Hopfer's Die Macht der Liebe

Hieronymus Hopfer (ca. 1500-1563), Die Macht der Liebe (The Power of Love), no date. B. 35. Engraving. Graphic Arts division (GAX) German Prints.

The German printmaker Hieronymus Hopfer (ca. 1500-1563), son of Daniel Hopfer (1470-1536), learned to print working with his father, who is credited with being the first to use etching in Germany. Daniel found it useful for ornamenting armor and guns. Like many artists at that time, they were both fluent in many printmaking techniques, including woodcutting primarily for book illustration. It is his elaborate engravings for which Hieronymus is best-known today, often copied for a German audience after Mantegna, Jacopo de’ Barbari, Nicoletto da Modena, and other early Italian engravers.

The creation date of this print, entitled Die Macht der Liebe (The Power of Love), is unknown. It is an allegorical scene, showing Venus standing at the center, holding a half moon. She is surrounded by various groupings of men, women, and children, each depicting a different form of love.