The Dissimilar Couple, c. 1495-1497


Bequest of Herschel V. Jonesexpand_more  P.68.233

Not on Viewexpand_more

Israhel van Meckenem engraved a series on the vagaries of love. Here a young woman crosses her arms and glowers as her husband caresses her bottom. The position of his sword suggests his intention, but she’s having none of it. His plain clothes compared to her fashionable ones might be a sign that she married below her station, probably for financial gain. We could say that she now regrets her choice, but in those times, she probably had little say in the matter.

The Dissimilar Couple
Artist Life
c. 1445–1503
Accession Number
Rev. John Griffith (L. 1464) (sale 1883, No. 171); Colnaghi; Knoedler & Co.
Catalogue Raisonne
B.171; NGA 236 Lehrs 502 Hollstein 502
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Zoom in on the left to the detail you'd like to save. Click 'Save detail' and wait until the image updates. Right click the image to 'save image as' or copy link, or click the image to open in a new tab.