The Battle About Money (The Battle of the Money Bags and the Strong Boxes)

Pieter Brueghel the Elder (c. 1525-1569), after, engraving, after 1570, on laid paper with an indistinct (tower?) watermark. Engraved by Peter Van Der Heyden (c. 1530-after 1569). New Hollstein 33, fourth state (of 4), Lari 136, Bastelaer, Hollstein 146. In very good condition (a repaired tear left edge), trimmed on or outside of the platemark, with the inscription below; 237 x 306 mm.

Provenance: Ulrich Ochsenbein (1811-1890) and Alfred Ochsenbein (1883-1919), Switzerland.

A very good, clear impression of this iconic image.

The inscriptions below discuss the subject of the composition, in Dutch and Latin. A translation of part of the Dutch inscription: “It’s all for money and goods, this fighting and quarreling.” It’s hard to tell who is fighting with whom – although it’s apparent that the piggy banks, money bags, treasure chests full of arms, and overflowing bags of coins, as well as various sorts of warriors are all in the mix. The publisher Johannes Galle, in this state, added the following verses from the Old Testament Book of Ecclesiasticus (8:3) the annotation: “Riches make thieves. Gold and silver have destroyed many.”