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A unique piece of artwork involving an Allard atlas title page, by the celebrated artist and colorist Anna Beek, likely made for William of Orange.

This is a unique piece by Anna Beek, where she has transformed a title page from Carel Alard's Atlas Minor (Amsterdam, 1697) into a unique and elegant work of art. The title page had been trimmed and mounted onto a large piece of paper and given a brilliant yellow border. Resplendent coloring has been added throughout, and Allard's title had been erased from the stone block pedestal on the right. The late Baroque allegorical scene shows Atlas supporting the heavens while below, surrounding an earthly globe, are grouped the figures of Neptune, Time, and Cybele the earth goddess and the recording muse of Geography. In the sky above Zeus grasps his thunderbolts and eyes his consort Juno who balances the sun and moon in her hands.

Anna Beek (1657-1717) was an engraver, publisher and one of the most esteemed colorists of her time and one of the few important female court artists working during the period. Based in The Hague, from 1690 to 1700, she worked as the official colorist for William of Orange (1750-1702), the Stadtholder of the Netherlands (1672-1702) and the King of Great Britain (1789-1702). William was a leading collector of paintings, and was internationally regarded for his fine taste in artwork and architecture. He personally introduced many Continental styles to England. William's great art collection was sold at auction in Amsterdam on July 26, 1713.

As per Willam's tastes, Beek trimmed many prints from atlases and view books and enlarged them by mounting each of the prints on a larger piece of paper, which were then exquisitely colored in pastel hues, adding extensive clouds and brilliant yellow borders. She occasionally also cut out pieces of prints and pasted them into other positions, or erased text from pages to augment visual effect (as was the case here). The quality of her coloring was superlative and she succeeded in creating splendid and unique artworks from established prints. The prints were usually brought together in fine red morocco and gilt bindings.

As with the present example, none of Beek's works are alike, and each is a unique masterpiece of Baroque coloring.

Condition Description
Hand Colored title page, with unique paste down sections, customized for Anna Beek.