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Inscription

lower center, in image, in plate: DIVITIAE FACIVNT FVRES. / Multos perdidit aurem et argenium / Eccli 8.5. // LES RICHESSES FONT DES LARRONS. / L'or et l'argent en a destruit plusieurs. // RYCKDOM MAECKT DIEVEN. / Goudt en silver heeft vek bedorve; lower right, in image in plate: P. Bruegel Inuet. / Ioan Galle excudit.; in lower margin, in plate: Quid modo diuiti[a]e, quid fului vasta metalli / Congeries, nummis arca referta nouis, // Illecebres inter tantas, atq[ue] agmina furum / Inditium cunctis efferus vncus erit, // Pr[a]eda facit furem, feruens mala cuncta ministrat / Impetus, et spolijs apta rapina feris. (The savage grappling hook will reveal to all the riches, the vast pile of yellow metal, the strongbox stuffed with new coins among these great enticements and the ranks of thieves. Booty makes the thief, the assault that serves all evil helps him, and so does the pillage good for fierce spoils.) // Wel aen ghij Spaerpotten, Tonnen, en Kisten. / Tis al om gelt en goet, dit striden en twisten. // Al seet men u ooc anders, willet niet ghelouen. / Daerom vueren[n] wij den haec die ons noijt en miste[n] // Men soeckt wel actie om ons te uerdoouen, / Maer men souwer niet krijgen, waerder niet te rooven. (Forward you piggy banks, barrels, and chests. It's all for money and goods, this fighting and quarreling. Even if they tell you something different, don't believe it. That is why we carry that hook, which has never forsaken us, on our banners. They are taking action to quiet us down, but there would be no battle if there were nothing to steal.)

[translations from Nadine Orenstein, ed., Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Drawings and Prints. Exhibition catalogue. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2001, p. 253.]

Provenance

William H. Schab; purchased 1962 by Lessing J. Rosenwald; gift to NGA, 1964.

Exhibition History
1965
Drolleries and Demons: Six Centuries of 'Fantastic' Prints, IBM Gallery, New York, NY, 1965, no. 16.
2000
The Fantastic in Renaissance Prints and Drawings, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 2000.
Bibliography
1908
Bastelaer, Rene van. Les estampes de Peter Bruegel l'ancien. Brussels: G. van Oest et Cie, 1908.
1993
The New Hollstein Dutch & Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts, 1450-1700. (Pieter Bruegel, Nadine Orenstein author). Rotterdam: Sound & Vision Interactive, 1996-, no. 33, state iii/iv.
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