The Prophet Micah

WAG 6312


One of a series of Old Testament prophets, many of which were later engraved and published as prints in Antwerp after Stradanus's death. The lightly drawn squaring over the figure was presumably intended to aid the transfer of the artist's original to the engraver's plate. Several of the series use the device of placing the prophet behind a wall over which arms and drapery are artfully placed to create an illusion of space and three-dimensionality. This effect helps enliven what could otherwise be a serried rank of figures. On arrival in Florence in the 1540s Stradanus was recruited into the workshops of the ruling Medici family, where he was employed as a designer of frescoes, tapestries and, from the 1570s onwards, engravings. Stradanus's drawing technique employing fine dots and a delicate use of red and black chalks adds the realism, typical of his native Flanders, to a symbolic portrait.