary slightly, but can be matted and framed the same size as a set.


Bénézit, E. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs. France: Librairie Gründ, 1966. Vol. 4, p. 690.

“Georg Daniel Heumann.” British Museum. (15 August 2018).

Additional information


18th Century