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Cycle of Human Beauty (c. 1750)

Entitled Cycle of Human Beauty [Zirckel der menschlichen Schönheit], this engraving is a variation on the conventional portrayal of life as a process of ascent and descent. The accompanying verse reads:

“Thus from childhood onward, beauty and form do grow, And youth’s appeal soon shows itself, Grows stronger, sensible and dignified, until, ripened by age, Beauty flees, and one reaches for the crutches.”

Colored copperplate engraving by Martin Engelbrecht (1684-1756), c. 1750.

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Cycle of Human Beauty (c. 1750)

© Bildarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Kunstbibliothek, SMB
Original: Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin