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Upper center in red ink: CICADA CICADAE CHARA FORMICAE FORMICA.; insects in image numbered .1., .2., .3., .4., .5., .6., .7., and .8., in red ink; center right in brown ink: .XVIII.; lower center in brown ink: CITIVS QVAM FORMICAE, PAPAVER.
Facing page:
Upper center in red ink: Formica populus infirmus, qui pr[a]eparat / In messe cibum sibi pro.30.(“The ants, a feeble people, which provide themselves food in the harvest.” Proverbs 30:25) (Latin Vulgate Bible); lower center in red ink: Aestate meminit, brumae formica sequentis: / Colligit idcirco provida messe cibum. A:S. (Stockelius?) (“The ant remembers the winter that follows summer, and therefore providently gathers food at harvest time.”) (trans. Vignau-Wilberg 1994, 69)


Emperor Rudolph of Austria; Lessing J. Rosenwald, Alverthorpe, PA; gift to NGA, 1987.

Exhibition History

A Collector's Cabinet, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1998, no. 76.
From Botany to Bouquets: Flowers in Northern Art, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1999, no. 45, as Iris from Animalia Rationalia et Insecta (Ignis).
Deceptions and Illusions: Five Centuries of Trompe l'Oeil Painting, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 2002-2003, no. 30, as Ignis (Animalia Rationalia et Insecta) Plate 47.

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