Personification of September
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Joachim von Sandrart
German, about 1644
Black chalk, brown wash, and gray chalk heightening, incised for transfer
11 5/16 x 9 3/8 in.

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A fashionably dressed woman personifying September visits a market and chooses some figs from among the abundant fruits and vegetables displayed on a table. A scale hangs on the wall behind, while through an archway hunters shoot a herd of deer in a distant landscape. Joachim von Sandrart executed the drawing in a richly handled combination of chalk and wash, which evokes the range of textures of an oil painting, from the transparent layers of the woman's toile collar to the varied textures of the produce.

Sandrart made this finished drawing after one of his own paintings, from a series of allegorical personifications of the months that Elector Maximilian I of Bavaria commissioned for the dining hall of his palace near Munich. The reputation of the paintings began to spread in 1644 with the publication of a Dutch poem describing them. Sandrart then made a series of finished drawings to be used as models for a corresponding series of prints. Such engraved reproductions of paintings allowed many to enjoy and study what would otherwise have been the exclusive property of one man.