Nuptials, plate 5 from Skills of a Prince, after Jan van der Straet, called Stradanus
28.2 cm x 38.1 cm (11 1/8 in. x 15 in.)
Raphael Sadeler I
(Antwerp, 1560/61 - 1628 or 1632, Venice or Munich)
Medium and Support:
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, University purchase by exchange and Jack S. Blanton Curatorial Endowment Fund, 2005
Springing from the humanist practice of reviving classical sources, Nuptiae is one in a series of prints identifying the activities of virtuous men. It is notable in part because it advocates marriage, an institution that had previously been eschewed as an impediment to the preferred contemplative life, for aristocratic men. By the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries some philosophers taught that families were microcosms of the state, and princes should marry in order to promote peace and stability in their kingdoms. Marriage was not entered into for personal reasons, but rather to fulfill civic obligations.