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‘Pictura Batava’: Hadrianus Junius, artists and chorography

Isabel I. Zinman (3885658)


Research Master Thesis Art History, 30 ETCS (OGMV04005)
University of Utrecht
Supervisor: Dr. Victor M. Schmidt
Second Reader: Dr. Dirk van Miert
Date: 12/7/2014
Last updated: 6/8/2014
Contents

Acknowledgements ........................................................................................................................ 3

Introduction
Subject ........................................................................................................................................ 4
Method and sources .................................................................................................................... 5
Chapter 1. ‘An impression of a part’
1.1 Chorography from antiquity to the Renaissance ................................................................ 11
1.2 Antiquarianism, topography and historiography ................................................................ 14
1.3 Descriptions and praises of cities and collective biographies ............................................ 17
Chapter 2. Artists in Chorography I: 1474-1567
2.1 Italy ..................................................................................................................................... 23
2.2 Germany .............................................................................................................................. 27
2.3 The Low Countries .............................................................................................................. 30
Chapter 3. Artists in the Batavia of Hadrianus Junius
3.1 The author and publication .................................................................................................. 36
3.2 Previous art historians on Junius’ artists ............................................................................ 38
3.3 Junius on painters and engravers ........................................................................................ 42
3.4 Junius on the sculptor Willem van Tetrode ......................................................................... 50
3.5 Pieter Aertsen: rhyparographer? .......................................................................................... 51
Chapter 4. Artists in Chorography II: the Low Countries 1568-1610
4.1 Petrus Opmerus’ chronicle of the world ............................................................................. 63
4.2 Arnoldus Buchelius’ description of Utrecht ........................................................................ 72
4.3 Carolus Scribanius’ book on Antwerp ............................................................................... 82
Conclusion .................................................................................................................................... 90

Appendix
I. Menander’s suggestions for describing and praising cities.................................................... 96
II. Contents and artists of Hadrianus Junius’ Batavia ............................................................... 97
III. Artists of Petrus Opmerus’ Opus chronographicum ......................................................... 101
IV. Contents and artists of Arnoldus Buchelius’ Traiecti Batavorum descriptio ................... 107
V. Contents of Carolus Scribanius’ Antverpia and Origines Antverpiensium ........................ 110

Images ......................................................................................................................................... 112

Bibliography
Before 1850 (whether original or modern publication) ........................................................... 115
Literature ................................................................................................................................. 117

Word Count (exclusive of ‘Appendix’): 39,559

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Acknowledgements

Many individuals have contributed to ‘‘Pictura Batava’’. The first are my supervisor Dr. Victor
M. Schmidt and second reader/ specialist consultant Dr. Dirk van Miert. Their critical readings
of drafts provided insightful suggestions and continuous enthusiasm for my topic. Thanks to
Prof. Dr. Peter Hecht, whose successful nomination of me for an Utrecht Excellence Scholarship
brought me to the two year Master’s programme, the Art History of the Low Countries in its
European Context. His teaching in addition to that of Prof. Dr. Jeroen Stumpel and Dr. Victor M.
Schmidt laid the groundwork for this thesis. I am indebted to the Utrecht University Foundation
for giving me the financial means to complete the program. Next I would like to thank the other
graduate students and docents of the Art History department who made the University of Utrecht
home for me. Thank you to my internship supervisor Friso Lammertse, and the other curators
and interns of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen for being a constant source of inspiration
and encouragement during the past year. Lastly, I would like to thank my boyfriend and best
friend, Jeffrey van der Ree, my parents, Howard and Margaret, my sister Clara, and my
schoonfamile for their tireless support.

Isabel Irene Zinman


August 6, 2014
The Hague, Netherlands

  3  
Introduction

Subject

Art, economy, religion and independence are popular, current associations of the Dutch Golden

Age. The scanning of nearly 200 book-length descriptions of cities that were written during the

first two centuries of the Dutch Republic for references to artists by Stedentrots en stedenpracht

(2009) underscores the prominence of art.1 The 983 mentions of artists that the digital

publication recovers establishes that a link between art and self-awareness has existed in the

Netherlands since it became a sovereign state. Art historians’ previous concentration on the

artists in a small number of city descriptions such as Samuel Ampzing’s on Haarlem, Jan Jansz.

Orlers’s on Leiden, and Dirck van Bleyswijck’s on Delft precluded an earlier validation of this

evidently close, and longstanding bond.

By claiming that city descriptions derive from poems that were written in praise of cities

at the beginning of the Golden Age, Stedentrots en stedenpracht (2009) casts inclusions of artists

as particular to the genre. Frans Slits’ study of a large body of poems in praise of cities in

addition to Inge Broekman’s recent dissertation on poetry referencing art by the prolific

practitioner Constantijn Huygens suggest otherwise: that poets writing on cities rarely

approached subjects related to art.2 Stedentrots en stedenpracht’s demonstration of the

consistency of inclusions of artists in city descriptions, albeit highly valuable, consequentially

                                                                                                               
1
Stedentrots & stedenpracht: kunstenaarsvermeldingen in stadsbeschrijvingen van Noord-Nederlandse steden
1600-1850 (RKDMonographs), <http://rkdmonographs.preview.angelfish.altcontrol.nl> (14 April 2014).
2
Among others Janus Dousa, Justus Lipsius, Daniel Heinsius and Hugo Grotius wrote poems in praise of cities.
Slits’ study looks at a sampling by Casparus Barlaeus and Constantijn Huygens. The poems are relatively short, and
not one references art. Inge Broekman notes no connection between Huygen’s poems on art and cities. ‘Het genre
van de stadsbeschrijving’ in Stedentrots & stedenpracht, 14 April 2014, F. P. T. Slits, Het Latijnse stededicht:
oorsprong en ontwikkeling tot in de zeventiende eeuw, Amsterdam 1990 and I. Broekman, Constantijn Huygens, de
kunst en het hof, dissertation, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam 2010.

  4  
yields the following uncertainty: did a city’s show of pride and assertion of its splendor through

elevating artists originate during the Golden Age?

Centering around Hadrianus Junius’ passages on artists in his ‘chorography’ of Habsburg

Holland, Batavia (1588), the source which Stedentrots en stedenpracht considers an information

bank on artists, my Research Master’s thesis reveals that inclusions of artists in accounts of areas

are to be found in humanist discourse predating the Golden Age.3 ‘Chorography’, the ancient

term for an account describing an area of land, was revived by Italian humanists during the

Renaissance, and proliferated throughout scholarly circles across sixteenth-century Europe. An

investigation of inclusions of artists in chorographies with an emphasis on examples written in

the Low Countries affirms that the artist was a topos of exalting descriptions of areas for over

one hundred years prior to the first city description of the seventeenth century.4 The literary

technique of using classical models, customary among humanists, is presented as what resulted

in the introduction of artists into chorographies in the first place, and as what shaped an author’s

observations on artistic practice. With regard to the latter, the majority rely on the classical

Roman author Pliny’s chapters describing ancient artists in the Natural History in order to

formulate observations on the artists of a region.

 
Method and sources

There is no previous attempt to derive and comparatively examine passages on artists featured in

chorographies of the Early Modern period. In filling the gap, I confine the sources that I examine

to the period between the publication of the earliest chorography, Biondo Flavio’s Italia

                                                                                                               
3
Hadrianus Junius, Batavia, Leiden 1588.
4
Stedentrots & stedenpracht mentions chorography as having influenced the form of city descriptions, but not their
inclusions of artists. In contrast, E. O. G. Haitsma Mulier’s article describing city descriptions written at the
beginning of the seventeenth century notes the continuity of the topos of the artist from chorography to city
description. ‘Het genre van de stadsbeschrijving’ in Stedentrots & stedenpracht, 14 April 2014 and E. O. G. Haitsma
Mulier, ‘De eerste Hollandse stadsbeschrijvingen uit de zeventiende eeuw’, De zeventiende Eeuw 9 (1993), p. 104.

  5  
illustrata (1474), and the first city description of the Golden Age, Johannes Pontanus’ Rerum et

urbis Amstelodamensium historia (1611).5 As E. O. G. Haitsma Mulier outlines in ‘De eerste

Hollandse stadsbeschrijving uit de zeventiende eeuw’ (1993), city descriptions, in comparison to

chorographies, were written by non-humanists, are in the vernacular and not Latin, consider

strictly singular cities in great detail, and emphasize the history of the individual urban

community in its context of the new Dutch Republic.6 Furthermore, the authors of city

descriptions chronologically narrate recent events such as the Dutch revolt, whereas the authors

of chorographies arrange and analyze information usurped from classical and earlier

historiographical sources.7 Pontanus’ description of Amsterdam marks the transition point

between the two genres, for besides the fact that it was eventually translated out of Latin, the

author combines a chorography-esque description of Amsterdam in antiquity with a narrative

account of the city’s more recent history.8

Following an analysis of the humanist revival of chorography and how the genre

originally came to include artists in Chapter 1, I consider artists in chorographies that were

written before Junius’. Chapter 2 consists of three subsections: Italian chorography, German

chorography, and Netherlandish chorography. In choosing the Italian chorographies, Flavio’s

                                                                                                               
5
Biondo Flavio, De Roma triomphante lib. X priscorum scriptorum; Romae instaurate libri III; De origine ac gestis
Venetorum liber; Italia illustrata; Historiarum ab inclinato Ro. imperio, decades III, Basel 1559; Johannes
Pontanus, Rerum et urbis Amstelodamensium historia, Amsterdam 1611.
6
Op. cit. 4.
7
Haitsma Mulier 1993, pp. 97-98.
8
Ibid., 111; I find one quality which Haitsma Mulier describes as a difference between chorography and city
descriptions questionable. That is the increased importance of archival research for the latter. Several chorographers
made use of archives. Junius, for example, had originally planned to write two other books on Holland in addition to
Batavia, the first of which would have described the history of the northern Netherlandish noble class up until 1436,
and the second the Burgundian Netherlands. Both would have required extensive archival work. Arnoldus Buchelius
is a second example of a chorographer who made extensive use of archives. Long lists of noble families that are part
of his chorography of Utrecht testify to this. On Junius see D. van Miert, Hadrianus Junius (1511-1575): een
humanist uit Hoorn, Hoorn 2011, p. 104. On Buchelius see ‘Dienst en wederdienst: de oudheidkundige netwerken
van Buchelius en Scriverius’ in S. Langereis, Geschiedenis als ambacht: oudheidkunde in de Gouden Eeuw:
Arnoldus Buchelius en Petrus Scriverius, Hilversum 2001, pp. 155-238 and Arnoldus Buchelius, ‘Traiecti
Batavorum descriptio’, S. Muller (ed.) in Bijdragen en mededeelingen van het Historisch Genootschap 27 (1906),
pp. 153-268.

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Italia illustrata and Leandro Alberti’s Descrittione di tutta l’Italia (1550), I rely on Domenico

Defilippis’ La rinascita della corografia tra scienza ed erudizione (2001), a comprehensive

study on the revival of the genre in Renaissance Italy.9 Defilippis describes each text as a

milestone in the development of chorography. Flavio’s is the earliest example, and Alberti’s

expanded the overall scope of the genre. Gerald Strauss’ Sixteenth-century Germany: its

topography and topographers (1959) guided my selection of the two German examples: Jacobus

Wimphelingus’ Rerum Germanicarum epitome (1505) and Johannes Cochlaeus’ Brevis

Germanie Descriptio (1512).10 Few Netherlandish chorographies predate Batavia. I came across

two texts which name Early Modern artists: Gerardus Geldenhouwer’s incomplete manuscript of

what seems to have been preparations for an account of the Netherlands of his day and age (ca.

1520s, unpublished until the twentieth century), and Lodovico Guicciardini’s Descrittione, di

tutti I Paesi Bassi (1567), a text already quite familiar to art historians.11

Chapter 3, the core of my thesis, analyzes the painters, engravers, and sculptor of

Hadrianus Junius’ Batavia (ca. 1566 – 1575, published posthumously in 1588) in great detail.12

Batavia, which combines chapters relaying the history and topography of ancient Holland (called

‘Batavia’ by the Romans) through evaluations of references in rediscovered classical texts with

                                                                                                               
9
Op. cit. 5 (Biondo); Leandro Alberti, Descrittione di tutta l’Italia, et Isole pertinenti ad essa…, Venice 1596; D.
Defilippis, La rinascita della corografia tra scienza ed erudizione, Bari 2001.
10
G. Strauss, Sixteenth-century Germany: its topography and topographers, Madison 1959; Jakob Wimpheling,
Gerard Geldenhauer; Willibald Pirkheimer, Rerum Germanicarum epitome; Seorsum excusa Germaniae ex variis
scriptoribus perbrevis explicatio; Germaniae inferioris historiae & loca aliquot declarata, Hannover 1594;
Johannes Cochlaeus, Brevis Germanie Descriptio, K. Langosch and E. Etzlaub (trs./eds.), Darmstadt 1960; out of
the five other German chorographies described in Strauss’ publication which I scanned, these texts included
passages on artists. The others were Franciscus Irenicus’ Germaniae exegesos volumina duodecim (1518), which
includes a description of Nuremberg by Conradus Celtis in its appendix, Beatus Rhenanus’ Rerum Germanicarum
Libri Tres (1531), and Andreas Althamer’s Commentaria Germaniae in P. Cornelii Taciti Equitis Rom. libellum de
situ, moribus, et poulis Germanorum (1536).
11
Gerardus Geldenhauer, Collectanea van Gerardus Geldenhauer Noviomagus gevolgd door den herdruk van
eenige zijnen werken, J. Prinsen (ed.), Amsterdam 1901; Lodovico Guicciardini, Descrittione, di tutti i Paesi Bassi,
Antwerp 1567.
12
Op. cit. 3.

  7  
chapters describing the region in the sixteenth century, epitomizes chorography.13 The chapters

on Holland include the passages on sixteenth-century artists, for which Junius used the classical

Roman author Pliny the Elder’s accounts on ancient art in the Natural History as a guide.

Chapter 4 concentrates on chorography in the Low Countries just before the Golden Age

through an examination of three texts composed between Batavia and Pontanus’ description of

Amsterdam. The first, Petrus Opmerus’ Opus chronographicum (terminus post quem 1595,

published in 1611), is not a chorography, but a chronicle of the entire world from its beginning

up until the year 1611.14 Although Opmerus’ chronicle lacks certain criteria typical of

chorography, artists retain a significant presence throughout the narrative and the same position

as they do in the other genre, that is, as a constituent of biographies of famous men belonging to

a place. The author of the second text, Buchelius, was evidently very familiar with Junius’ artists

in Batavia. He paraphrases his predecessor’s passages on artists in his chorography of Utrecht,

the Traiecti Batavorum descriptio (ca. 1580s – early 90s, unpublished until the nineteenth

century).15 A discussion of Buchelius’ biography and bibliography, his travels in Italy, and the

Res pictoriae, his bundle of notes on matters related to art, explain the nature and significance of

his passage on artists in the Traiecti Batavorum descriptio.16 The final example, Carolus

Scribanius’ Antverpia (1610), features the most lavish example of artists in a chorography that is

                                                                                                               
13
For the contents of Batavia see ‘Appendix II’.
14
Petrus Opmerus, Opus chronographicum orbis universi a mundi exordio usque ad annum MDCXI, Antwerp
1611.
15
Op. cit. 8.
16
G. J. Hoogewerff and J. Q. van Regteren Altena transcribed and commentated an edition of Buchelius’ Res
pictoriae. The University of Utrecht Special Collections holds the manuscript. Arnoldus Buchelius, “Res pictoriae”:
aanteekeningen over kunstenaars en kunstwerken voorkomende in zijn Diarum, res pictoriae, notae quotidianae, en
Descriptio urbis ultraiectinae (1583-1639), G. J. Hoogewerff and J. Q. van Regteren Altena (eds.), The Hague 1928
and ‘Aanteekeningen betreffende meest Nederlandsche schilders en kunstwerken. Papier, 34 fol. Losse bladen van
verschillend formaat. Zeer beschadigd. Begin XVIIde eeuw’, Ms. 1781, University of Utrecht Special Collections.

  8  
considered in my thesis.17 Julius S. Held has translated, commentated and published on its

chapters describing painting, sculpture, silver chasing (the reverse of embossing) and

engraving.18 Held however does not relate the passages, which make a very heavy usage of

Pliny’s Natural History, to inclusions of artists in other chorographies. Antverpia, although

slightly different in its heavier focus on the virtues of the population of Antwerp, is certainly an

offspring of the genre.

Finding and analyzing the passages on artists in every single chorography of sixteenth-

century Europe and fully exploring the relationship between artists in chorographies and city

descriptions of the Dutch Golden Age would require much more space and time than a single

Research Master Thesis permits. My study presents the following shortcomings. Firstly, Chapter

2 considers a small sampling of passages on artists in chorographies from Italy, Germany and the

Low Countries over contemporaneous texts written in France and England. It omits important

examples such as the works of Gilles Corrozet on both Paris and France, the La fleur des

antiquitez de Paris (1532) and Antiques érections des villes et cites des Gaules et des fleuves et

fontaines d’icelles (1538), and the chorography related ambitions of England’s first antiquarian,

John Leland, and the fulfilling of his legacy by William Camden through an account covering the

entire United Kingdom, Britannia (1586).19

Secondly, as the extent to which insertions of artists in city descriptions of the

seventeenth century is a continuity of that in chorography requires a detailed study of the latter,

the outset of my thesis, I can only briefly return to the issue in the conclusion. My consideration

                                                                                                               
17
Carolus Scribanius, Antverpia; Origines Antverpiensium; Hè prootogeneia kai epistrephomenè tuchè tès
Anbersès, Antwerp 1610.
18
J. S. Held, ‘Carolus Scribanius’s Observations on Art in Antwerp’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld
Institutes 59 (1996), pp. 174-204.
19
For the development of chorography in England and France and more examples in Germany, Italy and the Low
Countries see Langereis 2001, pp. 46-49 and ‘De ‘chorographie’’ in Haitsma Mulier 1993, pp. 98-103.

  9  
of one example, Pontanus’ description of Amsterdam, yields more questions than answers.

Recall Stedentrots & stedenpracht’s tally of nearly 200 city descriptions and 1,000 artists.

Thirdly, the relatively small amount of examples that I examine does not permit me to draw

decisive conclusions with regard to chorographers’ choice of writing in Latin or the vernacular,

and whether language influenced content. The last limitation stems from the fact that the

popularity of chorography differed between nations. While the genre proliferated in Italy and

Germany, the Low Countries offer fewer, albeit richer examples such as Guicciardini’s

Descrittione and Junius’ Batavia. To make up for the discrepancy, I consider an annalistic

chronicle in both the section on the Low Countries in Chapter 2 (Geldenhouwer’s Collectanea),

and Chapter 4 (Opmerus’ Opus chronographicum).

In the end, my thesis reinstates the significance of chorography, a humanist genre of

writing, as the precedent for Golden Age city descriptions’ inclusions of artists. My source

materials are the passages on artists in Batavia, and parallel examples dating before and

afterwards. The humanist discourse of the classical tradition, from where chorography originates,

ties the texts together, whose authors, like Junius, frequently resort to Pliny’s Natural History in

order to comment on the artists of their time and region of interest.

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Chapter 1. ‘An impression of a part’

1.1. Chorography from antiquity to the Renaissance

Chorography in the most general sense of the word, in both antiquity and the Renaissance,

designated a detailed description of an area of land. The ancient author Ptolemy’s Geography

(second century CE) opens with a comparison of geography (γεωγραφία) and chorography

(χωρογραφία) that makes for a vivid classification of the word as it was applied by classical

authors. The following excerpts of the text serve to elucidate the meaning of chorography in the

ancient world. Ptolemy begins,

‘Geography is an imitation through drawing of the entire known part of the world together with
the things that are, broadly speaking, connected with it. It differs from chorography in that
chorography, as an independent discipline, sets out the individual localities, each one
independently and by itself, bringing everything together in a description down to the least thing
therein (for example, harbors, towns, districts, branches of principle rivers, and so on), while the
essence of geography is to show the known world as a single and continuous entity…’

He continues,

The goal of chorography is an impression of a part, as when one makes an image of just an ear or
an eye; but [the goal] of geography is a general view, analogous to making a portrait of the
whole head. That is, whenever a portrait is to be made, one has to fit in the main parts [of the
body] in a determined pattern and an order of priority…. Chorography deals above all with the
qualities rather than the quantities of the things that it sets down; it attends everywhere to
likeness, and not so much to proportional placements…. Consequently, chorography requires
landscape drawing, and no one but a man skilled in drawing would do chorography.’20

From Ptolemy’s definition, it is clear that chorography comprises a meticulous description of an

area of land. It contrasts with geography, which aims for a general, yet accurately scaled
                                                                                                               
20
Ptolemy’s discussion of geography and chorography in a book on map making has lead to debates surrounding
translation. In the latest critical edition of the Geography’s theoretical chapters, from where I take these excerpts,
John Lennart Berggren and Alexander Jones render them as respectively ‘world cartography’, and ‘regional
cartography’. Following Peter N. Miller in ‘Peiresc’s Mediterranean’ (2013), I replace these terms with respectively
‘geography’ and ‘chorography’. I also follow Miller’s modification of Lennart Berggren and Jones’ ‘registering
practically everything’ with ‘bringing everything together in a description’. Miller opts for these translations based
on Ptolemy’s emphasis of description as the key feature of chorography. Ptolemy, Ptolemy’s Geography: an
annotated translation of the theoretical chapters, J. Berggren and A. Jones (trs./eds.), Princeton 2000, pp. 57-58 and
P. N. Miller, ‘Mapping Peiresc’s Mediterranean: Geography and Astronomy, 1610-36’ in Communicating
observations in early modern letters (1500-1675): epistolography and epistemology in the age of the scientific
revolution, D. van Miert (ed.), London/Turin 2013, note 14.

  11  
impression of the entire world. The

introduction to Petrus Apianus’

Cosmographia (1540) features a

charming visualization of the

definitions. Apianus juxtaposes a

globe with a human head under

‘Geographia’ and a cityscape with

Ptolemy’s metaphoric eye and ear

under ‘Chorographia’ (Figure 1).

Pomponius Mela’s de

Chorographia, a text dated to nearly a

century earlier than Ptolemy’s


Figure 1. Petrus Apianus, Illustration of
Geography, exemplifies ancient Ptolemy’s definition of chorography in the
Cosmographia, Antwerp 1540
chorography in written practice. In de Chorographia, Pomponius Mela describes the inhabited

parts of the world region by region. A variety of topics comprise his descriptions of areas. These

include features such as mountains, rivers, cities, peoples, traditions, climate, architecture,

wealth, power, history and legends.21 Take for example, an excerpt of Mela’s chorography of the

west-Mediterranean regional power, Phoenicia.

‘The Phoenicians are a clever branch of the human race and exceptional in regard to the
obligations of war and peace, and they made Phoenicia famous. They devised the alphabet,
literary pursuits, and other arts too; they figured out how to win access to the sea by ship, how to
conduct battle with a navy, and how to rule over other peoples; and they developed the power of
sovereignty and the art of battle. In Phoenicia is Tyre [Soûr], once an island, but now tied to the
mainland, because siegeworks were thrown up by Alexander, who at one time assailed it.
Villages occupy the upper coast, along with still wealthy Sidon [Saïda], the most important of
the maritime cities before it was captured by the Persians. From it to Point Theuprosopon [Gr.

                                                                                                               
21
Pomponius Mela, Pomponius Mela’s Description of the World, F. E. Romer (tr./ed.), Ann Arbor 1998, p. 20.

  12  
Face of God; Cape Madonna/Ras es-Saq’a] there are two towns, Byblos [Jbail] and Botrys
[Batroûn].’22

A synthesis of simplistic topographic, historical and cultural information makes for Mela’s

account of Phoenicia. It fulfills Ptolemy’s definition of chorography as a qualitative description

of a region of land.

Chorography of the Early Modern period shares Ptolemy’s basic theoretical definition

and Pomponius Mela’s mixture of topoi, but acquired a distinctive set of characteristics based on

multiple genres of ancient writing that were rediscovered during the Renaissance.23 In the

remainder of the chapter I identify the influence of four different channels of ancient writing on

the revived genre, and suggest the point at which passages describing contemporary artists came

to be included in the accounts. The first is the legacy of the ancient Roman author Marcus

Terentius Varro, whom both Sandra Langereis and before her Arnaldo Momigliano recognized

to have influenced Early Modern chorographers’ ambition to systematically describe the cultural

history of a region from antiquity to the present.24 The second is topographical-historical

descriptions of areas of the world, its practitioners including Strabo next to the above quoted

Ptolemy and Pomponius Mela.25 The third consists of descriptions and praises of cities that are

featured across an infinite amount of genres of writing that date to both antiquity and the Middle

Ages. Famous examples include ones found in epic poetry, such as Homer on Troy in the Iliad

and Vergil on Rome in the Aeneid, or historical works such as the Greek author Thucydides’

                                                                                                               
22
Ibid., 53-54.
23  Scholars
who have previously engaged with Early Modern chorography recognize that the practice takes after
examples of classical authors beyond Ptolemy and Pomponius Mela. There is no previous collective examination of
the influences.  
24
‘De Antiquaar’ in Langereis 2001, pp. 25-52 and A. Momigliano, ‘Ancient History and the Antiquarian’, Journal
of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 13 (1950) nr. 3/4, pp. 285-294.
25
Strauss discusses the influence of these accounts in ‘The Formation of the Topographical-Historical Genre’ in
Strauss 1959, pp. 45-59.

  13  
History of the Peloponnesian War (specifically, Perikles’ praise of Athens).26 The last is books

comprised of biographies of renowned individuals. The most noteworthy examples belong to the

ancient authors Plutarch and Suetonius. As the latter two streams had a direct consequence on the

position of artists in Early Modern chorography, I divide my analysis into two sections.

1.2. Antiquarianism, topography and historiography

In the dedication to Batavia, Junius describes himself as leaving behind the principles of ‘pure

history’ writing for the role of ‘Logistoricus’ when he transitions from describing ancient

Batavia in the first part of the account into modern day Holland in the second.27 Junius’ reference

to the Logistoricus, a lost work by the Roman author Varro who was designated the most learned

man of the ancient world by other writers coveted by the humanists such as Quintilian,

underlines the significance of the author’s legacy for the Early Modern chorographers. 28 Varro’s

Antiquities of Human and Divine Affairs (Antiquitates rerum humanarum et divinarum), the forty

one books of which the humanists could have accessed a synopsis of in S. Augustine’s De

civitate Dei, traced the history of Rome through its political and religious organizations, morals

and customs, topography, chronology, calendar, cults, etc., from the foundation of the city up

until the author’s lifetime.29 Varro abandoned traditional Roman history writing, ‘historia’, the

                                                                                                               
26
Comprehensive studies on descriptions and praises of cities from antiquity through the Middle Ages are C. J.
Classen, Die Stadt im Spiegel der Descriptiones und Laudes urbium in der antiken und mittelalterlichen Literatur
bis zum Ende des zwölften Jahrhunderts, New York/Olms 1980 and Slits 1990 (op. cit. 2); Classen, in a separate
article on the relationship of Lodovico Guicciardini’s Descrittione with descriptions and praises of cities, recognizes
that chorography takes after both ancient descriptions and praises of cities and topographical-historical descriptions
of areas of the world. C. J. Classen, ‘Lodovico Guicciardini’s Descrittione and the Tradition of the Laudes and
Descriptiones Urbium’ in Lodovico Guicciardini (1521-1589): actes du Colloque international des 28, 29 et 30
mars 1990, P. Jodogne (ed.), Leuven 1991, pp. 99-117.
27
‘Because if I seem here [in part II] to have not followed all the parts and rules of the pure faculty of history,
realize that I have carried out the work in this [part] more in the role of Logistoricus (Quod si non omnes historici
absoluti numeros ac partes explevisse hic videar, cogitate me Logistorici magis personam in hoc opera sustinuisse).’
Junius 1588, ‘Ad illustres…’
28
Quintilian, Institutio oratoria, 10.1.95.
29
S. Hornblower and A. Spawforth (eds.), The Oxford Classical Dictionary, New York 20033 (1949), ‘Varro’.

  14  
narrative account of past events, for a culturally concerned, systematic description of Roman

society from past to present through a comparative study of personal observations, oral history,

language, archives, and monuments and objects (i.e. antiquities). We thus call him an antiquarian

and not a historian. 30

The Early Modern humanist

chorographers took after the example of

Varro’s antiquarianism in how they would

bring together and analyze all of the

trustworthy information which they could find

on a region recovered from ancient literature

in addition to physical remains – that is

rediscovered monuments, inscriptions, ruins,

coins and objects – and organize the

information so as to formulate a cohesive  


Figure 2. Hadrianus Junius, Illustrations
description of a region from past to present.31   in the chapter on the Brittenburg in
Batavia, Leiden 1588
Batavia’s chapter dedicated to the remains of a Roman monument in Holland known as the

Brittenburg is a case and point example. By combining analyses of previous hypotheses,

                                                                                                               
30
Varro was not the earliest author of the ancient world with an interest in antiquities. For an overview of his Greek
precedents and a detailed description of the distinction between narrative history and antiquarianism see Langereis
2001, pp. 29-36; it is most interesting that Junius recognizes that he leaves behind the practice of the ‘historicus’ in
the second part of Batavia. Although the precise meaning of what he becomes, a ‘Logistoricus’, will remain
uncertain, the fact that only one of Varro’s other works has survived besides information on the Antiquities (a book
on the origin of Latin, De lingua Latina) makes it plausible that by the term Junius meant antiquarian. Dirk van
Miert and Nico de Glas propose the translation ‘cultural historian’. Based on the above stated concerns of the
Antiquities it seems that the two translations are interchangeable. Hadrianus Junius, Holland is een eiland: de
Batavia van Hadrianus Junius (1511-1575), N. de Glas (tr./ed.), Hilversum 2011, p. 54 and Van Miert 2011, p. 104.
31
Langereis 2001, p. 42; Momigliano describes the Early Modern antiquarians as improving upon Varro in how they
tied archeological and epigraphic finds with evidence from ancient literature within their accounts. Momigliano
1950, pp. 290-291.

  15  
eyewitness accounts, Roman history, diagrams and inscriptions, Junius concludes that

Brittenburg served as a fort and weapon garrison in antiquity (Figure 2).

Strauss’s study of German chorography explains the influence of works that describe

geographical areas, the second variety of rediscovered ancient literature of interest, on Early

Modern chorography.32 The opening to Strabo’s Geographia characterizes geography, here

understood as a written description of the world, as not simply taking concern with a land’s

physical features. Geographers are to unite topographical and historical material.

‘The science of Geography, which I now propose to investigate, is, I think, quite as much as any
other science, a concern of the philosopher… wide learning, which alone makes it possible to
undertake a work on geography, is possessed solely by the man who has investigated things both
human and divine – knowledge of which, they say, constitutes philosophy. And so, too, the
utility of geography – and its utility is manifold, not only regards the activities of statesmen and
commanders but also regards knowledge both of the heavens and of things on land and sea,
animals, plants, fruits, and everything else to be seen in various regions…33

Geography, a genre of writing which requires its authors’ having ‘wide learning’, is a combined

study of the animate and inanimate world, and in this sense is as much the province of a

scholarly historian as a proficient mathematician or scientist. Although, as we have seen,

Ptolemy and Pomponius Mela were to later return geography to the province of science with the

nuanced definition of chorography as a qualitative description of a land, Strabo’s passage retains

particular importance in the sense that it provided the humanists with a ground for merging the

study of a land for its topographical features with the study of its history.34 The authors would

supplement information from ancient geographical literature, which texts simultaneously served

                                                                                                               
32
Op. cit. 10.
33
Strabo, The geography of Strabo, The Loeb Classical Library, H. Jones (tr./ed.), volume 1, London 1917, 1.1;
segment quoted by Strauss 1959, pp. 50-51.
34
Early Modern chorographers commonly invoked ancient geographers in the introductions to their accounts. In a
striking example Arnoldus Buchelius calls upon both the ancient geographers Strabo, Ptolemy, Pomponius Mela,
Pliny and Solinus and the narrative history writers Caesar and Augustus in the praefatio to his Commentarius, the
polished and augmented transcription of his notes made while on a journey through Europe which includes the
chorography of Utrecht. Langereis 2001, p. 73; for examples of German chorographers who did likewise, see
Strauss 1959, pp. 55-59.

  16  
as primary sources for the topographical components of their accounts, with observations made

during independent travels.35

Although Varro and the ancient geographers shaped the theoretical foundation of Early

Modern chorography in its combination of antiquarian, topographical and historical concerns, the

specific topoi to be found across the accounts originate elsewhere. For this, we need turn to the

theory and practice of descriptions and praises of cities from antiquity through the Middle Ages

and collective biographies.

1.3. Descriptions and praises of cities and collective biographies

C. J. Classen’s Die Stadt im Spiegel (1980), and Slits’ above mentioned Het Latijnse stededicht

(1990) offer a comprehensive overview of descriptions and praises of cities from antiquity

through the Middle Ages, the third channel of ancient writing which influenced Early Modern

chorography.36 With regard to descriptions and praises of cities, Classen and Slits agree on two

important points: that through the end of the Middle Ages there was no distinction between a

description or praise of a city, and that the works written during the Middle Ages followed

closely after ancient precedents.37 During the Early Modern period, descriptions of cities became

                                                                                                               
35
Certain chorographers relied on personal observations more than others. Whereas for example Flavio took most of
his information from classical sources, an Italian chorographer whose work was published between his and Leandro
Alberti’s, Antonio Galateo (De situ Iapygiae, 1534), gave personal observations increased weight. Defillipis relates
an increasing distrust of the ancient geographers in the years after Flavio’s chorography to the age of exploration.
Defilippis 2001, pp. 36-45; for natural observation and German chorography see Strauss 1959, 51-53; in the Low
Countries, there was evidently a range of the extent to which chorographers would rely on personal observations.
For example whereas it is doubtful that Junius visited many of the places described in Batavia, Buchelius’s account
of Utrecht drew on the author’s extensive fieldwork. Junius 2011, p. 21 and Langereis 2001, pp. 69-80.
36
Op. cit. 26 and 2.
37
During the Middle Ages, descriptions and praises of cities retained the basic format of examples from the ancient
world. The coming of Christianity brought the most noticeable changes: churches take the place of temples, the
graves of martyrs and reliquaries the place of foundation myths, saints that of a city’s famous inhabitants. Classen
1980, p. 36.

  17  
confined to prose and gave more attention to the daily life of a city and its inhabitants, and

praises of cities became limited to poetry and offered less details.38

For both Classen and Slits, the remains of two epideictic treatises of the Greek rhetorician

Menander (ca. 300 CE) offer the most exhaustive prescription for descriptions and praises of

cities through the end of the Middle Ages. Following Slit’s summary of the third book of

Menander’s first tract, which lists specific features to discuss in the context of a city, I synopsize

the content relevant to art.39 Menander describes six distinctive categories, under which he lists

specific topics. The categories are ‘location’, ‘origin’, ‘capacities’, ‘actions’, ‘honors’ and a

‘supplemental praise’, which can focus on a specific site or a festivity unique to a city. The topoi

of ‘free arts’, under which Menander lists painting and sculpture, and ‘crafts’, under which are

gold and bronze work, belong to ‘capacities’, along with the topoi of administration, studies,

capabilities in rhetoric and athletics, and education.

A blatant lack in Mender’s list of topics, and one which will show up abundantly in Early

Modern chorography, is a section dedicated to describing a city’s public works.40 The briefer

prescription of the even earlier ancient rhetorician Quintilian indicates that this was another place

in which art could be praised. According to Quintilian,

‘Cities are praised after the same fashion as men. The founder takes the place of the parent, and
antiquity carries great authority, as for instance in the case of those whose inhabitants are said to
be sprung from the soil…. Their citizens enhance their fame just as children bring honor to their
parents. Praise may be awarded to public works, in connection with which their magnificence,

                                                                                                               
38
Classen 1980, p. 65 and 1991, p. 99; Slits 1990, pp. 213-214.
39
For a detailed description of the total content of tract 1 book 3, see ‘Appendix I’. The chart describing the contents
derives from Slits’ summary. Slits 1990, pp. 32-42; Menander’s first tract regards prescriptions for describing and
praising cities in general, and the second, the different types of events appropriate for the praise a city. The type of
event (be it an arrival speech, an ambassador’s speech, etc.) influences the order and selection of the topics. Classen
1980, pp. 16-18 and 1991, pp. 104-105.
40
Such is only mentioned by Menander in reference to other objects of praise, as for example a city’s having a
manmade harbor (under ‘location’), the piety of its inhabitants, as can be seen through temples (under ‘actions’), and
as the ‘supplemental praise’ of a certain part. The reason for this is unclear. Slits suggests that it is because praising
public works depends on context. He recalls the specific varieties of occasions which Menander describes as
appropriate for this in the second tract (as for example in arrival and departure speeches). Slits 1990, p. 41.

  18  
utility, beauty and the architect or artist must be given due consideration. Temples for instance
will be praised for their magnificence, walls for their utility, and both for their beauty or the skill
of the architect.’41

It was not until the Early Modern period that the insertion of a selection of individual artists

became a part of a description of a city or a region. Before then comments were of a more

statistical or brief nature and confined to the categories indicated by Menander and Quintilian.42

In as early as the fourteenth century, artists joined Menander’s category of ‘honor’, citizens who

contribute fame to a place by their deeds.

Accounts dedicated to the lives of illustrious men, for the remainder of my thesis referred

to as ‘collective biographies’ after the lead of Paul F. Grendler’s Encyclopedia of the

Renaissance (1999), were, like the other literature thus far discussed, ancient in origin and

rediscovered at the beginning of the Italian Renaissance.43 The collective biographies of the

above mentioned first century CE authors Plutarch and Suetonius represent the poles between

which Early Modern humanists would formulate descriptions of distinguished individuals.

Plutarch’s Parallel Lives (Βίοι Παράλληλοι) placed more emphasis on the character of a person,

and Suetonius’ The Twelve Caesars (De vitis Caesarum) and On illustrious men (De viris

                                                                                                               
41
Quintilian, The institutio oratoria of Quintilian, The Loeb Classical Library, H. E. Butler (tr./ed.), volume 1,
London 1920, pp. 477 and 479; ‘Laudantur autem urbes similiter atque homines. Nam pro parente est conditor, et
multum auctoritatis adfert vetustas, ut iis, qui terra dicuntur orti, et virtutes ac vitia circa res gestas eadem quae in
singulis: illa propria quae ex loci positione ac munitione sunt. Cives illis ut hominibus liberi sunt decori. Est laus et
operum, in quibus honor, utilitas pulchritudo, auctor spectari solet. Honor ut in templis, utilitas ut in muris,
pulchritudo vel auctor utrobique. Est et locorum, qualis Siciliae apud Ciceronem, in quibus similiter speciem et
utilitatem intuemur, speciem maritimis, planis, amoenis, utilitatem in salubribus fertilibus.’ Quintilian, Institutio
oratoria, 3.7.26-28.
42
Examples of ancient and medieval authors who included fine art in descriptions and praises of cities include
Isocrates in his panegyric on Athens, who praises the city for its achievements in the arts (τέχνη) (Isocrates,
Pangyricus, 40), Strabo, who in his description of Rome that is a part of the Geographia discusses statues in the area
of the city called the Campus Martius (Strabo, Geographia, 5.3.8), and the Benedictine hagiographical writer
Goscelin of S. Bertin, who in his lives of saints describes cities with a specific focus on churches and their art work
and artisans (see Classen 1980, p. 48-49). There is no study that has accumulated these references.
43
Admittedly, the term, ‘biography’ was non-existent during the Italian Renaissance (Paul F. Grendler et al. suggest
‘life-writing’ as an alternative). Although ‘biographia’ appeared in the sixth century, it did not gain any currency
until the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. See P. F. Grendler et al., Encyclopedia of the Renaissance, New York
1999, ‘Biography and Autobiography, Europe, Collective Biography’ and J. Romein, De biografie: een inleiding,
Amsterdam 1946, p. 14.

  19  
illustribus) a person’s actions and physical characteristics.44 While Plutarch wrote about famous

civil servants, sovereigns and the like, Suetonius expanded the basis of collective biographies to

include grammarians, rhetoricians, poets, and historians, and introduced a thematic arrangement

by profession.45 Both of the authors’ concerns and the latter’s means of organization were picked

up during the Renaissance.

Petrarch and Boccaccio contributed the first collective biographies of the Early Modern

period during the fourteenth century, the former an On illustrious men (De viris illustribus) and

the latter an On the fates of illustrious men (De casibus virorum illustrium) (1355 – 1373) and an

On famous women (De muleribus claris) (1361). While Petrarch’s never finished compilation

features solely ancient and mythological figures, both of Boccaccio’s run the fourteenth century.

On famous women interestingly includes a biography of an ancient female artist described by

Pliny whom Boccaccio called ‘Martia’.46

Nearing the turn of the fourteenth century, the Florentine writer Filippo Villani (birth and

death unknown) gave artists a significant presence in series of illustrious men in the context of an

account of the legends surrounding a city’s foundation with On the Origin of the City of Florence

and her Renowned Citizens (De origine civitatis Florentiae et eiusdem famosis civibus)

(1381/2).47 I have thus far found no earlier example of an expansive collective biography of

                                                                                                               
44
The humanists’ looking back to ancient examples of collective biographies such as Plutarch’s and Suetonius’s
does not mean that the writing of biographies stopped during the Middle Ages. Take for example hagiography,
biographies of saints. See Grendler 1999, ‘Biography and Autobiography, Europe, Ancient Models’; for a general
overview of the history of biography in Europe, see ‘De biografie in Europa’ in Romein 1946, pp. 14-56.
45
Hornblower 2003, ‘Plutarch’, and ‘Suetonius’.
46
Boccaccio’s ‘Martia’ is a result of Petrarch’s incorrect transcription of Pliny’s Natural History. Petrarch
transcribed Pliny’s female artist, Iaia, as ‘Martia’. For the history of the incorrect transcription and its consequences
see S. B. McHam, Pliny and the Artistic Culture of the Italian Renaissance: the Legacy of the Natural History, New
Haven/London 2013, pp. 80-81.
47
For Villani and his chronicle, precedents and contemporaries, see H. Baron, The crisis of the early Italian
Renaissance: civic humanism and republican liberty in an age of classicism and tyranny, Princeton 1955 and M.
Baxandall, Giotto and the orators: humanist observers of painting in Italy and the discovery of pictorial
composition 1350-1450, Glasgow 1971, pp. 66-67.

  20  
artists, never mind one juxtaposed with an account of a city. Villani opens the collective

biography with a powerful declaration,

‘The ancients, who wrote admirable records of events, included in their books the best painters
and sculptors of images and statues along with other famous men… These most wise men
thought, so I infer, that imitators of nature who endeavoured to fashion likenesses of men from
stone and bronze could not be unendowed with noble talent and exceptional memory, and with
much delightful skill of hand. For this reason, along with the other distinguished men in their
annals they put Zeuxis… Phidias, Praxiteles, Myron, Apelles of Cos… and others distinguished
in this sort of skill. So let it be proper for me, with the mockers’ leave, to introduce here the
excellent Florentine painters, men who have rekindled an art that was pale and almost
extinguished.’48

As Sarah Blake McHam and before her Michael Baxandall explicate, Villani relies on the

chapters describing ancient artists in Pliny’s Natural History in formulating his ensuing

description of six Florentine artists. Just as the ancient painter Apollodorus was the first to give

figures a realistic appearance and in doing so opened the way for Zeuxis, Florence’s Cimabue

laid the way for Giotto. Giotto, who receives the most attention in the account, is a learned

painter like Pliny’s Eupompus. His artworks, like Apelles’ famous Venus Anadyomene, rival

poetry, and he is more concerned with fame than money, which makes him again like Zeuxis.

Villani paraphrases Pliny’s remarks on the bronze sculptor Pythagorus’s ability to render veins

and sinews in order to describe another of his artists, Stefano.49

Since Pliny’s Natural History was the most comprehensive written source on art

available until the publication of the first two major histories of art, Giorgio Vasari’s biographies

of Italian artists (Le vite de’ più eccellenti architetti, pittori, et scultori italiani) (first edition

                                                                                                               
48
‘Vetustissimi, qui res gestas conspicue descripsere, pictores optimos atque imaginum statuarumque sculptores
cum aliis famosis viris in suis voluminibus miscuerunt… Extimaverunt enim, ut coniector, prudentissimi viri nature
imitatores, qui conarentur ex ere atque lapidibus hominum effigies fabricare, non sine nobilissimi ingenii
singularisque memorie bono atque delicate manus docilitate tanta potuisse. Igitur inter illustres viros eorum
annalibus Zeusim… Fydiam, Prasitellem, Myrronem… et alios huius fas sit hoc loco, irridentium pace dixerim,
egregios pictores florentinos enserere, qui artem exanguem et pene extinctam suscitaverunt.’ Baxandall, 1971, p. 70
(English) and p. 146 (Latin). For the full Latin text, see Filippo Villani, Philippi Villani De origine civitatis
Florentie et de eiusdem famosis civibus, G. Tanturli (ed.), Padua 1997.
49
Blake McHam 2013, p. 89 and note 102 (Chapter 4) and Baxandall 1971, pp. 71 and 77.

  21  
1550, second 1568) and Karel van Mander’s biographies of Netherlandish and German painters

(’t Leven) in the Schilder-boeck (first edition 1604), it is not surprising that Villani, writing in the

fourteenth century, resorts to the Natural History as a source for his segment on Florentine

artists.50 As will be shown in the following chapters however, humanist chorographers whose

works postdate Vasari’s and Van Mander’s continue to use Pliny’s text for describing artists. For

even the latest Netherlandish author to be discussed, Scribanius, Pliny surpasses Van Mander.51

                                                                                                               
50
On the singular importance of the Natural History and a comprehensive review of the revival of the text during
the Italian Renaissance, see ‘Introduction’ in J. Isager, Pliny on art and society: the elder Pliny’s chapters on the
history of art, London/New York 1991 and the subsection ‘The Art History of a Book on Science’ and chapter
‘Reception of the Natural History in Fourteenth-Century Italy’ in Blake McHam 2013, pp. 3-21 and 57-89; Giorgio
Vasari, Le opere di Giorgio Vasari, G. Milanesi (ed), 9 volumes, Florence 1998; Karel van Mander, The lives of the
illustrious Netherlandish and German painters: from the first edition of the Schilder-boeck (1603-1604), Hessel
Miedema (tr./ed.), 6 volumes, Doornsprijk 1994-1999.
51
Held 1996, p. 178.

  22  
Chapter 2. Artists in Chorography I: 1474-1567

2.1. Italy

From its commencement with Biondo Flavio’s (1392 – 1433) account of the Italian peninsula,

the Italia illustrata, Early Modern chorography included artists within collective biographies of

distinguished individuals.52 Flavio names five artists next to famous men of three Italian cities,

which are in turn part of one of the fourteen larger regions that comprise his chorography of

Italy. These are Giotto and Donatello of Florence, Gentile da Fabriano, and Alticherio and

Pisanello of Verona.

‘A little later Florence had the famous painter Giotto, the equal of Apelles.’

‘Donatello, too, is another ornament of Florence. With a talent equal to the excellence of the
ancients, he is a match for Zeuxis of Heraclea, able (in Vergil’s words) to ‘draw living
expressions from the marble.’

‘Further inland, under the Apennine foothill is Fabriano with its many craftsmen. This is the
best-known town in all Picenum (or the March of Ancona), built from the ruins of the ancient
city of Sentinum some six miles away. It numbered among its citizens the most celebrated
painter of our time, Gentile da Fabriano… An altarpiece by Gentile da Fabriano is kept there [the
Vallermita], a work I prefer to any other I have seen.’53

                                                                                                               
52
Flavio, born in Forlì, was both a scholar and a civil servant. He held various posts throughout his career in
multiple Italian cities, and published a number of books. These include Three Books on Rome Restored (De Roma
instaurata libri tres), a survey of Rome which attempted to create a picture of the ancient city through a combination
of both literary and antiquarian analyses, and Rome Triumphant (Roma triumphans), a book on ancient Roman
religious, civic and military institutions. Flavio wrote the Italia illustrata at around the same time as these texts
(1440s/50s). The editio princeps is considered the version published by his son in 1474; Defilippis offers the most
detailed account of immediate precedents of Flavio’s chorography. He describes itineraria, traveler’s books
describing places, countries and adventures that were experienced during pilgrimages as its nearest relative. Petrarch
was the first to supplement such accounts with the testimonies of rediscovered classical authors. The Italia illustrata
describes Italy from past to present using primarily ancient sources. Biondo Flavio, Italy Illuminated (Books I-IV), J.
White (tr./ed.), volume 1, Cambridge/London 2005, pp. x and 357 and Defilippis 2001, pp. 15-27.
53
For these three segments of the Italia illustrata, I quote Jeffrey White’s recent translation of the first half of the
text (op. cit. 51): ‘Pauloque post Florentia Iotum habuit, pictorem celeberrimum Apelli aequiparandum.’ pp. 70-71;
‘Decorat etiam urbem Florentiam ingenio veterum laudibus respondente Donatellus Heracleotae Zeuxi
aequiparandus, ut vivos (iuxta Vergilii verba) ducat de marmore vultus.’ pp. 74-75; ‘… et interius ac sub primis
Apennini collibus frequens opificibus Fabrianum. Quod nobilissimum totius Piceni sive Marchiae oppidum,
Sentinae urbis vetustae ibi ad sex milia passuum vicinae excidio aedificatum, aetate nostra Gentilem habuit pictorem
sui saeculi celeberrimum… Servaturque picta in eo tabula Gentilis Fabrianensis, opus caeteris, quas viderimus
praeferenda.’ pp. 252-255 and 258-259.

  23  
‘Of the art of painting Verona had the skillful Alticherio during the trecento. But one is left over,
who in fame easily excelled the remainder of our age. He is Pisanello by name, about whom a
poem by Guarino exists. It is titled Pisanello by Guarino.’54

Out of five artists, Flavio equates two, Giotto and Donatello, with ancient artists discussed at

length in Pliny’s Natural History. He describes Donatello’s works in more depth by a reference

to Vergil’s Aeneid that we will also find in the later collective biographies of artists by Junius

and Opmerus.55 Gentile da Fabriano receives attention in two different places in the chapter on

the region of Picenum. The first is in a collective biography, and the second a description of a

building. Alticherio of Verona receives little detail besides his native city, and Pisanello the fact

that the humanist Guarino of Verona wrote a poem on him.

Domenico Defilippis’ qualification of Leandro Alberti’s (1479 – 1552) Descrittione di

tutta l’Italia (1550) as an enriched version of Flavio’s text applies to his remarks on artists in a

quantitative sense.56 Just as Flavio, Alberti includes artists next to illustrious men of the cities

that he describes while moving from region to region of Italy. Per collective biography, he names

far more artists than Flavio. Whereas Flavio only named a specific artwork in the context of a

discussion of a building, Alberti associates individual artists in biographies of famous men with

                                                                                                               
54
With the exception of the above three segments and ones in Chapter 4 subsection 3 (on Scribanius’ Antverpia), all
translations are my own. ‘Pictoriae artis peritum Verona superiori seculo habuit Alticherium. Sed unus superest, qui
fama caeteros nostri seculi faciliter antecessit, Pisanus nomine, de quo Guarini carmen extat, qui Guarini Pisanus
inscribitur.’ Flavio 1559, p. 377; the phrase ‘qui… inscribitur’ is grammatically unsound. Since the word ‘carmen’ is
neuter, it should rather read ‘quod… inscribitur.’ The error is repeated in the 1503, 1510 and 1531 editions of the
text.
55
The protagonist Aeneas’ father Anchises, while talking about the future of Rome, states, ‘Others will hammer out
bronzes that breathe in more lifelike and gentler ways, I suspect, create truer expressions of life out of marble…
(Excudent alii spirantia mollius aera (credo equidem), vivos ducent de marmore vultus… Aeneid 6.846-7).’ Vergil,
Aeneid, F. Ahl and E. Fantham (trs./eds.), Oxford 2007, p. 155; for Junius and Opmerus’s use of the same reference
see notes 98 and 149.
56
Op. cit. 9; Defilippis describes Alberti’s text as a general increase in scope in comparison to Biondo’s. This
includes collective biographies. He notes Alberti’s new interest in the economic and religious life of Italian cities.
Defilippis 2001, pp. 45-47; for the life and publications of Leandro Alberti, who had a humanistic education during
his youth and joined the Dominican order as a young adult, on behalf of which he spent his career holding various
posts, see Treccani.it: L’ Enciclopedia Italiana, <http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/leandro-
alberti_(Dizionario_Biografico)/> (28 May 2014). Alberti’s most important work besides the Descrittione is an
earlier collective biography of church fathers (De viris illustribus Ordinis Praedicatorum) (1517).

  24  
works of art and artistic developments. Below is an excerpt from his abundant description of the

artists of Florence.

‘There lived Giotto, a citizen of Florence, who was the first to awaken painters to the art of
painting. To this day, one sees paintings that he made with great art in many places in Italy.
Maso di Banco, Cimabue, Stefano, Taddeo Gaddi, and Fra Angelico, who painted the chapel of
Pope Nicolas V in the palace of St. Peter’s, Rome, followed him. In our time are Filippino Lippi,
Fra Bartolomeo, and Leonardo da Vinci, who made this marvelous supper of Christ in the
refectory of S. Maria delle Grazie, Milan, of the Dominicans… In the art of sculpture many
blossomed, such as Donatello, Filarete, who made this artful door of metal to the church of S.
Peter’s, Rome, in the time of the Pope Eugene IV, Lorenzo Ghiberti, who made the doors of the
baptistery of S. Maria del Fiore, Florence, over a span of fifty years where one sees stories of the
new and old testament that are constructed very artfully… and Andrea Sansovino. This, among
other works that he made, brought such great perfection to two superb tombs that were both of
the finest marble and placed in the church of S. Maria del Popolo in Rome. One is for Ascanio
Maria Sforza, and the other Girolamo Basso della Rovere, both cardinals in Rome by the
commandment of Pope Julius II. He was the first that began to sculpt images on top of tombs to
the extent that they seem to rest themselves on an arm. Who would not write about Antonio di
Ponte a Sieve, and Michelangelo, a no less excellent painter than a singular sculptor? In truth this
man has achieved so much praise in painting, and no less in sculpture, that he is able to be called
an equal among the best painters and sculptors that are so celebrated by Pliny and the other
ancient writers.’57

Alberti’s passage on artists in Florence suggests that he was well informed of the artistic

developments of his day and age.58 He lists countless artists, and describes specific works by Da

                                                                                                               
57
‘Visu Giotto cittadino Fiorentino, che fu il primo a svegliare i pittori all’ arte del dipingere. Infino ad oggi in più
luoghi a’ Italia vede si le pitture da lui fatte con grand’ artificio. Seguitò poi Maso, Giovanni Chiambur, Stefano
Scimia, Tadeo Gaddi, con Giovanni dell’ ordine de’ predicatori, che dipinse la Cappella di Papa Niccola nel palagio
di S. Pietro. Ne’ tempi nostri sono stati Filippino, Bartolomeo de’ predicatori, Lionardo Vincio, che fece quel
maraviglioso cenacolo di Christo nel Refettorio di S. Maria delle gratie di Milano dell’ordine de’ frati Predicatori…
Nell’arte Statuaria fiorirono molti, cioè Donatello Eracleonta, Antonino Rosello, che fece quell’ artificiosa porta di
metallo alla chiesa di S. Pietro di Roma, ne’ tempi di Eugenio Papa 4. Lorenzo Cione, che fece le porte del
battisterio per spatio di 50. anni, ove si veggono tanto artificiosamente fatte l’historie del nuovo, & vecchio
testamento… [et] Andrea Sansovino. Il qual fra l’altre opere che ha fatto, condusse a tanta perfettione due superbe
sepolture tutte di finissimo marmo, poste nella chiesa di S. Maria del Pop. in Roma, una ad Ascanio Maria Sforza, &
l’altra a Girolamo Savonese, amendue Cardinali di Roma, per comandamento di Giulio Papa 2. Fu costui il primo,
che cominciasse ad effingere sopra i sepolcri le imagini talmente che paiono riposarsi sopra il braccio. Che scriverò
di Antonio di ponte a Sieve, & di Michel’ Angelo non meno eccellente pittore, che singolare scoltore? In vero
questo huomo ha conseguito tante lodi nella pittura, & non meno nella scoltura, che fra quelli primi pittori, &
scoltori, tanto da Plinio, & da gli altri antichi scrittori celebrati agguagliare si può.’ Alberti 1596, p. 48.
58
Alberti probably looked to Francesco Albertini’s two earlier ‘city guides’, the Memorial of Many Statues and
Paintings in the Illustrious City of Florence (Memoriale di molte statue et picture sono nella inclyta Cipta di
Florentia) (1510) and Book on the Marvels of Ancient and Modern Rome (Opusculum de mirabilibus novae &
veteris urbis Romae) (1510). For the later there is a modern edition: Francesco Albertini, Memorial of many statues
and paintings in the illustrious city of Florence: a critical edition (2010), W. de Boer and M. W. Kwakkelstein
(eds.).

  25  
Vinci, Filarete, Ghiberti and Sansovino. In the case of Sansovino, he describes the artist as the

first who sculpted figures on top of tombs that seem at rest (Figure 3). In only one case does

Alberti make a reference to Pliny: that Michelangelo can be equated with artists that he and other

ancient authors celebrate. Although this distances Alberti’s text from the example of Flavio, his

passages are valuable in that they demonstrate the record of artists as a topos of chorography.

Furthermore, as we will see in the later examples of Lodovico Guicciardini’s description of

Antwerp and Petrus Opmerus’ chronicle of the world, Alberti’s list-like format and remarks on

specific artworks and artistic developments in collective biographies of artists gained currency.

Figure 3. Andrea Sansovino, Tomb of Girolamo Basso della Rovere (Detail), ca. 1505, S. Maria
del Popolo, Rome

  26  
2.2. Germany

Flavio’s Italia illustrata had an authoritative effect on German chorography. The transmission of

the text in a chronicle led to its circulation within the region. Soon after was a call for a German

rendition by one of the land’s most influential early humanists, Conradus Celtis. Celtis’ outcry

during his 1492 oration at the opening of a new term at the University of Ingolstadt reflects the

motivations of the following decades of German chorographers.59 Celtis stated,

‘I am greatly astonished to reflect on the painstaking exactitude and subtle learning with which
the Greeks and Romans have surveyed our country… they have expressed our customs, our
emotions and our spirits as graphically as a painter might delineate our bodies… Let us be
ashamed, I pray, that… not one of you should be found to hand down to posterity the deeds
performed by German courage.’60

Shortly after the oration, Celtis embarked on a project of an account of Germany. Although a

publication never materialized, Celtis planted the seeds of German chorography. Next to

information on ancient Germany given by Strabo, Pomponius Mela, Ptolemy, and Pliny, Tacitus’

Germania, discovered in Italy in the mid-fifteenth century and printed in Germany for the first

time in the early 1500s, became the key source for German chorographers in describing their

land from past to present. The first annotated version of the Germania was published by none

other than Celtis.61

The following two chorographies from which I provide passages on artists comprise early

reactions to Celtis’ call for a ‘Germania illustrata’. The first, Jacobus Wimphelingus’ (1450 –

1528) Rerum Germanicarum epitome (1505), features an entire chapter dedicated to painting and

plastic art. 62 The Epitome is organized differently than its Italian precedents, beginning by

                                                                                                               
59
Strauss 1959, pp. 18-19.
60
Ibid., p. 21
61
Ibid., p. 31.
62
Op. cit. 10; Wimpheling 1594, ‘Index capitum in hoc libello contentorum’; Wimphelingus studied Latin in his
native town of Schlettstadt, and after spending time at the universities in Freiburg and Erfurt settled in Heidelburg.
From there he went to Strasbourg, where he founded a literary society with other humanists. It was during this time
that he wrote the Epitome. Wimphelingus’ written oeuvre consists of works having to do with pedagogy and

  27  
describing ancient Germany and moving through to the author’s day and age. ‘About painting

and plastic art’ follows chapters claiming Germany’s invention of the printing press and

describing its architecture. It reads,

‘An examination alone (which is the master of matters) tells most evidently that our painters are
also the most superior of all. The images of Israhel van Meckenem are desired throughout all of
Europe, and considered by painters as having the highest value. What should I say about Martin
Schongauer of Colmar, who in this art was so exceptional that his painted panels are carried
away into Italy, Spain, France, Britain, and other places of the world? In Colmar in the sacred
spaces of S. Martin and S. Francis are images painted by his hand to which painters eagerly flock
for the purpose of imitating and modeling. And if Schongauer’s works are faithfully adhered to
by good artists and painters, nothing more elegant and nothing more attractive could be painted
and rendered by anyone. A student of Schongauer who was from southwestern Germany,
Albrecht Dürer, is most excellent in this time. He paints the most perfect images in Nuremberg,
which are exported into Italy by merchants. There, by esteemed painters, they are valued no less
than a painting of either Parrhasius or Apelles. Hans Hirtz of Strasbourg should not be omitted,
who, while he was alive, stood with all painters in great veneration. His most distinguished and
handsome images, both those painted elsewhere and in his native Strasbourg, make his expertise
in painting evident. In plastic art, that is, pottery, which forms likenesses out of earth in the same
way, the Germans are foremost. With regard to pottery vessels and many types of earthenware,
which are useful in the way of human life, they lead the way and serve as an example. Here are
those, who as Coroebeus at Athens, the inventor of pottery, one can admire and praise.’63

Wimphelingus describes four artists in relatively great detail: Israhel van Meckenem, Martin

Schongauer, Albrecht Dürer, and Hans Hirtz. The underlying argument of the passage is that the

works of the German painters are so good that they are desired abroad. Van Meckenem’s works

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
historiography. J. E. Carney, Renaissance and Reformation, 1500-1620: a Biographical Dictionary,
Westport/London 2001, ‘Wimpfeling, Jakob’.
63
‘Nostrates quoque pictores esse omnium praestantissimos, vel ipsa experientia (quae rerum magistra est)
apertissime docet. Icones Israëlis Alemanni per universam Europam desiderantur, habenturque a pictoribus in
summo precio. Quid de Martino Schon Columbariensi dicam, qui in hac arte fuit tam eximius, ut eius depictae
tabulae in Italiam, in Hispanias, in Galliam, in Britanniam, & alia mundi loca abductae sint? Extant Columbariae in
templo divi Martini & sancti Francisci imagines huius manu depictae, ad quas effigendas exprimendasque pictores
ipsi certatim confluunt: &, si bonis artificibus & pictoribus fides adhibenda est, nihil elegantius, nihil amabilius a
quoquam depingi reddique poterit. Eius discipulus Albertus Durer, & ipse Alemannus, hac tempestate
excellentissimus est, & Nurenbergae imagines absolutissimas depingit, quae a mercatoribus in Italiam
transportantur, & illic a probatissimis pictoribus non minus probantur quam Parrhasii aut Apellis tabulae. Ioannes
Hirtz Argentinensis non est omittendus, qui dum in humanis esset, apud pictores omnes in magna fuit veneratione,
cuius in pictura peritiam clarissimae ac speciosissimae imagines, tum alibi, tum Argentinae in natali solo depictae
testantur. In plastice, hoc est, figulina arte, quae ex terra similitudines itidem fingit, Germani praestantes sunt, quod
ipsa figulina vasa & plurima vasorum fictilium genera, quae modo humanae vitae usui sunt, indicant & demonstrant.
Hic sunt quos vel Choroeb[o] Atheniensis figulinae artis inventor admirari possit & laudare.’ Wimpheling 1594, pp.
199-200.

  28  
are wanted all throughout Europe, Schongauer’s are transported to various destinations, Dürer’s

are sold in Italy by merchants, and Hirtz’s are on view in both Strasbourg and elsewhere.

Wimphelingus read Pliny with an eye for detail. The first indication occurs in the segment on

Dürer, whose imported works garner esteem in Italy as if they were ones by Parrhasius and

Apelles. The second and more unexpected reference occurs in the description of plastic art. The

German achievements in pottery ought to be praised as one of Pliny’s more discrete artists,

Coroebeus of Athens. Coroebeus invented the art.64

The second example of a German chorography with segments on artists, Johannes

Cochlaeus’ (1470 – 1552) Brevis Germaniae Descriptio (1512), was originally published as an

appendix to the author’s edition of Pomponius Mela’s de Chorographia.65 Like Wimphelingus,

Cochlaeus discusses artists next to accomplished Germans. The discussion is part of the chapter

‘On Nuremberg, center of Germany’ (‘De Norinberga, Germanie centro’).

‘29. Expertise of artists. The Germans are truly not only no less geniuses of art, but even the
Italians, French and very remote Spanish admire and very often seek them. The works
themselves testify to this, which are sent a long way.
30. Albrecht Dürer. Surely the figure of the passion of Christ stands out, which Albrecht Dürer
recently painted. He then cut and printed the same one. It is done so subtly and with such truly
formed perspective, that merchants really from all of Europe would purchase copies after his
paintings…
32. Peter Vischer the Elder. Who truly is more adroit than Peter Vischer the Elder in embossing
and casting metal? I saw a whole little sanctuary by him cast and embossed with images here, in
which many worshippers are well able to stand and hear the mass. His sarcophagus and
                                                                                                               
64
Pliny describes Coroebeus in book 7 of the Natural History. The section is far removed from those featuring the
accounts of ancient painting and sculpture (books 34-36). ‘Working in iron was invented by the Cyclopes, potteries
by Coroebus of Athens… (Fabricam ferrariam invenerunt Cyclopes, figlinas Coroebus Atheniensis… NH 7.198)’
Pliny, Natural History, The Loeb Classical Library, H. Rackham [tr./ed.], volume 2, London 1942, p. 639.
65
Op. cit. 10; the Descriptio was originally published under Cosmographia Pomponii Melae: Authoris nitidissimi
Tribus libris digesta: parvo quodam Compendio Ioannis Coclei Norici adaucta, quo Geographiae principia
generaliter comprehenduter, Brevis… Germaniae descriptio (Nuremberg 1512); the only information that we have
on Johannes Cochlaeus’ early education is that his uncle, a parish priest, taught him Latin. He gained a bachelor’s
and master’s degree at the University of Cologne, and in 1510 became the director of the St. Lorenz School in
Nuremburg. During this post he advocated humanist pedagogy by instituting and writing textbooks. Among others
he wrote the Brevis Germaniae descriptio. In 1515 he went to Italy as a tutor to the nephews of the humanist
Willibald Pirckheimer, and obtained a doctorate in theology in Ferrara. An outspoken, strong opposition of the
Reformation shaped the remainder of his career. For a full biography see ‘Zum Leben des Cochlaeus’ in R. Bäumer,
Johannes Cochlaeus (1479-1552), Leben und Werk im Dienst der katholischen Reform, Münster 1980, pp. 14-66.

  29  
candelabra are admired by whoever should see them. So great is the subtlety, neatness of
proportion and greatness of the cast images here.’66

Cochlaeus does not make a reference to Pliny in his short introduction to art, nor in his sections

on Dürer and the metal sculptor Peter Vischer the Elder. There is thus no indication that he, like

Wimphelingus, used the ancient author as a source. The passage nonetheless contains the very

same message underlying that of the earlier author: that the works of German artists are desired

in other parts of Europe. Both authors’ strive to legitimate German artists can be nothing but a

response to Celtis’ cry for his nation’s acknowledgement of its glory.

2.3. The Low Countries

As in Germany, the beginning of humanist chorography in the Netherlands was contingent on the

circulation of Tacitus’ rediscovered texts – not only the Germania, but also the Histories and

Annals. From Tacitus, early Netherlandish humanists could learn about the past inhabitants of

their land, the Germanic tribe known to the Romans as the Batavians. Popular stories include the

uprising of the tribe against the Romans during the first century CE that was lead by Claudius

Civilis, and how the Batavians, unlike other nations, were allied and not subjected to the Romans

(Figure 4). Late fifteenth-century chroniclers first recounted the stories of the Batavians from

ancient sources. Chorographers followed suit.67

                                                                                                               
66
29. ‘Artificum solertia. Artificum vero ingenia nedum Germani, sed Itali quoque ac Galli extremique mirantur
Hispani eosque persepe requirunt. Testantur ipsa opera, que longissime mittuntur. 30. Albertus Durer. Quippe
extant figure passionis Domini, quas nuper Albertus Durer depinxit atque in es excidit idemque impressit, adeo
subtiles sane atque ex vera perspectiva efformate, ut mercatores vel ex tota Europa emant suis exemplaria
pictoribus… 32. ‘Petrus Fischer. Quis vero solertior Petro Fischer in celandis [=caelandis] fundendisque metallis?
Vidi ego totum sacellum ab eo in es [=eas] fusum imaginibusque celatum [=caelatum], in quo multi sane mortales
stare missamque audire poterunt. De sarcophagis candelabrisque eius mirantur, quicumque conspexerint: tanta est
subtilitas concinnaque proportio fusarum in es [=eas] grande imaginum.’ Cochlaeus 1960, pp. 88, 90.
67
For an overview of the development of Netherlandish historiography and chorography and stories of the
Batavians, see S. Langereis, ‘Van botte boeren tot beschaafde burgers. Oudheidkundige beelden van de Bataven,
1500-1800’ in De Bataven: verhalen van een verdwenen volk, L. Swinkels (ed.), ex. cat. Nijmegen (Museum Het
Valkhof) 2004, pp. 74-84 and K. Tilmans, Historiography and humanism in Holland in the age of Erasmus:
Aurelius and the Divisiekroniek of 1517, The Hague 1992.

  30  
Figure 4. Antonio Tempesta and Otto van Veen, ‘Roma’ and ‘Batavia’ (Series: The War of the
Romans against the Batavians), 1612, 146 x 209 cm, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New
York

The number of Netherlandish chorographies written prior to the publication of Junius’ Batavia is

small, and collective biographies of artists seldom. The single example which I have found

which dates to before the 1550s is that in the Collectanea, a collection of notes written by the

humanist Gerardus Geldenhouwer (1482 – 1542) of Nijmegen.68

                                                                                                               
68
Op. cit. 11 (Collectanea); Geldenhouwer, from a wealthy and well-connected family, attended the Latin school in
Deventer and then studied at the University of Leuven. In 1515, he came into the service of Philip of Burgundy
(1467 – 1527). He became an adherent of the Reformation in the 1520s, and spent the remainder of his career posted
as a professor of theology in the new protestant university in Marburg. For more details and a list of his publications,
which include a chorography of Zeeland and a lost collective biography, see ‘Inleiding’ in Gerard Geldenhouwer,
Gerard Geldenhouwer van Nijmegen (1482-1542): Historische werken, I. Bejczy and S. Stegeman (trs./eds.),
Hilversum 1998.

  31  
J. Prinsen, who transcribed and published the Collectanea in 1901, hypothesizes that the

set of notes, which describe the years 1521-1522 and were likely written in the same decade,

were Geldenhouwer’s preparations for a modern historical account of the Low Countries.69 A

segment describing individuals of Lower Germany, ‘distinguished in these days’ includes,

‘Of painters: Jan Gossaert.


Among glass painters two were contending for the first place: Dirck Jacobsz. of Amsterdam and
Aarnout Ortkens of Nijmegen.
Of sculptors: Conrad Meit in the court of the Lady Margaret of Austria etc.
Of goldsmiths: Peter Wolfganck.’70

The fact that Geldenhouwer served as the secretary to Philip of Burgundy makes it unsurprising

that the admiral’s coveted court painter, Jan Gossaert, occupies the first position in the artists

named in the Collectanea. His relative Lady Margaret of Austria (1480 – 1550), the patron of the

originally German sculptor Conrad Meit, was the contemporaneous governor of the Habsburg

Netherlands.71 With regards to the other famous Lower Germans that surround the artists in the

notes, poets, theologians, philosophers etc., Geldenhouwer offers no greater detail.

Contrasting with Geldenhouwer’s sparse notes which no one of the sixteenth century

probably ever accessed besides the humanist, Lodovico Guicciardini’s remarkable chorography

of the Low Countries, the Descrittione, di tutti i Paesi Bassi, underwent copious reprints and

translations after its publication in 1567.72 Antwerp, where the Italian merchant was resident, is

                                                                                                               
69
Prinsen draws this conclusion based on Geldenhouwer’s noting of Philip of Burgundy’s asking for an annalistic
history of his own time in the introduction to his Germanicarum historiarum illustratio (1542) and comments
included in the dedication of his Vita Philippi a Burgundia (1529).
70
‘Inter inferos Germanos hisce diebus clarebat… Pictorum: Joannes Malbodius… Inter pictores vitrarios duo de
principatu contendebant: Theodoricus Jacobus Amstelredamus et Arnoldus Ortgenus Noviomagus… Sculptorum:
Chunradus Vermaciensis Germanius in familia dominae Margaritae etc… Aurificum ): Petrus Wolfgangus
Coloniensis.’ Geldenhouwer 1901, pp. 72-73.
71
For examples of Geldenhouwer’s other writings which make note of artists, see M. Bass, ‘Jan Gossaert’s Neptune
and Amphitrite Reconsidered’, Simiolus 35 (2011) nr. 1/2, pp. 63, 68-69. Marisa Bass, who read an earlier version of
Chapter 3, very kindly pointed me to the artists in the Collectanea.
72
Op. cit. 11; Guicciardini, from a well-known Italian family, arrived in Antwerp as a merchant in 1541. Although
we do not know much about his education, countless references to the works of classical texts and contemporary
humanist authors in his Descrittione and two other written works, the Commentarii delle cose più memorabile…
(1565) and Hore di Ricreatione (1568), suggest that he was well educated. For a more detailed overview of his life

  32  
the fulcrum of the chorography, which also covers the regions of Brabant, Guelders, Friesland

and Holland.73 Guicciardini’s collective biography of artists, included in a section describing ‘De

violeren’, Antwerp’s chamber of rhetoric, is essentially a lengthy list of names in addition to

occasional details on specialization and specific art works.74 The following excerpt serves to

instantiate the impressive, five-page-long passage.75

‘To these we add somewhat loosely many others of the past [that were] truly luminary and
noteworthy: first Dirk Bouts of Leuven, a very great artist; Quinten Massys (of the same place) a
great master in making figures, of whom, among other things, one sees a most beautiful painting
of our Lord located in the Cathedral of Our Lady; Joos van Cleve, a citizen of Antwerp who was
most rare in coloring, and so excellent in depicting nature that he was imported by the King of
France (who was sending men directly here earlier in order to take home such a distinguished
master to his court) – and established in France, depicted the King, Queen and other princes with
great praise and most splendid prizes; Hieronymus Bosch, a most noble inventor, and marvelous
in things fantastical and eccentric; Bernard van Orley from Brussels; Jan de Beer; Mathijs Cock
from Antwerp; Jan van Hemessen nearby at Antwerp… ’76

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
see D. Aristodemo, ‘La figura e l’opera di Lodovico Guicciardini’ in Lodovico Guicciardini (1521-1589): actes du
Colloque international des 28, 29, et 30 mars 1990, P. Jodogne (ed.), Leuven 1991, pp. 19-35 and ‘Inleiding’ in
Lodovico Guicciardini, De idyllische Nederlanden: Antwerpen en de Nederlanden in de 16e eeuw, M. Jacqmain
(tr./ed.), Antwerp/Amsterdam 1987, pp. 5-13; for a summary of the editions of the Descrittione published between
1576 and 1700 see ‘Editiebeschrijvingen’ in H. Deys, Guicciardini illustratus: de kaarten en prenten in Lodovico
Guicciardini’s Beschrijving van de Nederlanden, ‘t Goy/Houten, 2001, pp. 27-110.  
73
For Guicciardini as a chorographer see F. Lestringant, ‘Lodocivo Guicciardini, chorographe’ and P. Desan,
‘Lodovico Guicciardini et le discours sur la ville à la Renaissance’ in Lodovico Guicciardini (1521-1589): actes du
Colloque international des 28, 29 et 30 mars 1990, P. Jodogne (ed.), Leuven 1991, pp. 119-150.
74
Antwerp’s guild of artists (the Guild of St. Luke), merged with ‘De violeren’ in 1480. Its members, known as the
‘rederijkers’, played an active role in the social life of a city, giving public plays, organizing processions, and
collaborating with various other guilds. C. Heuer, The city rehearsed: object, architecture, and ritual in the worlds
of Hans Vredeman de Vries, London 2008, p. 79.
75
For the full collective biography see Guicciardini 1567, pp. 97-101.  
76
‘A questi aggiugneremo cosi confusamente diversi altri trapassati, veramente chiari, & memorabilii, & prima
Dirick da Lovano grandisimo artifice, Quintino della medesima terra gran’ maestro di far’ figure, del quale fra le
altre cosi si vede la bellisima tavola del nostro signore, posta nella chiesa di nostra dona in questa terra, Gios di
Cleves cittadino d’Anversa rarisimo nel colorire, & tanto eccellente nel ritrarre dal naturale, che havendo il Re
Francesco primo mandati qua huomini a posta, per condurre alla Corte qualche maestro egregio, costui fu l’eletto, &
condotto in Francia ritrasse il Re, & la Regina, & altri Principi con somma laude, & premi grandisimi, Girolamo
Bosco di Bolduc, inventore nobilisimo, & maraviglioso di cose fantastiche & bizzarre, Bernardo di Bruselles,
Giovanni di Ber, & Mattias Cock d’Anversa, Giovanni d’Hemssen presso d’Anversa….’ Guicciardini 1567, p. 98.

  33  
Figure 5. Quinten Massys, St John Altarpiece, 1508/1509-1511, 260 x 273 (middle panel) and
260 x 120 (side panels) cm, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp

With its list like form and small details of information such as about Quinten Massys’ altarpiece

in the Antwerp Cathedral (Figure 5), Joos van Cleve’s recruitment by the king of France, and

Hieronymus Bosch’s eccentricities, Guicciardini’s collective biography of artists in his

chorography of the Low Countries follows closely after Alberti’s example. What distinguishes

Guicciardini’s passage from his predecessor’s is the fact that whereas Alberti had broken his

descriptions of artists down by region and then by city, Guicciardini brings artists from all of the

Low Countries together into one section regardless of the fact that it is within the part of account

that is dedicated to ‘De Violeren’ of Antwerp.77 He for example includes a selection of artists

                                                                                                               
77
Given its publication in 1550, Guicciardini could have certainly been familiar with Alberti’s Descrittione. The
question of Guicciardini’s sources in assembling such a long list of Flemish and not Italian artists however remains
problematic. The one remaining, significant clue is how the publication of the Descrittione nearly coincides with
that of Giorgio Vasari’s second edition of the Vite in 1568, which includes a new section dedicated to Flemish artists
(‘De’ diversi artefici fiamminghi’) that retains nearly all of the same names. Based on the fact that it is unlikely that
Vasari had a copy of the Descrittione, that there is no evidence that possible transmitters between the two Italians
such as the humanist/artists Dominicus Lampsonius and Lambert Lombard possessed the Descrittione, and that
Vasari seems to paraphrase Guicciardini, Wim Sosef has convincingly hypothesized that the two accounts must
derive their information from a mutual, lost source. W. Sosef, ‘Filiazione o parallelismo? Il rapporto fra le Vite
vasariane e la Descrittione guicciardiniana’ in Lodovico Guicciardini (1521-1589): actes du Colloque international
des 28, 29 et 30 mars 1990, P. Jodogne (ed.), Leuven 1991, pp. 337-348; for the relationship of Guicciardini’s text

  34  
from Holland, among whom are Pieter Aertsen, Jan van Scorel, Maarten van Heemskerck, Dirck

Volkertsz. Coornhert, and Philips Galle.78 As I move on to explain at length, Junius, writing at

nearly the same time, was to stage a discussion of these very same individuals next to

biographies of other famous men in his chorography dedicated to Holland. He did so in a

remarkably different manner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
with other contemporaneous art historical sources, see J. Maldague, ‘La part de Guicciardini dans la littérature
artistique de son temps’ in Lodovico Guicciardini (1521-1589): actes du Colloque international des 28, 29 et 30
mars 1990, P. Jodogne (ed.), Leuven 1991, pp. 321-335. Jacque Maldague does not mention collective biographies
of artists in other chorographies in relation to the text.
78
Guicciardini 1567, pp. 99-101.

  35  
Chapter 3. Artists in the Batavia of Hadrianus Junius

3.1. The author and publication

Hadrianus Junius (1511 – 1575) was the

foremost humanist author active in the

province of Holland between the death of

Desiderius Erasmus in 1536 and the

inauguration of the University of Leiden in

1575.79 He wrote the chorography of

Habsburg Holland, Batavia (published

posthumously in 1588), between 1566 and

his death in 1575. In 1566, under rising

pressures of centralization and the fear of

losing their right to matters such as

taxation and trial, the still Habsburg States Figure 6. Artist unknown, Hadrianus
Junius, 1590, University of Amsterdam
of Holland named Junius the official Special Collections

                                                                                                               
79
In an inaugural address to the University of Leiden in 1989, Chris Heesakkers proclaimed Junius the most
important northern Netherlandish humanist between the death of Erasmus and the foundation of the new university.
On the five-hundredth year anniversary of Junius’ birth (2011), three publications fulfilled Heesakker’s marking off
of ‘some lines along which the scholarly research into his (Junius’) contribution to the development of humanism of
his period could move’. These include a full translation of Batavia by Nico de Glas (op. cit. 30), a collection of
essays devoted to Junius’ prolific scholarship edited by Dirk van Miert (The kaleidoscopic scholarship of Hadrianus
Junius (1511-1575)), and an individual publication by Van Miert describing Junius’ biography and bibliography in a
way that is just as valuable for academic research as it is for a general public (op. cit. 8). Each can be consulted for a
biography of Junius, although Van Miert’s individual publication, a simultaneous analysis of Junius’ life and works,
offers the most comprehensive oversight. Van Miert, an expert on Junius and Early Modern intellectual history, has
served as my thesis’ second reader/specialist consultant. His insights have been of extreme benefit to the
development of its content. For Heesakker’s inauguration, republished in Van Miert’s 2011 volume of essays, see C.
Heesakkers, ‘From Erasmus to Leiden: Hadrianus Junius and his Significance for the Development of Humanism in
Holland in the Sixteenth Century’ W. Heesakkers-Kamerbeek (tr.) in The kaleidoscopic scholarship of Hadrianus
Junius (1511-1575): northern humanism at the dawn of the Dutch Golden Age, D. van Miert (ed.), Leiden/Boston
2011, pp. 16-37.

  36  
historiographer of the province, and charged him with writing an account that would make a

historical case for sovereignty.80 To reiterate an earlier remark, Batavia, which was the outcome

of this commission, juxtaposes an exalting narrative of Holland’s history that is formulated

through an analysis of texts written in classical antiquity with a glorifying description of

sixteenth-century (i.e. contemporary) Holland.

Introduction aside, we have reached the core of my thesis: Batavia’s passage on eleven

northern Netherlandish artists which Junius formulates using Pliny’s Natural History as a guide.

Located within the chapter ‘About Holland’s geniuses, interests and customs’ following an

equally long section on Holland’s illustrious men of letters, the collective biography includes in

the following order Jan van Scorel (Schoorl 1495 – Utrecht 1562), Maarten van Heemskerck

(Heemskerk 1498 – Haarlem 1574), Antonis Mor (Utrecht 1519 – Antwerp 1575), Jan Mostaert

(Haarlem ca. 1575 – 1552/3), Anthonie van Blocklandt (Montfoort 1533/4 – Utrecht 1583),

Dirck Barendsz (Amsterdam 1534 – 1592), Pieter Aertsen (Amsterdam 1508 – 1575), Willem

van Tetrode (ca. 1520 Delft or Antwerp – Arnsberg 1588), Dirck Volkertsz. Coornhert

(Amsterdam 1522 – Gouda 1590) and Philips Galle (Haarlem 1537 – Antwerp 1612).81 In the

case of one artist, Willem van Tetrode, Junius diverts his readers to a separate, more extensive

passage in his description of Delft in the chapter, ‘About Holland’s foremost cities, towns and

villages’.

Following an oversight of a number of previous scholarly considerations of the passages,

I examine the relationship of Junius’ descriptions of painters, engravers and sculptor with Pliny’s
                                                                                                               
80
Junius finished Batavia in 1570. Due to a coincidence with the impending Dutch revolt, the States of Holland
blocked its publication and ceased their commission of Junius as an official historiographer. Junius continued to
amend Batavia until his death in 1575. Janus Dousa published the first edition in 1588. For a detailed account of the
chain of events see ‘Junius en de Nederlandse Opstand’ in Van Miert 2011, pp. 99-110.
81
Van Tetrode’s place of birth is debated. If we were to follow Junius, he was not born in Delft. It is however
certain that he died in Germany. See E. J. B. D. van Binnebeke, Willem Danielsz. van Tetrode ca. 1520-1580, de
Delftse Praxiteles: een studie naar het leven en het werk van een zestiende-eeuwse Nederlandse beeldhouwer,
volume 1, dissertation, University of Utrecht, Utrecht 2003, pp. 8 and 17 and Junius 1588, p. 262.

  37  
Natural History. Based on this analysis, I digress to reconsider hypotheses surrounding Junius’

most well known description of an artist, Pieter Aertsen.

3.2. Previous art historians on Junius’ artists

Thus far, art historians have considered Junius’ passages in terms of their similarities and

differences with the most informative art historical document of sixteenth-century northern

Europe: Karel van Mander’s ’t Leven, the lives of Netherlandish and German painters. These

include studies dedicated to both individual artists and Van Mander. As I will show below, the

relationship of Junius’ chorography with Pliny’s Natural History undermines former

comparisons that attempt to relate the two sources.

In an early instance, G. J. Hoogewerff cites the Batavia passage on artists in his 1923

monograph on Van Scorel while analyzing sources that confirm the artist’s birthplace of

Schoorl.82 The author notes that an excerpt of four words from Batavia that reads, ‘…Jan van

Scorel, from a village with his name…’ matches the information found in Van Mander’s life of

the artist.83 He doubts that Van Mander took this information from Batavia in spite of the

concordance.84 This is perhaps because besides Van Scorel’s birthplace and his apprenticing of

the artist Mor, the excerpt in Batavia has nothing in common with Van Mander’s biography of

the artist.85 It is puzzling that Hoogewerff does not analyze the other information on the artist

that Junius provides, for he includes the entire segment on Van Scorel from Junius’ text in the

selection of documents that follows the monograph.

                                                                                                               
82
G. J. Hoogewerff, Jan van Scorel: peintre de la Renaissance hollandaise, The Hague 1923.
83
‘… Ioannes Scorelius, pago cognomine…’ Junius 1588, p. 238.
84
Hoogewerff 1923, p. 5.
85
Ibid., pp. 113-114; see Karel van Mander’s life of Van Scorel (‘Joan Schoorel’). Van Mander 1994, volume 1, pp.
195-205.

  38  
Fifty years later, Ilja M. Veldman made the first extensive art historical engagement with

Junius in the back to back articles, ‘Het grafmonument te Heemskerck en het gebruik van

hiëroglyfen in de kring rondom Maarten van Heemskerck’ (1973) and ‘Maarten van Heemskerck

and Hadrianus Junius: The Relationship between a Painter and a Humanist’ (1974).86 In the

articles, Veldman observes concordances between excerpts of Junius’ various publications and

the works of the artist of her research, Heemskerck. She concludes that the humanist and artist

had a relationship beyond living in Haarlem at the same time. While I praise the still exciting and

convincing connections that Veldman uncovers between the various writings of Junius and

Heemskerck’s artworks, her treatment of Junius’ description of Heemskerck in Batavia is

predisposed towards her hypothesis that the two figures were acquainted.87 Veldman asserts in

the second article that Junius gives Heemskerck the most attention of all of his painters although

the segments on Aertsen and that on the sculptor Van Tetrode are of comparable length.88

After restating this questionable observation in the introductory essay to a later volume,

Maarten van Heemskerck and Dutch humanism in the sixteenth century (1977) that includes both
                                                                                                               
86
I. M. Veldman, ‘Het grafmonument te Heemskerck en het gebruik van hiëroglyfen in de kring rondom Maarten
van Heemskerck’, Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 24 (1973), pp. 27-44 and ‘Maarten van Heemskerck and
Hadrianus Junius: The Relationship between a Painter and a Humanist’, Simiolus 7 (1974) nr. 1, pp. 35-54. In the
first article, Veldman identifies the coat of arms on the stone obelisk that Heemskerck designed and had installed in
the town of Heemskerck in memory of his father with an emblem of Junius’ Emblemata (1565). The image features
a winged arm grasping a paintbrush above a tortoise, and warns one to work neither too quickly nor slowly, as in
hieroglyphics, a turtle denotes slowness and a wing speed. Veldman ultimately cautions against declaring the auctor
intellectualis of emblems that contain hieroglyphs, for several artists who lived contemporaneously in Haarlem
applied them. In the second article, Veldman demonstrates how certain illustrations of Junius’ Emblemata inspired
Heemskerck’s designs, and how the contents of Junius’ posthumously published Poematum liber primum (1598)
likewise stimulated or in some cases derived from Heemskerck’s designs.
87
Each of her articles contains the bias. In the earlier article, Veldman suggests that Heemskerck’s juxtaposition of
the winged-arm/tortoise emblem that is also found in Junius’ Emblemata (and on Heemskerck’s funerary obelisk,
see note 85) with the quotation ‘Martinus Heemskerck/ Pictor, alter nostri/ Saeculi Apelles, in/ ventionum Pater ad/
vivum expressus’ on the cover of the Clades (c. 1570), a series of prints that he designed, is a reference to Batavia.
This is questionable because Junius’ equation of Heemskerck with Apelles in Batavia and the Apelles anecdote that
the hieroglyphic recalls do not match. Heemskerck deserves the name in Batavia, ‘…because being such a careful
manager of time, he has no day too filled up, during which doing nothing otherwise, he practices art by drawing a
line’, i.e., he is devoted to art. This is not the same as Apelles’ knowing not to work too slowly or quickly, the
anecdote referenced by the emblem. Veldman 1973, pp. 31-32, Junius 1588, p. 238.
88
The segment on Heemskerck in Batavia consists of 736 characters, and that on Aertsen is nearly the same at 732.
Tetrode’s consists of over 1500. Veldman 1974, p. 37, Junius 1588, pp. 238-240 and 262.  

  39  
articles, Veldman makes a further claim: that Van Mander drew on Batavia ‘almost verbatim in

this [Heemskerck’s] and other biographies…’ She continues, ‘…van Mander’s description of

Heemskerck’s industriousness, the variety of his themes – both in the paintings and the prints –

and his versatility is strikingly similar to Junius’ account of the artist.’89 To see the hypothetical

relationship between Junius’ other painters and the biographies of ’t Leven, Veldman refers her

readers to H. E. Greve’s even earlier consideration of Junius’ passage in De bronnen van Carel

van Mander voor “Het leven der doorluchtighe Nederlandsche en Hoogduytsche schilders”

(1903). Her suggestion is misleading. Greve, who was the first to compare Junius’ remarks on

painters with excerpts from’t Leven, in fact concludes that Batavia was insignificant to ’t Leven

although Van Mander’s descriptions of artists’ characters and specialties exhibit some

concordances with the observations of Junius.90 He unfortunately does not offer any explanation

as to why.

In addition to Junius’ segment on Heemskerck and references to Veldman’s research,

Hessel Miedema includes a handful of Junius’ statements on artists in the multiple volume

commentary to his English translation of ’t Leven, The lives of the illustrious Netherlandish and

German painters (1994-1999)91. Like Hoogewerff and Greve, Miedema doubts that Van Mander

considered Batavia a key source in writing ’t Leven.92 Miedema nevertheless carries on like his

predecessors, inconclusively referencing descriptions of artists from Batavia that he deems

                                                                                                               
89
I. M. Veldman, Maarten van Heemskerck and Dutch humanism in the sixteenth century, Michael Hoyle (ed.),
Maarsen 1977, p. 11.
90
H. Greve, De bronnen van Carel van Mander voor “Het leven der doorluchtighe Nederlandsche en Hoogduytsche
schilders”, The Hague 1903, pp. 67-9.
91
Op. cit. 50.
92
Van Mander 1995, volume 2, p. 176.

  40  
supportive to Van Mander’s authenticity or his own hypotheses about Van Mander’s

standpoint.93

Out of Miedema’s four citations of Junius, I find his following statement in need of a

reevaluation. In the life of Heemskerck, Van Mander states that after the artist’s sojourn to Italy

he altered his style to conform to that of his master Van Scorel’s. To this remark, Miedema notes

that Van Mander criticizes Van Scorel’s use of paint in multiple passages in ’t Leven. He then

claims that Van Mander was not the only author to disparage Van Scorel’s technique. Junius’

saying of Van Scorel’s art that ‘…because his lively images (with accurate symmetry) exhibit

fleshy and muscular limbs, the masses unlearned and judicious on the sandal perceive of and

discuss the honor of his painting less worthily’ was a denunciation of the artist’s style of

painting.94 Batavia’s translator Nico de Glas suggests that the distaste of the general public for

Van Scorel’s art that Junius notes instead relates to the artist’s being the first to introduce fleshier

Italian figures into Holland. At the time, the region was acclimated to the less sensual images of

the late Gothic period.95 This explanation would account for Junius’ noting of the artist’s ability

to render accurate proportions.

All things considered, because his concern lies with Van Mander and not Junius, it is not

appropriate to criticize the lack of depth that Miedema provides in the citations of Batavia in his

translation of ’t Leven. Miedema in fact notices Junius’ use of Pliny’s chapters on art in more

                                                                                                               
93
In his commentary to the life of Mostaert, Miedema translates Junius’ segment on the artist in an annotation to
Van Mander’s calling Mostaert ‘een seer goet Schilder’. Like Hoogewerff in the case of Junius’ remarks on Van
Scorel, he does not explain why Mostaert’s account in Batavia differs drastically from that in‘t Leven. Miedema
only briefly mentions Junius in his commentary to the life of Mor, where his text serves as proof that Mor
apprenticed Van Scorel. Miedema’s commentary to the life of Aertsen includes a translation of Junius’ segment on
the artist. It elaborates upon his reputation for painting kitchen scenes. Van Mander 1996, volume 3, pp. 204, 221
and 223, and 1997, volume 4, p. 50.
94
Van Mander 1997, volume 4, pp. 75-76; ‘…sed quod pulposos lacertososque artus cum iusta symmetria exprimant
vividae imagines, vulgus profanum & supra crepidam sapiens, minus digne de picturae honore loquitur ac sentit…’
Junius 1588, p. 238.
95
Junius 2011, note 90.

  41  
than one case – the feature of the Batavia passages on artists that neither Greve nor Hoogewerf

mark, and Veldman mentions in the case of Heemskerck.96 The chapter in the Natural History is

not only the key to decoding Junius’ passage on artists, but entirely distinguishes Batavia from ‘t

Leven. This feature brings the text into connection with the topos of the artist in other

chorographies.

3.3. Junius on painters and engravers

Junius cites Pliny on three occasions in the Batavia passages on artists. The second instance,

occurring in the segment on Aertsen, instantiates the process by which he formulates the

descriptions of all of the artists in the text. Junius reasons, ‘Nor in silence should Pieter, with the

nickname ‘Longus’, be passed over. I seem to rightly compare him with Pliny’s Piraeicus if I am

not able to place him higher…’97 Whether Junius notifies that he references Pliny or not, a

method of equating contemporary figures with Pliny’s ancient artists governs the entirety of the

collective biography. This is not to say that Junius simply rewrote the ancient text with the

names of Netherlandish artists. As evidenced in how he either modifies the words of Pliny that

he applies to an artist, gives an artist a combination of specializations of different ancient artists

included in Pliny’s account, or allots more than one artist a characteristic of the same ancient

artist, the Natural History rather guides Junius’ remarks on the artists of his own time. My

analysis of the passage therefore traces how Junius uses Pliny as opposed to moving through it

                                                                                                               
96
Miedema notes that Junius references Pliny in his segments on Aertsen and Heemskerck. Van Mander 1997,
volume 4, pp. 50, 67; In ‘Het grafmonument te Heemskerck…’ Veldman claims that Junius likens Heemskerck to
both Pliny’s Apelles and Protogenes. Veldman 1973, note 18; De Glas cites a handful of Junius’ references to Pliny.
Junius 2011, pp. 305-307.
97
‘Neque silentio praetereundus est Petrus cognomento Longus, quem Pyreïco Pliniis comparare iure, si non
anteferre videor posse...’ Junius 1588, pp. 239-40.

  42  
from the first to the last artist that he describes. With the exception of the short statement on Van

Blocklandt, I account for the entire repertoire.98

The already quoted segment on Aertsen leads into Junius’ sole equation of a single

Netherlandish painter with a single ancient artist.

Junius, ‘…it appears that he [Aertsen] followed lowly Pliny, ‘Among these was Piraeicus,
things with the brush from out of the open. He has to be ranked below few painters in
obtained the highest renown of low things in the opinion skill; it is possible that he won
of all, and therefore, can likewise be distinguished with distinction by his choice of
the nickname ‘rhyparographer’, [a painter of low subjects, inasmuch as although
subjects], at least in my judgment. There are extents in his adopting a humble line he attained
works where a certain pleasantness shines forth: in a most in that field the height of glory. He
elegant depiction of country girls, in the nature and painted barbers' shops and cobblers'
deportment of the body, in victuals, vegetables, stalls, asses, viands and the like,
slaughtered chickens, ducks and asses, one or another consequently receiving a Greek
fishes, and lastly, in all utensils that belong to the kitchen. name meaning 'painter of sordid
Being beyond exquisite pleasure, his painted panels never subjects'; in these however he gives
satiate the eyes in their ever-infinite variety. By this, it exquisite pleasure, and indeed they
happens that his works sell more than the greatest and the fetched bigger prices than the
most carefully wrought pieces of many others.99 largest works of many masters.’100

Like Pliny’s Piraeicus, Aertsen deserves the nickname ‘rhyparographer’, a painter of low things,

because of the less decorous subject matter of his works.101 Though depicting humble subjects,

                                                                                                               
98
In describing Van Blocklandt, Junius references Vergil’s Aeneid. The reference is the same as that which Flavio
used in his description of the Florentine artist Donatello. Like the life like statues that Vergil describes, Van
Blocklandt’s history paintings ‘nearly breathe’. For Vergil’s full quotation see note 55; I translate Junius’ ‘historia’,
which appears twice in the passage, as simply ‘history’. In both of his uses of the term, Junius discusses the type of
portrayal in comparison to that of singular figures. Van Blocklandt cannot render individual countenances well, but
excels in painting histories, and the two artists Galle and Coornhert (discussed below) are capable of both types. For
the longstanding debates surrounding the multivalent term ‘historia’, see A. Grafton, ‘Historia and Istoria’, I Tatti
Studies in the Italian Renaissance 8 (1998), pp. 37-68.
99
‘…ex proposito, ut apparet humilia penicillo secutus, humilitatis summam adeptus est omnium iudicio gloriam, ac
propterea ῥυπαρογράφος cognomine cum illo pariter insigniri, vel me arbitro, potest, usqueadeo in operibus illius
ubique relucet gratia quaedam; expresso elegantissime in rusticanis puellis corporis filo habituque, obsoniis,
oleribus, mactatis pullis, anatibus, asellis, piscibusque aliis, culinario denique instrumemto omni, ita praeter
consummatam voluptatem, infinita etiam varietate, tabulae ipsius oculos nunquam satiant; quo sit ut pluris eae
vaeneant, quam multorum accuratae maximaeque.’ Junius 1588, pp. 240.
100
Pliny, Natural History, The Loeb Classical Library, H. Rackham (tr./ed.), volume 9, London 1952, pp. 343 and
345; ‘Namque subtexi par est minoris picturae celebres in pencillo, e quibus fuit Piraeicus arte paucis postferendus:
proposito nescio an distinxerit se, quoniam humilia quidem secutus humilitatis tamen summam adeptus est gloriam.
Tonstrinas sutrinasque pinxit et asellos et obsonia ac similia, ob haec cognominatus rhyparographos, in iis
consummatae volumptatis, quippe eae pluris veniere quam maximae multorum.’ NH 35.112.
101
Note that my translation of rhyparographer as ‘painter of low subjects’ differs from the Loeb translation of
‘painter of sordid subjects’. LSJ also suggests ‘low’ for the latinized form ‘rhyparographos’.

  43  
Aertsen’s paintings, like Piraeicus’, saw a great reception. They drew in larger sums than those

of the best masters of the time. More than that of any of the other artists whom Junius describes

has this testimony on Aertsen had consequences for fundamental art historical debates. Junius’

segment on the painter in addition to a passage in Opmerus’ Opus chronographicum have fueled

hypotheses that Aertsen saw himself as emulating Piraeicus in executing his pioneering still life

and genre paintings. I will return to these theories in the concluding section of the chapter with a

closer look at the differences between the above quoted segments in light of Junius’ other

descriptions of artists in Batavia in addition to a reevaluation of Opmerus’ passage.

The segments on Van Scorel and Heemskerck fulfill the second way in which Junius

applies Pliny. A synthesis of the Roman author’s remarks on two different artists comprises the

descriptions. Like Apelles, Van Scorel suffers criticism by people unfamiliar with fine art, and

like Pliny’s Anthenion of Maronea, he paints with more austere colors.

Junius, ‘Among Batavia’s artists, Jan Pliny, ‘And it is said that he was found fault with by a
van Scorel, from a village with his name shoemaker because in drawing a subject's sandals he
that was renowned for its horse market, had represented the loops in them as one too few, and
first rose to a rank of honor and glory. the next day the same critic was so proud of the
Afterwards, he was admitted to the artist's correcting the fault indicated by his previous
college of Canons of Utrecht. His objection that he found fault with the leg, but Apelles
distinguished works are observed with indignantly looked out from behind the picture and
great admiration in numerous holy rebuked him, saying that a shoemaker in his criticism
places throughout all of Holland, must not go beyond the sandal...’103
although because his lively images (with
accurate symmetry) exhibit fleshy and Pliny, ‘With Nicias is compared Athenion of
muscular limbs, the masses unlearned Maronea, and sometimes to the disadvantage of the
and judicious on the sandal perceive of former. Athenion was a pupil of Glaucion of Corinth;
and discuss the honor of his painting less he is more sombre in his colour than Nicias and yet
worthily. One way or another his work therewithal more pleasing, so that his extensive
is more austere in colors.’102 knowledge shines out in his actual painting.’104

                                                                                                               
102
‘In his principem honoris ac gloriae gradum ascendit primus Ioannes Scorelius, pago cognomine, equini generis
mercatu nobili, oriundus; post Canonicorum collegio Traiecti adscitus: cuius insignia opera tota passim Hollandia
magna cum admiratione pluribus in fanis spectantur, sed quod pulposos lacertososque artus cum iusta symmetria
exprimant vividae imagines, vulgus profanum & supra crepidam sapiens, minus digne de picturae honore loquitur ac
sentit: utcunque sit, in coloribus austerior est.’ Junius 1588, p. 238.

  44  
Figure 7. Giorgio Vasari, Apelles and the Cobbler (Detail), ca. 1569-1570, Casa del Vasari,
Florence

Junius describes the people who excoriate Van Scorel’s art as unlearned and judicious on the

sandal. ‘Judicious on the sandal’ is a reference to Pliny’s anecdote on Apelles in which a

shoemaker criticizes one of the artist’s paintings for its incorrect portrayal of a shoe (Figure 7).

Apelles follows the shoemaker’s advice and amends his design, but when the same man moves

on to criticize the whole leg of the figure, the painter responds that ‘a shoemaker in his criticism

must not go beyond the sandal’. The ‘unlearned masses’ is a reference to a work of another
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
103
Pliny 1952, volume 9, pp. 323 and 325; ‘…feruntque reprehensum a sutore, quod in crepidis una pauciores intus
fecisset ansas, eodem postero die superbo emendatione pristinae admonitionis cavillante circa crus, indignatum
prospexisse denuntiantem, ne supra crepidam sutor iudicaret...’ NH 35.85.
104
Pliny 1952, volume 9, p. 359; ‘Niciae comparatur et aliquando praefertur Athenion Maronites, Glaucionis
Corinthii discipulus, austerior colore et in austeritate iucundior, ut in ipsa pictura eruditio eluceat.’ NH 35.134.

  45  
classical author. The celebrated poet Horace claims to hate and keep his distance from the group

in his Odes.105 Junius thus implies through the appositions that Van Scorel’s critics have

improper knowledge of fine art, and give invalid judgments. By ultimately equating Van Scorel

with Pliny’s Athenion of Maronea, Junius concludes the segment on a positive note. In Pliny’s

account, a less flashy technique allows for Athenion’s erudition to show through his works, and

he thereby surpasses his closest rival Nicias.

Junius’ Heemskerck, the second artist with a combination of skills of Pliny’s ancient

artists, has the work ethic of Apelles, and excels in painting the same sorts of scenes as the

innovative Roman painter Studius.

Junius, ‘Maarten however seems more suited to Pliny, ‘Moreover it was a regular custom
this name [Apelles] by his actions. Firstly, because with Apelles never to let a day of business
being such a careful manager of time, he has no to be so fully occupied that he did not
day too filled up, during which doing nothing practise his art by drawing a line…’107
otherwise, he practices art by drawing a line.
Secondly for the multitude of his works that are Pliny, ‘Studius too, of the period of the
nearly infinite in all types, both those executed Divine Augustus, must not be cheated of
with the paintbrush and those set down by a pen so his due. He first introduced the most
as to be turned into engraved images. The repute of attractive fashion of painting walls with
his works is thought should surely endure no villas, porticoes, harbors, and landscape
dissolution until the end of the universe. Maarten, gardens, groves, woods, hills, fish-pools,
being versatile in all types of topics and the second canals, rivers coasts – whatever one could
to no one in fineness of invention, abounds wish, and in them various representations
marvelously in a most attractive expression of the of people strolling about, people sailing,
land: valleys, villas in idleness, rivers and canals in people traveling overland to villas on
descent, ships making sail, and people either donkeyback or in carriages, and in addition
approaching cities on asses or carriages or averting people fishing, fowling, hunting, or even
the sun with traveling caps walking.’106 gathering the vintage.’108

                                                                                                               
105
‘Odi profanum vulgus et arceo.’ Horace, Odes, 3.1.
106
‘…nisi quod huic nomini [Apelles], facto proprior videatur Martinus, tum quod parcus temporis dispensator
nullum tam occupatum habeat diem, quo non aliquid agens, lineam ducendo artem exerceat, tum etiam operum
multitudine, quae infinita prope sunt in omni genere, & penicillo ducta & calamo exarata, ut encaustarum typis
efformarentur. Utriusque certe operum aeternitas haud alium interitum, quam universi excidium sensura putatur.
Martinus in omni argumenti genere varius, inventionis subtilitate nulli secundus, in exprimendo amoenissimo
quoque ditionis, convallium, villarum situ, amnium & euriporum decursu, velificantium navium, aut mulis,
vehiculisve urbes adeuntium, aut solem petasis defendentium ambulationes, mirifice luxuriat.’ Junius 1588, pp. 238-
9.
107
Pliny 1952, volume 9, p. 323; ‘Apelli fuit alioqui perpetua consuetudo numquam tam occupatum diem agendi, ut
non lineam ducendo exerceret artem...’ NH 35.84.

  46  
Like Pliny’s Apelles, Heemskerck would not occupy his days with anything but artistic practice,

and like Studius, he paints attractive outdoors scenes. Junius modifies Pliny’s description of

Studius’ themes. Travelers on asses or in carts approach cities as opposed to country houses in

Heemskerck’s works, and he does not paint the hunting scenes of his ancient forerunner.

To Mostaert, Mor and Barendsz, Junius allots different talents of the same ancient

painters. While Mor has Parrhasius’ rare abilities of knowing when to limit his compositions and

beautifully rendering the contours of the human body, Mostaert excels in portraying facial

features, another of the ancient artist’s specialties.

Junius, ‘His [Mostaert’s] skill was showing Pliny, ‘He [Parrhasius] was the first to give
through in the beauty and grace of the mouth, in proportions to painting and the first to give
the composition of bodies, in the vivacity of the vivacity to the expression of the countenance,
countenance, in elegant hair, in the slenderness elegance of the hair and beauty of the mouth;
of lines close to Protogenes’…’109 indeed it is admitted by artists that he won
the palm in the drawing of outlines. This in
Junius, ‘In the judgment of artists, Mor has painting is the high-water mark of
easily won the palm in modeling the nature of refinement; to paint bulk and the surface
faces with close similitude to life, and in giving within the outlines, though no doubt a great
symmetry to them. Pliny, comprehending the achievement, is one in which many have won
same thing while speaking about Parrhasius, distinction, but to give the contour of the
reckons that this can rarely be found in figures, and make a satisfactory boundary
successful artistry: an authentic rendering of the where the painting within finishes, is rarely
contours of bodies, and a limitation of the extent attained in successful artistry.’111
of an image’s finish.’110
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
108
For this excerpt of the Natural History, I provide the translation of Roger Ling in the article ‘Studius and the
Beginnings of Roman Landscape Painting’. Rackham calls Studius instead ‘Spurius Tadius’, a name that Ling
explains German editors emended to Pliny’s Latin in the 19th century. Original manuscripts of the Natural History
give two alternative spellings of the painter’s name: Studius or Ludius. Following Silvio Ferri’s edition of the
chapters on ancient art with an Italian translation and commentary, I replace Ling’s ‘porticus [portus?]’ with
‘portus’. R. Ling, ‘Studius and the Beginnings of Roman Landscape Painting’, Journal of Roman Studies 67 (1977),
pp. 1-2 and Plinio il Vecchio, Storia delle arti antiche, S. Ferri (tr./ed.), Milan 2000, p. 124; ‘Non fraudando et
Studio divi Augusti aetate, qui primus instituit amoenissimam parietum picturam, villas et porticus [portus?] ac
topiara opera, lucos, nemora, colles, euripos, amnes, litora, qualia quis optaret, varias ibi obambulantium species aut
navigantium terraque villas adeuntium asellis aut vehiculis, iam piscantes, aucupantes aut venantes aut etiam
vindemiantes.’ NH 35.116.
109
‘…ars eius eluxit in venustate ac decore oris, comptu corporum, argutia vultus, capillitii elegantia,
lineamentorum tenuitate, Protogenica ferme...’ Junius 1588, p. 239.
110
‘Morrus consessione artificum in exprimendo ad vivum indiscreta similitudine vultuum filo, inque danda illis
symmetria, palmam facile adeptus, idque assecutus quod rarum in artis successu inveniri posse existimat Plinius, de
Parrhasio loquens, nimirum extrema corporum facere, ac desinentis picturae modum includere.’ Junius 1588, p. 239.

  47  
In the segment on Mostaert, Junius replaces Pliny’s ‘it is admitted by artists that he won the palm

in the drawing of outlines’ with his own invention, ‘in the slenderness of lines close to

Protogenes’’. He thereby uses the former in his description of Mor, and adds yet another

reference to Pliny to the segment on Mostaert: Apelles’ visit of his rival painter Protogenes’

studio. In the anecdote, Apelles draws a line on an empty panel to mark his visit, for Protogenes

is not present. Pliny describes the line as having the ‘highest slenderness’. Upon return,

Protogenes draws an even ‘more slender line’ on the same panel.112 Mostaert has the ability of

the artist who could draw even finer lines than the most celebrated Apelles.

Barendsz, like Van Scorel and Heemskerck, has one of the many talents of Apelles: the

Greek term for charm, ‘charis’. In Pliny’s account, Apelles considers his works superior to those

of his contemporaries by the attribute.

Junius, ‘Nor should Dirck Barendsz of Pliny, ‘Although he [Apelles] admired their
Amsterdam be cheated of praise and glory. works and gave high praise to all of them, he used
The distinguished imitator of countenances to say that they lacked the glamour that his work
could gladly come second to no one in possessed, the quality denoted by the Greek word
esteem of invention, arrangement, and grace charis, and that although they had every other
- or what the Greeks call ‘Charis’.’113 merit, in that alone no one was his rival.’114

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
111
Pliny 1952, volume 9, p. 311; ‘Primus symmetrian picturae dedit, primus argutias voltus, elegantiam capilli,
venustatem oris, confessione artificum in liniis extremis palmam adeptus. Haec est picturae summa subtilitas.
Corpora enim pingere et media rerum est quidem magni operis, sed in quo multi gloriam tulerint; extrema coporum
facere et desinentis picturae modum includere rarum in successu artis invenitur.’ NH 35.67.
112
The full anecdote reads, ‘In answer to his enquiry, she told him that Protogenes was not at home, and asked who
it was she should report as having wished to see him. 'Say it was this person,' said Apelles, and taking up a brush he
painted in colour across the panel an extremely fine line; and when Protogenes returned the old woman showed him
what had taken place. The story goes that the artist, after looking closely at the finish of this, said that the new
arrival was Apelles, as so perfect a piece of work tallied with nobody else; and he himself, using another colour,
drew a still finer line exactly on the top of the first one, and leaving the room told the attendant to show it to the
visitor if he returned and add that this was the person he was in search of (Haec foris esse Protogenen respondit
interrogavitque, a quo quaesitum diceret. ‘Ab hoc,’ inquit Apelles adreptoque penicillo lineam ex colore duxit
summae tenuitatis per tabulam. Et reverso Protogeni quae gesta erant anus indicavit. Ferunt artificem protinus
contemplatum subtilitatem dixisse Apellen venisse, non cadere in alium tam absolutum opus; ipsumque alio colore
tenuiorem lineam in ipsa illa duxisse abeuntemque praecepisse, si redisset ille, ostenderet adiceretque hunc esse
quem quaereret. NH 35.81-82).’ Pliny 1952, p. 321.
113
‘Neque sua laude atque gloria fraudandus est Theodorus Bernardus Amstelrodamaeus, inventionis
dispositionisque & eius Veneris, quam Charita Graeci dicunt, gratia nemini libenter cessurus, vultuum imitator
insignis.’ Junius 1588, p. 239.

  48  
To describe the artists concluding the passage, Coornhert and Galle, Junius needs discuss

engraving and printing, media not practiced in ancient times and therefore not a part of the

classical Latin lexicon. Junius therefore applies ancient terms with a new intended meaning, a

phenomenon that has engendered ambiguous translations of the segments. De Glas does not

explain why he interprets Junius’ key words ‘encaustus’ as ‘etchings that can be printed

(etsen… die gedrukt kunnen worden)’ and ‘encausticus’ as ‘ink and pen drawing

(tekentechniek)’.115 Since ‘encaustus’ described a technique of painting with pigmented wax in

ancient times, he does not satisfactorily explain his interpretations of Junius’ use of the terms.116

Given Junius’ adherence to the Natural History in the segments on painters, and, as I will show

in the following section, the segment on the one sculptor Van Tetrode, it is probable that he did

not alter his method for composing his descriptions of engravers.

In a passage towards the end of book thirty five, Pliny claims that two earlier types of

‘encaustic painting’ predate pigmented wax painting, one like the latter ‘with wax’ and the other

on ‘ivory with a graver or cestrum (that is, a small pointed graver).’117 With the exception of the

medium of ivory, the second earlier type of encaustic art that Pliny mentions is nearly equivalent

to the process of engraving as it involves producing forms in a material with a burin like tool.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
114
Pliny 1952, volume 9, p. 319; ‘Praecipua eius in arte venustas fuit, cum eadem aetate maximi pictores essent;
quorum opera cum admiraretur, omnibus conlaudatis deesse illam suam venerem dicebat, quam Graeci χάριτα
vocant; cetera omnia contigisse, sed hac sola sibi neminem parem.’ NH 35.79.
115
Veldman translates the passages on Heemskerck and the engravers into English in her 1974 article, but like De
Glas, does not treat ‘encaustus’ and ‘encausticus’. She translates ‘encaustus’ as etchings and ‘encausticus’ as artists
of ink and pen. I assume that this is what De Glas intended by ‘etsen… die gedrukt kunnen worden’ and
‘tekentechniek’ in Dutch, as he notes that he received advice from Veldman in putting together the passage on
painters and engravers. She and De Glas ignore Junius’ final usage of the word in the form ‘encaustici’. Junius 2011,
note 91 and Veldman 1974, p. 37.
116
Encaustic, ‘Technique of painting using pigments mixed with hot wax. Its name derives from a Greek word
meaning ‘burnt in’ and it was one of the principal painting techniques of the ancient world. Pliny describes two
methods that were already ‘ancient’ in his day (one of them on ivory), and a third newer method that had been
devised since it became the practice to paint ships, and he records that it stood up to sun, salt, and winds. Encaustic
painting was the commonest technique in the early centuries of the Christian era but fell into disuse in the 8th or 9th
century.’ I. Chilvers, The Classical Dictionary of Art and Artists, Oxford 20094 (1990), ‘Encaustic’.
117
Pliny 1952, volume 9, p. 370; ‘Encausto pingendi duo fuere antiquitus genera, cera et in ebore cestro, id est
vericulo’ NH 35.149.

  49  
This has led me to interpret ‘encaustus’ and ‘encausticus’ as rather engraving and engraver.

Moreover, Arnoldus Buchelius, who, as I will relate in the following chapter, paraphrased Junius

in writing his biographies of artists in his chorography of Utrecht, described Lucas van Leyden

as a ‘primus encausticus’, an ‘exceptional engraver who with great labor incised many things in

bronze in imitation of Dürer’ in the Res pictoriae.118

3.4. Junius on the sculptor Willem van Tetrode

It is probable that Junius included a separate passage on Van Tetrode in his description of Delft

because his observations center around the marble altarpiece which the sculptor made on

commission for the city’s Oude Kerk (St. Hippolytus).119 The most detailed of Junius’ segments,

it reads,

‘The Oude Kerk of Delft, which is of first rank, now comes near to a castle in ostentation by a
sculpted work: a marble altar of extraordinary craftsmanship, to which I reckon that saying of
Zeuxis can deservedly be ascribed: that someone would envy more easily than imitate. It was
labored by a citizen of Delft, another Praxiteles, Willem van Tetrode. After having spent many
years in Italy, he carried the fire of the most noble art, not in the pith so as Prometheus, but
drawn and taken up into the faculty of his memory, into his own land. When one sees his work,
he will swear I reckon that the glory of art has traveled from Italy (who has not had gates open to
all thus far) to Batavia. And already my reasoning foresees that the same perpetuity of praise will
reside in Delft that followed Thespiae and Cnidos. As Pliny recounts in his many volume
Natural History, the fame of a divine work, the Cnidian Aphrodite, would incite admirers from
all over with nearly equal foreboding, by which many would sail to the city Cnidos of Lycia.
This was only so that they could see that statue, in all the lands of the world illustrious, and
labored by the hand of Praxiteles. As Cicero testifies, they would go to Thespiae (this is a town
of Boetia) also famous because of a Cupid by the hand of the same artificer. Even if no other
cause should arise, people would visit on account of that statue. About Van Tetrode this is
memorable. Since he was frequently dirty in his living space, Protogenes instructs amply in his
example. As Protogenes, greater of art than the jealousy present, he made himself admirable and

                                                                                                               
118
‘…Lucas quoque Leidenus… primus encausticus, qui labore multo in aee ad imitationem Dureri multa incidit…’
Buchelius 1928, p. 21.
119
Van Tetrode’s altarpiece had an unfortunately short lifetime. The sculptor began it after the iconoclasm of 1566,
and it was destroyed just after its completion during the following wave of image breaking in 1573. Van Binnebeke
2003, volume 1, p. 13.

  50  
pleasing to all. His upbringing and nourishment are owed to Delft, but not his birth (it need be
said since he wanted neither public imperfection nor deceit).120

As in the cases of Van Scorel, Heemskerck, and Mostaert, Junius describes Van Tetrode through

a combination of Pliny’s artists in the Natural History. He calls Van Tetrode another Praxiteles

and equates his high altar in Delft with two of the artist’s specific works, the Cnidian Aphrodite

and a cupid in Thespiae. The works were so famous that people would travel from all over the

world to see them.121 Two of Pliny’s anecdotes on other ancient artists further characterize Van

Tetrode’s art and persona. The first is that his art is something ‘that someone would envy more

easily than imitate’, the words which Pliny claims that the painter Zeuxis inscribed on the bottom

of his depiction of an athlete. The second is the example of Protogenes, who, in spite of his bad

reputation among his countrymen because of his dirty home, continued to produce great art.

When Apelles visits and recognizes Protogenes’ talent and boasts of it, the latter’s fellow citizens

begin to appreciate him.122

3.5. Pieter Aertsen: rhyparographer?

Having analyzed Junius’ passages on painters, engravers and Van Tetrode, I return to the section

on Aertsen. As stated above, Junius’ observations in addition to a passage in Opmerus’ Opus


                                                                                                               
120
‘Delphorum aedes vetustior, quae & primaria est, ad ostentationis arcem nunc aspirat, opere sculptili, praecipuae
artis ara marmorea, cui non immerito posse inscribi Zeuxidis illud existimo, invisurum aliquem facilius, quam
imitaturum, a Delphensi cive, altero Praxitele, Guilelmo Tetrodio elaborata, qui consumptis multis in Italia annis,
nobilissimae artis ignem, non in ferula cum Prometheo, sed memori mente haustum conceptumque ad suos attulit:
quod opus ubi viderit, deierabit opinor Ausonia, artis (cuius non omnibus apertas fores illa habuit hactenus) gloriam
ad Batavos emigrasse. Iamque auguratur animus, eandem Delpho laudis perpetuitatem manere, quae olim Thespias
& Cnidum secuta est, ut divini operis admiratores undique fama sit excitura, pari ferme omine, quo Cnidum Lyciae
urbem multos navigasse refert Plinius in copioso illo Naturalis historiae volumine, solum ut viderent signum illud
Cnidiae Veneris toto terrarum orbe illustre, Praxitelis manu elaboratum. Thespias quoque (id Boetiae oppidum est)
ita nobilitatas Cupidine eiusdem artificis dextra facto, testatur Cicero, ut propter illud signum, etiam si non alia
magnopere subesset caussa, Thespiae viserentur. In quo sculptore illud memorabile est, quod quum domestica
plaerunque sordere, sui exemplo abunde docuerit Protogenes, hunc ceu invidia maiorem artis praestantia cunctis
admirabilem gratiosumque fecerit. Huic urbi non natalem suum sed threpteria nutritiaque debuit (dicendum enim id
est, quando & vitia & venena nosse publice interest.’ Junius 1588, p. 262.
121
For the references see NH 36.4 and Cicero, Orationes in Verrem, 2.4.3.
122
For Zeuxis NH 35.37 and for Protogenes NH 35.36.

  51  
chronographicum have served as evidence towards hypotheses that the concept of rhyparography

stimulated Aertsen’s popularization of large-scale still life and genre paintings in northern

Europe. After tracing the history of the theory, I argue against reading the segments of the two

humanists in its support.

The latest art historian to claim a relationship between still life and genre painting with

rhyparography, Reindert L. Falkenburg, summarizes the development of the hypothesis in the

back to back articles, ‘‘Alter Einoutus’: Over de aard en herkomst van Pieter Aertsens stilleven-

conceptie’ (1989) and ‘Pieter Aertsen, Rhyparographer’ (1993).123 Charles Sterling first casted

still life as revived rhyparography in the exhibition, La nature morte de l’Antiquité à nos jours

(1952), for which argument he referenced Junius’ passage on Aertsen.124 The theory gained

currency through its backing by important art historians such as Ernst Gombrich, Keith Moxey

and Hans Joachim Raupp.125

Falkenburg supplements his literature synopsis in the second essay with an evaluation of

Norman Bryson’s Looking at the overlooked. Four essays on still life painting (1990), a book

published after ‘‘Alter Einoutus’’. Bryson, who examines the relationship of still life and

                                                                                                               
123
R. L. Falkenburg, ‘Pieter Aertsen, Rhyparographer’ in Rhetoric – Rhétoriqueurs – Rederijkers: proceedings of
the colloquium, Amsterdam 10-13 November 1993, J. Koopmans et al. (eds.), Amsterdam/Oxford/New
York/Tokoyo 1990, pp. 197-217 and ‘‘Alter Einoutus’: Over de aard en herkomst van Pieter Aertsens
stillevenconceptie,’ Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 40 (1989), pp. 44-66. For his analysis of earlier opinions
on the development of still life see respectively pp. 202-204 and note 8.
124
C. Sterling, La nature morte de l’Antiquité à nos jours, Paris 1952, p. 37.
125
Gombrich, who agrees with Sterling on the relationship of rhyparography and still life in ‘Tradition and
Expression in Western Still Life’ wrote a similar article on the development of landscape painting. See E. Gombrich,
‘Tradition and Expression in Western Still Life’ in Meditations on a hobby horse: and other essays on the theory of
art, Oxford 1963, pp. 95-105, 170 and ‘Renaissance Artistic Theory and the Development of Landscape Painting’ in
Norm and form, London 1966, pp. 107-121, 150-153; Moxey is more doubtful of the idea that Aertsen was
influenced by Pliny’s passage due to the fact that he does not depict Piraiecus’ same subjects in his paintings. K.
Moxey, Pieter Aertsen, Joachim Beuckelaer and the rise of secular painting in the context of the Reformation, New
York/London 1977, pp. 27-29; Raupp only discusses rhyparography in the context of the art histories of Karel van
Mander and Arnold Houbraken in his book on the development of peasant paintings in Germany and the
Netherlands. The seventeenth-century authors associate rhyparography with not only still life, but the representation
of generally low subjects such as farmers etc. Falkenburg follows suit. H. J. Raupp, Bauernsatiren: Entstehung und
Entwicklung des bäuerlichen Genres in der deutschen und niederländischen Kunst, ca. 1470-1570, Niederzier 1986,
pp. 310-311.

  52  
rhyparography by applying the semiotic method, concludes that painted rhyparography is no

different from ‘rhopography’, meaning the depiction of trifle things. Still life is rhopography by

nature, and the opposite of ‘megalography’, meaning the depiction of subjects considered noble

such as gods, saints and heroes.

In formulating his own argument, the next contribution to the debates surrounding

Aertsen and rhyparography, Falkenburg rejects Bryson’s uniting of rhyparography and

rhopography. If applied to Aertsen’s oeuvre, the assimilation connotes that the subject matter of

his artwork is trifle and neutral. Claiming that rhyparography has strictly negative connotations

such as indecorous and dirty, Falkenburg instead sees Aertsen’s still life and genre paintings as

rhyparography as if megalography. This is analogous to the ‘paradoxical encomium’. The

paradoxical encomium, which Falkenburg puts forward as the theory that underlies Aertsen’s

artworks in ‘‘Alter Einoutus’’, is a literary figure in which a subject that is not praiseworthy is

depicted as if it is a subject that is praiseworthy.126 Although Falkenburg essentially departs from

the paradoxical encomium in his most recent contribution on Aertsen, ‘Pieter Aertsen’s Old

Market Vendor’ (2008), his application of the concept to interpreting still life and genre

paintings has gained currency in later literature.127 It is this that inspires my following

reevaluation of his argument.128

For evidence in support of rhyparography as megalography/ the paradoxical encomium in

the two earlier articles, Falkenburg examines Aertsen’s artistic oeuvre. Between the two

                                                                                                               
126
The seminal study on the paradoxical encomium is R. L. Colie’s Paradoxia epidemica: the Renaissance
Tradition of Paradox (1966). It is after Colie’s prompt that Falkenburg applies the concept to still life and genre
painting. Falkenburg 1993, pp. 214-215 and 1989, pp. 54-59.
127
R. L. Falkenburg, ‘Pieter Aertsen’s Old Market Vendor: Imitatio Artis as Paradox’ in Cultural mediators: artists
and writers at the crossroads of tradition, innovation and reception in the Low Countries and Italy, 1450-1640, A.
de Vries (ed.), Leuven/Paris/Dudley 2008, pp. 1-28.
128
Examples include Todd Richardson’s Pieter Bruegel the Elder: art discourse in the sixteenth-century
Netherlands (2011) and Mariet Westermann’s The amusements of Jan Steen. Comic painting in the seventeenth
century (1997).

  53  
contributions he recalls a vast amount of imaginative visual parallels that he believes illustrate

that the artist applied the concept. He puts for example Aertsen’s Kitchen maid (1559), a painting

he considers a low subject, into dialogue with Mor’s formal portrait of the Duke of Alva (1549),

and Aertsen’s peasant family in the Pancake eaters (1560) with Frans Floris’ eloquent portrait of

the Van Berchem Family (1561) (Figures 8-11).129 Falkenburg supplements the visual parallels

with the testimonies of Junius and Opmerus. As a discussion of Falkenburg’s interpretations of

Aertsen’s artworks in comparison with those of the other artists’ falls outside of the scope of my

thesis, I will only closely evaluate his citations of the two humanists.  

Figure 8 (left). Pieter Aertsen, Kitchen maid, 1559, 127.5 x 82 cm, Royaux Musée des Beaux-Arts de
Belgique, Brussels
Figure 9 (right). Antonis Mor, Don Fernando Álvarez de Toledo y Pimentel, 3rd Duke of Alva, 1549,
108 x 84 cm, The Hispanic Society of America, New York
                                                                                                               
129
Falkenburg 1993, pp. 209-212.

  54  
 

Figure 10. Pieter Aertsen, Pancake eaters, 1560, 87 x 169.3 cm, Museum Boijmans Van
Beuningen, Rotterdam

Figure 11. Frans Floris, Portrait of the Van Berchem Family, 1561, 130 x 225 cm, Museum
Wuyts-Van Campen en Baron Caroly, Lier

  55  
Falkenburg, like Moxey before him, acknowledges that one cannot cite the Batavia passage as

absolute support that Aertsen viewed his art as a type of rhyparography because of Junius’

humanist acumen. Falkenburg nonetheless views that the humanist’s equating Aertsen with

Piraeicus can be ‘far from coincidence’.130 Against this conjecture and in support of Moxey’s, I

argue that Junius’ very explicit reliance on the Natural History in describing ten of the eleven

artists of Batavia makes it likely that his choice of Piraeicus for Aertsen was entirely based on

his humanist methods. Piraeicus’ example was an attractive model for a description of Aertsen,

and whether this in anyway reflects the artist’s own intentions or how he viewed himself is

another matter. What is more is that neither Junius nor Pliny before him actually discuss

rhyparography as if it is the indecorous opposite of megalography.

Recall that Junius’ Aertsen and Pliny’s Piraeicus both attain glory although they paint

humble subjects, and that both of the artists’ works sold for greater values than those of many

other painters. Piraeicus paints barber’s shops, cobbler’s stalls, asses and viands, and Aertsen, in

addition to these same subjects, paints peasant girls, the disposition of the body, slaughtered

chickens and ducks, fishes, and kitchen utensils. Piraeicus’ works ‘offered exquisite pleasure ’,

and Aertsen’s works, ‘being beyond exquisite pleasure… can never satiate the eyes in their ever-

infinite variety’. If anything, to return to Norman Bryson’s argument, this is rhyparography as

the neutral rhopography. It is even more apparent in the case of Junius, who adds in adjectives

such as elegant (‘elegantissime’) and graceful (‘gratia’) to describe Aertsen’s subject matter.

Falkenburg’s overstated definition of rhyparography as a ‘pejorative term that suggests that

the… objects that Piraeicus painted (a practice that Aertsen imitated) are ‘dirty’, insignificant

                                                                                                               
130
Ibid., 202.

  56  
subjects, and thus, are unworthy of being represented in art’ makes this discrepancy all the more

apparent.131

Junius’ final phrase, that Aertsen’s works, ‘being beyond exquisite pleasure… can never

satiate the eyes in their ever-infinite variety’ harkens on another art historical polemic

surrounding still life and genre painting. That is the question of meaning. As the number of

publications dealing with this issue is vast, I limit myself to mentioning one of the general line of

interpretation that directly pertains to Junius: a reading Aertsen’s works as ‘inverted still lifes’,

i.e., that they contain hidden, moral messages to be decoded by the viewer through the objects

that are represented.132 Junius’ passage, written during the artist’s lifetime, describes Aertsen’s

still life and genre paintings as simply pleasurable because of their infinite variety of details.

Recall that this is a case in which Junius goes beyond Pliny’s remark on Piraeicus, whose

paintings had simply offered exquisite pleasure. Why couldn’t one read Junius’ interpolation as

reflective of contemporary attitudes on Aertsen’s art?

To return to the origin of still life and genre and the paradoxical encomium. As additional

evidence to artwork comparisons and Junius’ testimony, Falkenburg adds in a passage from the

collective biographies on artists included in Opmerus’ Opus chronographicum. It describes

Aertsen as esteeming a painting of the passion by Joannes Einoutus, an artist unknown today. In

the example of Desiderius Erasmus’ Praise of Folly (1511), Einoutus designed this painting so as

to make fun of the faults of artists.133 As the Praise of Folly is a written paradoxical encomium,

                                                                                                               
131
Falkenburg 2008, p. 10.
132
See K. M. Craig, ‘Pars ergo Marthae transit: Pieter Aertsen’s “Inverted” Paintings of Christ in the House of
Martha and Mary’, Oud Holland, 97 (1983), pp. 25-39. See also Craig’s dissertation, Pieter Aertsen’s Inverted Still
Lifes, (Bryn Mawr College, 1979).
133
‘Then at this time Joannes Einoutus was flourishing, also a limitless painter. Stimulated by the example of the
Praise of Folly of his fellow citizen Desiderus Erasmus, he painted on a white panel Christ attached to the cross, in
which a variety of colors and diversity of forms of misshapen men were seen. And it was so that artists would see
errors of the most celebrated painters in this. It seems that he himself [Einoutus] was not only among artists, but also
made fun of art. The painter Pieter Aertsen was esteeming this [painting] so highly that he said to me that it was not

  57  
Falkenburg concludes that Einoutus’ painting, which Aertsen himself valued greatly and was

thus likely to have emulated, was an artistic example of the literary figure. In light of what the art

historian Marc van Vaeck emphasizes as an inherent feature of the paradoxical encomium in the

article ‘Adriaen van de Vennes bedelaarsvoorstellingen in grisaille: geschilderde paradoxale

encomia?’ (2001) in combination with a perplexing passage on Einoutus in a second text by

Opmerus, the Historia martyrum Batavicorum (1625), I caution against this assumption.134

While Opmerus’ painting of the passion is undoubtedly a satire as is Erasmus’ Praise of

Folly, I do not think that we can call it an example of the paradoxical encomium. As Van Vaeck

points out in an article describing the application of the concept to a seventeenth-century artist,

the paradoxical encomium is not just the depiction of something that is not praiseworthy, but the

depiction of something not praiseworthy as if was praiseworthy.135 Falkenburg himself states that

the literary figure’s function was, among other things, ‘to parade the technical/rhetorical abilities

of the speaker or writer and evoke admiration of the spectators/readers for these abilities...’136

Erasmus’ Praise of Folly is a case in point example, for in highly stylized Latin the author

depicts the shortcomings of men as if they are praiseworthy. This definition contrasts with

Einoutus’ painting. Opmerus describes the work as displaying ‘a variety of colors and diversity

of forms of misshapen men’.137 Although it delighted viewers such as Aertsen, the painting, an

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
able to equaled with gold, or another distinguished currency (Florebat hac tum tempestate Roterodami Ioannes
Einoutus, infinis quoque pictor, qui exemplo Moriae civis sui D. Erasmi provocatus pinxit tabulam ex albo Christi
affigendi cruci: in qua varii coloris atque diversae formae deformium hominum figurae conspiciebantur. Ita ut
artifices in ea viderent errata omnium celebrium pictorum: videreturque ipse non modo artificibus, sed etiam
illusisse arti. Hanc tanti aestimabat Petrus Longus pictor, ut mihi diceret eam non posse aestimari auro, sed insigni
aliqua provincia).’ Opmerus 1611, p. 470.
134
M. van Vaeck, ‘Adriaen van de Vennes bedelaarsvoorstellingen in grisaille: geschilderde paradoxale encomia?’,
De zeventiende eeuw 17 (2001), pp. 165-173; Petrus Opmerus, Historia martyrum Batavicorum, Cologne 1625.
135
This is another of Mariet Westermann’s contributions, ‘Fray en Leelijck: Adrien van de Venne’s invention of the
ironic grisaille’ in R. L. Falkenburg et. al. (eds.), Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 50 (Kunst voor de markt. Art
for the market 1500-1700, 1999), pp. 221-257. Van Vaeck 2001, p. 171.
136
Falkenburg 1993, p. 214.
137
‘…varii coloris atque diversae formae deformium hominum figurae conspiciebantur.’ For full segment see note
133. In ‘‘Alter Einoutus’’, Falkenburg loosely translates this phrase describing Opmerus’ painting in the Opus

  58  
amalgamation of distorted forms of men showing the faults of artists, was evidently not a

simultaneous statement of its artist’s technical virtuosity. Furthermore, the depiction of ‘distorted

men’ in passion scenes so as to contrast with the beauty of Christ was established artistic

technique since the century prior. Falkenburg is thus right to depart from the concept in ‘Pieter

Aertsen’s Old Market Vendor’. Here, he instead interprets Aertsen works, particularly the Old

Market Vendor, as being deliberately full of errors like Einoutus’ rather than exemplifying

rhyparography as megalography/ the paradoxical encomium.138

I close this subsection with a discussion of one last piece of evidence against considering

Einoutus’ painting as an example of the paradoxical encomium. This is the excerpt from another

of Opmerus’ texts, the Historia martyrum Batavicorum, which essentially reiterates the story of

the painter in the Opus chronographicum.139 For Falkenburg, who sites the passage of this source

in all three articles but never actually reproduces it in full, the segment is of particular interest

because here Opmerus, like Junius, calls Aertsen ‘a second Piraeicus in painting.’140 Poor

spelling makes the original edition, a Latin version printed in 1625, admittedly difficult to

transcribe and translate. It is nevertheless comprehesible enough to point out that the passage,

which contains a puzzling remark on a statue of Erasmus, in no way suggests that Einoutus’

following in the example of the philosopher was intended as a conspicuous artistic emulation of

the Praise of Folly. Opmerus states,

‘Rotterdam, apart from other distinguished ‘Roterodamum autem praeter alios claros
citizens, delivered Ioannes Einoutus, a cives pridem Ioannem Cimontium
painter of comedic genius. He, with immense [=Einoutum] festivi iugenii [=ingenii]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
chorographicum. It was a painting wherein ‘one saw deformed appearances, different in color and varying in forms
(de gedaanten van misvormde men zag, verschillend van kleur en uiteenlopend van [vormen]canon).’ He offers a
new translation in ‘Pieter Aertsen’s Old Market Vendor’: that it was a painting featuring ‘figures of deformed people
[made according to] various rules’. This later translation is based on a mistranscription of the text. The phrase does
not read ‘diversae formulae’ but ‘diversae formae’. Falkenburg 1989, note 54 and 2008, p.15.
138
Op. cit. 127.
139
Op. cit. 134.
140
Falkenburg 2008, note 39, 1993, p. 215, and 1989, p. 55 and note 54.

  59  
care, sought to gain the highest glory. Seeing pictorem ædiderat [=ediderat], qui cum
that his fellow citizen Erasmus, in praising ingente cura ad gloriae fastidium
folly with prickling stings widely advanced [=fastigium] contenderet, videns
the fame of his name, he, through an popularem suum D. Erasmum non sine
ingenious idea painted the history of the pungentibus aculeis Moriam laudando
passion of the Lord on a white panel with primam nominis sui famam longissime
various colors and small images, so that he protulisse, argumento ingenioso
could expose the blemishes and errors of all historiam Passionis dominicae ex albo
noble artists with wonderful creativity. The versicoloribusque imagunculis ita
result was that he appeared to make fun of depingit, ut omnium nobilium artificum
his own art as skillfully as possible. On vitia erroresque miro artificio detexisse,
account of its false spatters the work was of atque adeo ipsi arti quoque quam
course very pleasant to see, even for both artificiosissime illusisse videretur. Opus
serious and busy people. Pieter Aertsen, a profecto ob falsam asperginem
second Piraeicus in painting (Pliny wrote the periucundum visu vel gravibus etiam ac
nickname ‘Rhyparograher’) used to bestow occupatis: cui Petrus Longus alter in
so much praise on this painting, that even pictura pyreicus (hunc Rhyparognophum
shortly before his death, I was attending his [=Rhyparographum] Pluvius [=Plinius]
deathbed, he solemnly affirmed that no price scribit:) tantum tribuere solitus sit ut
would be worthy enough to have it etiam sub mortem, cum lecto ipsius
exchanged. So men without a sense of humor assiderem, sancte affirmaverit, nullo satis
and envious of the fame of their most famous digno pretio illud permutari potuisse.
fellow citizen, broke this painting, which was Hanc ergo tabulam gloriae praeclarissimi
made useless, while in the meantime they civis sui invidentes insulsi homines
substituted, in place of a marble statue of frustratam confregere, dum interea in
Erasmus which had been torn down by a locum marmorae ab improbo milite
shameless soldier, a wooden statue, and deiectae D. Erasmi statuae ligneam
ridiculously placed it under a divine stone substituunt, ridiculeque sub dio ponti
bridge.’ 141 lapideo imponunt.’142  

According to Opmerus, Einoutus created a satirizing work like the Praise of Folly with the aim

of rapidly increasing his reputation, and did not seek to emulate Erasmus’ specific literary figure.

It evidently worked well, as Opmerus records that his painting pleased even serious and busy

people, and a great artist, Aertsen.

I have provided a translation of the last sentence of the segment that continues on the

theme of satire. The same envious crowd that shattered Einotus’ painting ridiculously replaced a

destroyed marble statue of Erasmus with a new wooden one and set it under a stone bridge.
                                                                                                               
141
I am extremely indebted to the suggestions of Victor Schmidt and Dirk van Miert on transcribing and translating
this passage.
142
Opmerus 1625, p. 153-154.

  60  
Admittedly, historical context and the corrupted text prompt numerous uncertainties. A marble

statue of Erasmus was indeed destroyed and then replaced with a wooden one in Rotterdam, yet

according to a testimony by Buchelius, the new statue was not located underneath a bridge but in

a prominent location of the city.143 If we replace the typesetter’s ‘sub dio’ with ‘subsidio’, we

could either have, ‘they ridiculously placed it [the statue] on a stone bridge to support it’, or,

looking to the drawing of the statue accompanying Buchelius’ notes which shows that it sat on a

plinth, ‘they placed it on a stone plinth

attached to a bridge’ (Figure 12). The term

‘ridiculously’ could then be an indication of

the fact that Opmerus found it

counterintuitive that the same people who

destroyed Einoutus’ painting would rebuild

Erasmus’ statue.144 Satiric or not, what is

anyways most important to take away from

this testimony is that neither Opmerus’ nor


Figure 12. Arnoldus Buchelius, Sketch of the
Junius’ passages suggest that Aertsen Erasmus Statue in the Commentarius, Utrecht
1596145

                                                                                                               
143
The original statue was destroyed during the Spanish skirmishes of 1572. Buchelius claims that it was replaced in
the city’s market. J. Becker, Hendrick de Keyser: Standbeeld van Desiderius Erasmus in Rotterdam, Bloemendaal
1993, p. 40.
144
A later Dutch translation of the book of martyrs offers yet another solution. The translater reads ‘sub dio’ as the
rare ‘sub die’, which translates to the old Dutch ‘by daag’, meaning during the day. The full translation reads, ‘dit
kostelijk tafereel hebben de onsinnige inwooners, benijdende de glorie van haar medeborgers aan stukken gebrokken
en de marmore statue van Erasmus van een boosaardig soldaat geschonden, in een houte veranderd, en soo
spotgewijs by daag op haar steene brug ten toon gesteld.’ Petrus Opmerus, Martelaars-boek, ofte historie der
Hollandse martelaren, volume 1, Antwerp 1700, p. 250.
145
For a sketch of the first version of the statue, see Heesakkers 2012, p. 24. The sketch was recorded in the diary of
a Swiss tourist Hans Jakob vom Stall in 1583. The drawing depicts the statue as resting on a plinth in the likes of
Buchelius’. In this image however the the plinth sits upon another stone block. Could this be what Opmerus refers to
by ‘ponti’ instead of a bridge?

  61  
intentionally took after the paradoxical encomium. Aertsen is simpled called a second Piraeicus

because of the subject matter of his paintings. It is with this in mind that I turn to a detailed

analysis of Opmerus’ set of collective biographies in the Opus chronographicum of which the

puzzling tale of Einoutus forms a small detail.

  62  
Chapter 4. Artists in Chorography II: the Low Countries 1568-1610

4.1. Petrus Opmerus’ chronicle of the world

Petrus Opmerus’ (1526-1595) Opus

chronographicum orbis universi a mundi

exordio usque ad annum MDCXI, continens

historiam, icones, et elogia, summorum

pontificum, imperatorum, regum, ac virorum

illustrium in duos tomos divisum (Chronicle

of the whole world, from the beginning of

the universe up until the year 1611,

containing a narrative of past events,

portraits and records of the greatest popes,

commanders, rulers, and illustrious men


Figure 13. Artist unknown, Portrait of Petrus
Opmerus following the dedication of the Opus
divided into two tomi) is as prolific as the
chronographicum, Antwerp 1611
title implies.146 The work comprises a chronicle of the entire world broken down by region. It

features clusters of collective of biographies of famous individuals with portraits. Artists begin to

appear in these during the fifteenth century with the Van Eyck brothers.

As stated in the introduction, I have chosen to explore the Opus chronographicum,

although a chronicle, for the reason that it includes collective biographies of artists and was
                                                                                                               
146
Op. cit. 14; the biography of Petrus Opmerus by Andreas Valerius, included in the prefatory materials to the
Opus chronographicum, offers a concise overview of the author’s life and great learning. In short, we learn that the
young Opmerus, born to Petrus Opmerus and Maria Ackersloot, studied as a boy under the humanists Alardus of
Amsterdam and Nicholas Cannius of Cologne. He attended the University of Leuven where he studied under Petrus
Nannius. From here, Opmerus moved elsewhere in Belgium to study mathematics. He ultimately settled in Delft,
where he married the daughter of the mayor Sophia Sasbout, and immersed himself in study. Next to a continuous
concentration on ancient languages and mathematics, it appears that he taught himself medicine and law. During the
years of the religious struggle and revolt Opmerus remained a fierce defender of Catholicism. In the heat of the
conflict he left for the south, but eventually returned to the north where he continued to promote the Catholic cause.
Opmerus 1611, ‘Vita Petri Opmeeri…’

  63  
written in the second half of the sixteenth century in the Low Countries. The first tomus,

composed by Opmerus, covers from the beginning of the universe up until the year 1569, and the

second, much short tomus, written by the text’s editor Laurentius Beyerlinck, the period between

1570 and 1611.147 I limit my consideration of the text to Opmerus’ tomus because Van

Beyerlinck, based in Antwerp, did not share Opmerus’ network within the cities of the northern

Netherlands, and only describes four artists: Heemskerck, Titian, Vasari, and Coornhert.148

With the exception of the first and last clusters, Opmerus confines his biographies of

painters, sculptors and engravers to subsections of the first tomus labeled ‘Viri Illustres’. A

chronicle of the world has no geographic boundaries, and thus unlike the writers examined thus

far in my thesis, Opmerus offers equally detailed descriptions of artists from the Low Countries,

Italy, and Germany. He names more than three times as many artists as Junius, and twenty-one

receive extended biographies versus mere mentions. Seven contain references to Pliny’s Natural

History.149 After describing Opmerus’ uses of Pliny, I characterize other features that distinguish

his collective biographies from those of the other earlier chorographers and Junius’. I account for

the distinctions by arguing that the humanist had close contact with artists.

Opmerus’ description of Hieronymus Bosch is the only in which a reference to Pliny

makes for the entirety of a segment on an individual artist in the likes of Junius’ Piraeicus and

Aertsen parallel. Bosch is a modern equivalent of Pliny’s Antiphilus, who was one of the first to

paint comedic scenes called ‘grylli’.150

                                                                                                               
147
If referencing the second tomus, I will make note it with ‘Opmerus 1611 (tomus II)’. ‘Opmerus 1611’ refers to
the first tomus.
148
For these artists see Opmerus 1611 (tomus II), pp. 40, 178.
149
Like Flavio on Donatello and Junius on Van Blocklandt, Opmerus describes one artist through a reference to the
passage on lifelike marble in Vergil’s Aeneid. Joost. Jansz. Bilhamer ‘shapes breathing countenances out of
marble... (spirantes finxit de marmore vultus…)’, Opmerus 1611, p. 514; see note 55 for Donatello and Vergil’s
quotation, and note 98 for Van Blocklandt.
150
For ‘grylli’ in art historiographical literature before and after Opmerus, see J. Muylle, Genus gryllorum,
Gryllorum pictores: legitimatie, evaluatie, en interpretatie van genre-iconografie en van de biografieën van

  64  
Opmerus, ‘The marvelous artificer Pliny, ‘On the contrary, Dionysius painted nothing else
Hieronymus, also known as Boschius, but people, and consequently has a Greek name meaning
from ’s-Hertogenbosch, stood out in 'Painter of Human Beings.' Callicles also made small
painting ‘grylli’. They call figures pictures, and so did Calates of subjects taken from
with a ridiculous deportment and comedy; both classes were painted by Antiphilus… He
form by this humorous name. That also painted a figure in an absurd costume known by the
such thing Antiphilus had painted joking name of Gryllus, the name consequently applied
during an earlier age.’151 to every picture of that sort.’152

To describe Dürer, Van Scorel, and Van Blocklandt, Opmerus supplements a reference to Pliny

with factual information. Dürer, besides publishing tracts on the arts (which I will address further

below), ‘deserves to be set together with ancient painters, specifically the one who painted what

was not able to be painted: lights in shadows, lightening, thunder, and wind.’153 Opmerus

describes Dürer through Apelles, who likewise ‘painted things that cannot be represented in

pictures—thunder, lightning and thunderbolts…’154 Van Scorel has Parrhasius’ ability of

drawing lines. Opmerus reports that, ‘In drawing outmost lines and in arranging bodies with

shade and the centers of objects he was winning the palm’.155 The reference follows a mixture of

remarks taken from comments on Van Scorel’s destroyed painting, the Calvary, by the Spanish

humanist Juan Cristóbol Calvete de Estrella and Opmerus’ own observations.156 Van Blocklandt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
genreschilders in de Nederlandse kunstliteratuur (ca. 1550-ca. 1570), 3 volumes, dissertation, Catholic University
of Leuven, Leuven 1986.
151
‘Hieronymus quoque Boschius Buscoducensis mirus nunc etiam artifex exstitit pingendis Gryllis. Vocant ridiculi
habitus formaeve figuras eo nomine iocoso: quod talem apud saeculum prius depinxerit Antiphilus.’ Opmerus 1611,
p. 450.
152
Pliny 1952, volume 9, p. 345; ‘Contra Dionysius nihil aliud quam nomines pinxet, ob id anthropographos
cognominatus. Parva et Callicles facit, item Calates comicis tabellis utraque Antiphilus…. idem iocosis nomine
Gryllum deridiculi habitus pinxit, unde id genus picture grylli vocantur.’ NH 35.114.
153
‘Cum vestustis pictoribus merito conferendus, ut qui pinxerit quae pingi non possunt, lumina in umbris, fulgura,
tonitrua, ventos.’ Opmerus 1611, p. 448; Erasmus described Dürer with the same reference in his epitaph on the
artist in the Dialogus de recta Latini Graecique sermonis pronuntiatione (1528). Peter van der Coelen describes this
reference as the highest that Erasmus could have given to an artist for in others of his writings he describes images
as having limitations. See E. Panofsky, ‘Erasmus and the Visual Arts’, Journal of the Courtauld and Warburg
Institutes 32 (1969), pp. 220-227 and P. van der Coelen et. al, Images of Erasmus, ex. cat. Rotterdam (Museum
Boijmans van Beuningen) 2008, pp. 48-49.
154
‘He even painted things that cannot be represented in pictures– thunder, lightening and thunderbolts… (…pinxit
et quae pingi non possunt, tonitrua, fulgetra fuluraque… NH 35.96)’ Pliny 1952, volume 9, p. 333.
155
‘In extremis quoque lineis ducendis, umbraque erigendis corporibus ac mediis rerum obtinebat palmam…’
Opmerus 1611, pp. 492-3. For Pliny on Parhassius, note 111.
156
For Calvete de Estrella and the reference see ‘Appendix III’.

  65  
appears in two different clusters of the Opus chronographicum. The first reports his birth and

death date and how he started studying painting, and the second, in a section on the region of

Germany, describes his artwork by a reference to Pliny. Although Van Blocklandt’s paintings

feature ‘figures with nine different types of color’ he is no less worthy than Apelles, whom Pliny

reports to have used merely four.157

In the remaining three segments in which Opmerus references Pliny, he simply equates

an Early Modern artist with an ancient artist by name. All three include an additional description

of a specific artwork. The first, Michelangelo is compared to Apelles, and the second, Raphael,

to Protogenes.

‘And then the exceptional painters Raphael of Urbino and Michelangelo of Florence were
excelling. The latter, similar to Apelles, painted a last judgment on the wall of the Sistine Chapel
of the Vatican Basilica. The work is to be admired by the whole world. The first of the two is an
equal of Protogenes by this painting, wherein Paul is stirred up in Areopagus among the Stoics
and Epicurians.’158

Opmerus, like Junius, equates the third artist Van Tetrode with Praxiteles. His greatest concern is

also the high altar piece of the Oude Kerk in Delft. It is likely that both of the authors’ equating

Van Tetrode with the ancient sculptor, the single place where their descriptions of an artist cross,

was inspired by a mutual secondary source: a poem by Cornelius Musius, the famous humanist/

priest and rector of the S. Agatha cloister in Delft. 159 It was supposedly executed at the base of

Tetrode’s altarpiece. Opmerus fortunately records the poem as part of his description of the

artist,

‘This beautiful sacred work, out of diversely colored marble


and so perfected that you should no where find more care,
                                                                                                               
157
‘…dum vario distincta refers nona signa colore… cedit Apellea...’ Opmerus 1611, p. 514; Pliny 1952, p. 299;
‘Quattor coloribus solis immortalia illa opera fecere... Apelles… NH 35.50.
158
‘Excellebant tum pictores eximii Raphaël Urbinas & Michaël Angelus Florentinus, Hic Apelli non dissimilis
iudicium illud extremum toti orbi admirandum in pariete Sacelli Sixti Basilica Vaticana depinxit. Illius qui
Protogeni non impar, tabula illa est, ubi Paulus in Ariopago concionatur inter Stoicos atque Epicureos.’ Opmerus
1611, p. 458.
159
Both Opmerus and Junius were friends of Cornelius Musius. Van Binnebeke 2003, p. 57.

  66  
Another Praxiteles, if he is not more illustrious,
Tetrode of Delft made in Delft.’160

Opmerus’ unique set of references to Pliny, detailed description of a number of specific

artworks, and discussion of technical and theoretical developments related to art set the

biographies of the Opus chronographicum apart from those in the other examples thus far

examined. To expand his observations on artists, Opmerus made use of sources beyond Pliny,

such as for example Leon Battista Alberti’s On painting (Della pictura) (1435), Vasari’s Vite

(1550, 1568), Guicciardini’s Descrittione, and perhaps also both Dominicus Lampsonius’ Life of

the most celebrated Painter Lambert Lombard of Liege (Lamberti Lombardi Apud Eburones

Pictoris Celeberrimi Vita) (1565) and Effigies of some celebrated painters of Lower Germany

(Pictorum aliquot celebrium Germaniae Inferioris effigies) (1572).161

The specific paintings that Opmerus describes are Giotto’s Navicella, Quinten Massys’

pendant paintings of Desiderius Erasmus and Pieter Gillis (Figures 14 and 15), two works by Jan

Gossaert, Joos van Cleve’s portraits of the French king and queen, Michelangelo’s Last

Judgment and Raphael’s St. Paul Preaching in Athens (the description quoted above) (Figure

16), the mysterious painting of Joannes Einoutus (see note 133), and Van Scorel’s Calvary.162 He

                                                                                                               
160
‘Hoc opus augustum diverso ex marmore pulcre/ Perfectum, ut nusquam cultius invenias,/ Alter Praxiteles, si
non illustrior illo est,/ Delphus apud Delphos Tetrodius posuit.’ Opmerus 1611, p. 514.
161
I will not attempt to track down each of Opmerus’ individual references and sources. My observations suggest
the necessity of future art historical research on Opmerus and the Opus chronographicum.
162
Opmerus 1611, p. 392 (Giotto), p. 448 (Massys), pp. 450 (Gossaert and Van Cleve), p. 458 (Michelangelo and
Raphael), p. 470 (Einoutus), p. 492-493 (Van Scorel); Opmerus also mentions works by Einoutus (notes 141 and
142) Gossaert, and Van Scorel in the Historia martyrum Batavicorum. In the case of Gossaert he notes a painting
that was destroyed, and in the case of Van Scorel, he describes the same painting that he does in the Opus
Chronographicum, the Calvary, which was destroyed in the Iconoclasm. Here he does not reference Estrella. The
segment reads ‘And he [a certain Petrus Bonchostius] also went no less frequently to his birthplace Scorel alone, a
town of northwest Holland, which was most noble on account of its illustrious nursling Jan van Scorel. It seemed
that he flourished as greatly as is possible in Rome during the pontificate of Hadrianus VI (who was painted by
him). From here he returned to his home country. He was appointed to the College of Cannons in Utrecht in the
church of the Virgin Mary, and lead an audacious brush towards other things in Holland towards greatest glory. His
most noble work is the painting of the high altar in the church of S. Nicolas in Amsterdam that features a passion of
our savior Jesus Christ. For tragedy is upon it, and a heaviness, especially the one viewed on the left side [of Christ].
The method on this side is praised by artists (…saepiuscule etiam Scorelum natale nimirum adit solum, Pagus

  67  
describes one sculptural work: Van Tetrode’s altarpiece.163 Whereas Junius had strictly used

references to Pliny and Cicero, Opmerus offers more detail on the outward qualities of the work.

He records the number of figures and their material of alabaster.164

The advancements of five artists receive as much detail as individual works of art. After

crediting Van Eyck with the invention of oil painting, which he could have read about in a

number of the above named sources, Opmerus records that Leon Battista Alberti, ‘published ten

books on architecture, three books on the art of painting in Latin, and other tracts very useful for

sculptors, architects and painters. In these he illuminated other excellent instructions. Although

he himself did not paint, he nevertheless deserves praise.’165 Next is Dürer, who ‘brought forth

much of benefit to various artificers by publishing his books on Geometry and Symmetry, that is,

about the proportion of the human body, and building cities, castles and fortifications.’166 The

lesser known Pomponius Gauricus, ‘besides poems published small books on physiognomy and

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Caninefatum est, nobilitatus plurimum ob alumnum suum Ioannem Scorelium Pictorem illustrem, quem Roma
Pontificatu Hadriani sexti (qui & ab eo pictus fuit) florere quam maxime vidit. Unde in patriam reverus
canonicatuque Ultraiecti in aede Deiparae virginis ornatus audentem iam aliquid apud Hollandos penicillum ad
summam gloriam perduxit. Nobilissimum eius opus tabula arae maximae est in D Nicolai Amstelredami Passionem
Salvatoris nostri Iesu Christi continens. Cothurnus enim ipsi inest, & gravitas ortis, praecipue autem latro qui a
sinistra conspicitur, in ea oitra modum laudatur artificibus).’ Opmerus 1625, pp. 156 and 157-158; for the Calvary
see J. P. Filedt Kok et al (eds.), Kunst voor de beeldenstorm: Noordnederlandse kunst 1525-1580, volume 1, ex. cat.
Amsterdam (Rijksmuseum) 1986, p. 28.
163
See note 119 for more information on the altarpiece.
164
Opmerus 1611, p. 514.
165
On van Eyck see Opmerus 1611, p. 406; ‘…edidit Leo Baptista Albertus Florentinus decem libros de
architectura, Latine tres libros de arte pictoria, atque alios tractatus sculptoribus, architectis ac pictoribus perutilis
edidit: in quibus ipse aliis optimis praeceptis praeluxit, cum ipse nihil pingeret, quod laudem mereatur.’ Opmerus
1611, p. 430.
166
‘Multum nunc adiumenti attulit etiam Albertus Duretus artificibus variis, edendo libros suos de Geometria ac
Symmetria, hoc est de pro proportione corporis humani, urbibus, arcibusque condendis muniendisque.’ Opmerus
1611, p. 448-450.

  68  
Figure 14. Quinten Massys, Desiderius Erasmus, Figure 15. Quinten Massys, Pieter Gillis,
1517, 50.5 x 45.2 cm, HM Queen Elizabeth II 1517, 73.75 x 55.25 cm, Collection of the
Earl of Radnor, Longford Castle

 
Figure 16. Raphael, Paul Preaching at Athens, 1515-1516, 343 x 442 cm, Victoria and Albert
Museum (on loan from HM Queen Elizabeth II), London

sculpture that are praised marvelously by artists.’167 Finally he includes an ode to Lambert

Lombard of Liege, who ‘…is among the first who imparted a method of painting, which was

                                                                                                               
167
‘…praeter Poëmata de Physiognomia & Statuaria arte opuscula artificibus mire laudata edebat.’ Opmerus 1611,
p. 462.

  69  
before raw and astounding. He refined the other method, which was regarded as more lovely for

a long time, according to the principles of antiquity’.168

An explanation of Opmerus’ knowledge of both artworks and art theoretical thought of

his day and age is the likeliness that he was personally associated with artists. A selection of

concrete evidence makes it probable that this was the case. The first is a testimony of Opmerus’

friendship with specific artists in his biography that precedes the Opus chronographicum. The

author Andreas Valerius states,

‘He [Opmerus] maintained friends illustrious by erudition and writings… and drawn to other
painters, sculptors and architects, by a certain mutual affection, he had those exceedingly
attached to him, as for instance one can gather from the Opus chronographicum. Maarten van
Heemskerck, Pieter Aertsen, Willem van Tetrode, Frans Floris, Antonis Mor, and Philips Galle
were flourishing in Holland, all excellent painters and sculptors of Holland, having the friendship
and companionship of him distinguished’.169

Ilja Veldman downplays the validity of the passage in Maarten van Heemskerck and Dutch

humanism. 170 Her choice of not quoting the entire segment undermines its sincerity. Valerius

describes a ‘sympathia’, or a mutual affection between Opmerus and the artists, and says that

they were not just friends, ‘amicitia’, but companions, ‘contubernio’. What is more is that

Opmerus confirms a number of the constituents of this list in the biography of himself in the

Historia martyrum Batavicorum. Heemskerck, the artist of Veldman’s interest, in fact receives

                                                                                                               
168
‘…inter primos rudem illam & stupidam pingendi rationem, & aliam longe venustiorem & ad antiquitatis
praecepta excogitatam excoluit.’ Opmerus 1611, p. 508.
169
‘Amicos coluit eruditione scripsisque illustres… aliosque pictores, sculptores & architectos, sympathia quadam
adductus, mire devinctos sibi habebat, ut vel ex opera eius Chronographico colligere licet. Florebant in Hollandia
eius amicitia ac contubernio clari Martinus Hemskerckius, Petrus Longus, Gulielmus Tettero, Franciscus Floris,
Antonius Morus, Philippus Galleus, Hollandi omnes, pictores sculptoresque excellentes.’ Opmerus 1611, ‘Vita Petri
Opmeeri…’.
170
Here, Veldman also incorrectly states that ‘Heemskerck is also referred to in glowing terms by van Opmeer
himself…’ in the Opus chronographicum. The account of Heemskerck is featured in the second tomus, and was
therefore written by Beyerlinck and not Opmerus. Veldman 1974, note 9.

  70  
significant attention in comparison to the others for his portrait of Cornelius Musius.171 The

passage reads,

‘Also having great value to him [Opmerus] were indeed the excellent sculptors and painters
Willem van Tetrode and Augustinus Georgius of Delft, Anthonie van Blocklandt of Montfoort,
Pieter Aertsen of Amsterdam, and he in fact numbered among the best Maarten van Heemskerck
of northwest Holland; since besides several others in the S. Agatha cloister, he painted this panel
of the high altar which Colmannus commissioned, and Musius coveted. He also depicted here an
effigy of him [Musius] so elegantly two years before he died, which portrait he had taken care
was incised in a circular formed bronze tablet by Philips Galle. He [Galle] carried it with him as
a gift to Harlem. On this painting, Musius wrote the following couplet: ‘Cornelius with seventy
years in life/ such a Musius I was when my body was still vigorous.’ For the rest, it must in no
way seem a miracle to anyone that he had won himself so many friends…’172

There is even further evidence that Opmerus was connected to two of the artists named in the

lists. The first is Aertsen, who as the passages in the Opus chronographicum and Historia

martyrum Batavicorum on the painter Einoutus tell was attended by Opmerus while he was on

his deathbed.173 The second is Van Tetrode. As Emile van Binnebeke has proven in his study of

Van Tetrode through a wealth of original documents, Opmerus, a Delft churchwarden between

1566 and 1572, was highly involved in commissioning the artist’s high altarpiece in the Oude

Kerk and making sure that he had adequate materials to see the project through.174

                                                                                                               
171
Neither Musius’s portrait nor Galle’s print after it remain. The closest version is Willem Swanenburg’s drawing
of 1611. There is also a painted copy in the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne. J. C. Harrison, The paintings of
Maerten van Heemskerck: a catalogue raisonné, 2 volumes, dissertation, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
2002, cat. nr. A.10 and R. Grosshans, Maerten van Heemskerck: die Gemälde, Berlin 1980, v. 18.
172
‘In pretio etiam apud eum fuere eximii quidam sculptores pictoresque Guilielmus Tethrodius, & Augustinus
Georgius Delphenses, Antonius Blochlandius [=Blocklandius] Montfortius, Petrus Longus Amstelrodamus, quique
vel inprimis [in primis] numerandus erat Martinus Hemskerlius [Hemskerckius] Caninefas; cum praeter alias
complures in D. Agathae, & illam primariae arae tabulam depinxeret, quam legaverat Colmannus, Musius a.posuit
[aposuit]. Expresserat hic idem elegantissime effigiem eius biennio antequam moreretur, quam cum circulari forma
a Philippo Gallaeo argenteae laminae incidi curasset, dono ipsi Harlemo transmisit. In hanc igitur picturam tale
scripsit distichon Musius: Vita septeno decies Cornelius anno/ Musius in tegro [=integro] corpore talis eram.
Caeterum haud mirum alicui videri debet, ipsum tot sibi conciliasse amicos…’ Opmerus 1625, p. 76; Thieme and
Becker name an ‘Augustyn’ of the school of Anthonie van Blocklandt, probably active in Delft, who could have
been ‘Augustinus Georgius’. U. Thieme and F. Becker (eds.), Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der
Antieke bis zur gegenwart, volume 2, Leipzig 1908, ‘Augustyn’.
173
See notes 133 and 142.
174
By showing the number of times that Opmerus’ name is given in the Church account book, Van Binnebeke
illustrates that he was the most involved in the commission of Van Tetrode’s altarpiece of all of the church wardens.
Van Binnebeke sees a correlation between Opmerus’ role in the commission, likely involvement in Delft’s Holy
Sacrament confraternity (a historic Catholic group which promoted the spiritual life of the city through pamphlets

  71  
4.2. Arnoldus Buchelius’ description of Utrecht

Arnoldus Buchelius’ (1566 – 1641) Description of Utrecht of Holland (Traiecti

Batavorum descriptio) comprises the first section of his Commentarius. 175 The manuscript, a

polished version of his travel notes and fieldwork that he wrote upon returning to Holland after a

journey through Europe, bears the following long title: Journal of daily matters, which apart

from journeys through different regions, the locations of cities and towns, antiquities, rulers,

regulations, and customs features many things which usually happen between people officially or

privately. It should be either useful or at least pleasant for readers depending on the

temperament of each individually (Commentarius rerum quotidianarum, in quo, praeter itinera

diversarum regionum, urbium oppidorumque situs, antiquitates, principes, instituta, mores, multa

eorum quae tam inter publicos quam privatos contingere solent, occurrent exempla, lectoribus

pro cuiusque ingenio vel utilia vel saltem non iniucunda futura). Disagreeing slightly with

Samuel Muller, who transcribed and published the description in 1906, the edition I use, Sandra

Langereis claims that it is likely that Buchelius began writing in 1588, the year of his return to

Utrecht from his travels, and continued to make annotations until 1592.176

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
etc), and simultaneous publication of a separate tract on the history of the mass (Officium missae, 1570). Opmerus’
publication of the pamphlet not only coincides with polemics surrounding the function of the mass during the years
of the religious upheaval, but also his commission of an expensive new altarpiece in the aftermath of the
iconoclasm, the place where the ritual would take place. Van Binnebeke 2003, p. 57, 65-68 and documents 12-17.
175
Op. cit. 8; Langereis offers a detailed description of Buchelius’ life and works in ‘‘Aut sors, aut virtus’; Het
geleerdenleven van Arnoldus Buchelius (1565-1641)’ in Geschiedenis als Ambacht (2001). In summation: like most
boys of upper class families, Buchelius received his primary education at the Latin school. He first went to Leiden to
study law, and after a short stay went to the Counter-Reformation University of Douai. From there he began his
travels. His first stop was Paris, where while fortuitously studying with Philips van Wingen he learned the
antiquarian method of fieldwork. Van Wingen taught Buchelius to, among other things, draw after ruins and
remains, read inscriptions, and distinguish buildings by period. From here, Buchelius continued onto Germany and
Italy before traveling back to Utrecht. Upon returing he reenrolled at Leiden to complete his law degree, and for the
remainder of his life juggled various professional and antiquarian pursuits. Langereis 2001, pp. 61-71; for another
perspective on Buchelius’s life, i.e. his religious beliefs during the years of turmoil in the Northern Netherlands, see
J. S. Pollmann, Another road to God; the religious development of Arnoldus Buchelius (1565-1641) (1998).
176
Muller gives 1592. The first publication of the ‘Descriptio’, a poor transcription of the manuscript by C.
Wachendorff and P. van Musschenbroek, contained numerous errors and left out entire pieces. Muller’s edition,
which aims for a very accurate transcription, leaves nothing out. Buchelius 1906, pp. 131-138.

  72  
The Traiecti Batavorum descriptio

consists of four chapters. The first

describes ancient Batavia, of which Utrecht

was part, the second the river Rhine, the

third nations that invaded Utrecht in the

past, and the fourth the city during the

Medieval and Early Modern period. As was

the case in all of the chorographies thus far

examined, Buchelius’ passage on five

painters, glass painter, architect and silver/


 
goldsmith is part of a collective biography Figure 17. Paulus Moreelse, Portrait of
Aernout van Buchel, 1610, 85 x 48.7 cm,
of famous individuals native to Utrecht.   Centraal Museum, Utrecht  

The opening three segments, on the painters Van Scorel, Van Blocklandt and Mor,

contain explicit paraphrases of Junius’ passage in Batavia. Buchelius wrote on Van Scorel,

‘She [painting] so generously nurtured and exalted Jan van Scorel with honors, a most excellent
painter, and she numbered him in the college of Mary and held him in the regard of the citizens.
This, although he was modeling fleshy and muscular limbs with accurate symmetry, was
nevertheless praised less worthily by the senseless judgment of the masses; that is true that he is
more austere in colors. I saw his painting of S. Cecilia in which a variety of hills, fields, woods
and incorporated remnants of ruins are mixed. They gave pleasure in a wonderful way. About
him Janus Secundus of The Hague wrote:
‘Walk on favorable foot to your city of birth, restorer of divine art.’
and after:
‘Sublime honor of painters, leader of men,
New glory of artists brought forth from the untilled earth,
Bringing remainders of the Latin world to the fatherland from far
You place Rome in the lands close by the river Rhine.’177

                                                                                                               
177
‘Pictura etiam habet quod huic referat. Quae tam benigne foverit et honoribus auxerit Joannem Scorellium,
pictorem excellentissimum, eumque collegio Mariano ascripserit et civium numero habuit. Hic cum pulposos
lacertososque cum iusta tamen symmetria artus exprimeret, vulgi malesano iuditio minus digne laudatus est; illud
verum, coloribus esse austeriorem. Huius vidi tabulam Divae Ceciliae, in qua montium, agrorum, silvarum mixta
diversitas et ruinarum insitae reliquiae, mirum in modum placuerunt. De hoc Joannes Secundus Hagiensis: ‘I fausto

  73  
The second sentence is a blatant quotation of Junius’ comment on Van Scorel that, ‘…although

because his lively images (with accurate symmetry) exhibit fleshy and muscular limbs, the

masses unlearned… discuss the honor of his painting less worthily. One way or another, his

work is more austere in colors’.178 Buchelius adds comments on a painting by Van Scorel of S.

Cecilia and verses in praise of him by Janus Secundus.179

As in the case of Van Scorel, Buchelius supplements a quotation of Junius’ description

on Van Blocklandt with additional information in order to describe the painter.

‘Anthonie van Blocklandt, from the town Montfoort of Utrecht, was raised in Utrecht. Though
less vigorous in beautifully displaying countenances, he is the second of no one in rendering
histories he willingly hears. But indeed as he recently died at a youthful age, he has not yet
satisfied the desire for him by all. I saw his paintings: a nativity of Christ, a Pentecost, Lot with
his daughters, an Adonis, also Rudolphus Weeldius; the lively semblances of many and
countenances breathing with colors make him immortal. It is recorded that his daughter Maria,
with a certain youthful sweetness, wrought charming images.’ 180

This is a combination of Junius’ observation that Van Blocklandt, though ‘less vigorous in

beautifully displaying countenances… is the second of no one in easily rendering histories that

he hears…’ with a list of five of the artist’s paintings.181 He describes his works as ‘breathing’

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
pede, patrias ad urbes/ Divinae renovator artis.’ et post: ‘Pictorum sublimis honos, columenque virorum,/ Artificum
rudibusque novum decus edite terris,/ Qui procul ad patrios orbis monumenta Latini/ Fers agros Rhenique locas ad
flumina Romam.’ Buchelius 1906, pp. 254-5.
178
‘…cuius insignia opera tota passim Hollandia magna cum admiratione pluribus in fanis spectantur, sed quod
pulposos lacertososque artus cum iusta symmetria exprimant vividae imagines, vulgus profanum & supra crepidam
sapiens, minus digne de picturae honore loquitur ac sentit: utcunque sit, in coloribus austerior est.’Junius 1588, p.
238.
179
For the issue of identifying this painting, see Buchelius 1928, p. 26. No specific work has been attributed;
Secondus’ verses that Buchelius includes are fragments of larger poems. For the whole poems and translations into
Dutch see, J. F. M. Sterck, Joannes Scorel en Joannes Secundus, The Hague 1921; J. P. Guépin has more recently
translated the poems into Dutch. See J. P. Guépin, De Drie Dichtende Broers Grudius, Marius Secundus: in brieven,
reisverslagen en gedichten, Groningen 2000, volume 1 pp. 151-152 (Dutch) and volume 2 pp. 542-543 (Latin).
180
‘Antonius Blocklandius municipio Traiectensi Montfortio ortus, Traiecti educatus, qui in praesentandis venuste
vultubus minime durus, in reddendis historiis nulli facile secundus audit, at viridi etiam tum aetate nuper ereptus,
nondum omnibus satisfecit sui desiderio. Vidi eius tabulas: Nativitatem Christi, Pentecosten, Lotum cum filiabus,
Adonidem, Rudolphum quoque Weeldium; vividae multorum effigies et coloribus spirantes vultus immortalem
reddidere. Cuius etiam filiam Mariam, puellari quadam dulcedine non invenustas exprimere imagines notum est.’
Buchelius 1906, pp. 255-6.
181
‘Qui in repraesentandis venuste vultibus minime durus, in reddendis historiis nulli facile secundus audit, idque
loqui mihi videntur nonnulla quae spectavi opera prope spirantia, solaque anima defecta.’ Junius 1588, p. 239; due

  74  
with colors (‘spirantes’), a word Junius had likewise used in his description of the artist’s works.

He adds in that Van Blocklandt died young, and claims that he had a daughter who was also a

decent artist.

Buchelius’ remarks on Antonis Mor merely paraphrase what Junius said on the artist

without additive information. In this case, Buchelius cites his source!

Buchelius, ‘Antonis Mor followed him. In the Junius, ‘In the judgment of artists, Mor has
judgment of artists he has easily won the palm in easily won the palm in modeling the nature
rendering the nature of faces with close of faces with close similitude to life, and in
similitude and in giving symmetry to these. giving symmetry to them. Pliny,
Pliny, comprehending the same thing while comprehending the same thing while
speaking about Parrhasius, reckons that this can speaking about Parrhasius, reckons that this
rarely be found in successful artistry: an can rarely be found in successful artistry: an
authentic rendering of the contours of the body, authentic rendering of the contours of bodies,
and a limitation of the extent of an image’s and a limitation of the extent of an image’s
finish. The artificer abounds of works, as Junius finish. The artificer abounds of foremost
says about him, in which he has portrayed almost works in which he has quite vividly
every king or noble that this age has or had long portrayed almost every king or noble that the
ago.’182 age has.’ 183

Buchelius does not describe Abraham Bloemaert and Joachim Wtewael, the two remaining

painters that he included in the Traiecti Batavorum descriptio, with a reference to Pliny or any of

their specific artworks. The same goes for his one glass painter and silver/goldsmith. The only

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
to the lack of detail that Buchelius provides it is difficult to match these paintings. Van Blocklandt’s remaining
works (including drawings and prints made after them) that are mentioned in the one study on the artist by I. Jost
include an Adoration of the Magi that Buchelius could have mistaken for a nativity (Figure 18), a series (engraved
by Philips Galle) and single depiction (engraved by Hendrik Goltzius) of Lot (Figure 19) and an Adonis series
(engraved by Philips Galle) (Figure 20). Based on Van Mander’s description of a Pentecost by Van Blocklandt,
Hoogewerff believes that the ‘Pentecost’ which Buchelius names was the altarpiece of the St. Gertrudis Church in
Utrecht. I have not been able to figure out what Buchelius meant by ‘Rudolphus… Weeldius’. I. Jost, Studien zu
Antonis Blocklandt mit einem vorläufigen beschreibenden Oeuvre-Verzeichnis, dissertation, University of Cologne,
Cologne 1960, pp. 74, 90, 102, 105 and Buchelius 1928, p. 26.
182
‘Quem insequutus Antonius Morus, confessione artificum in discreta similitudine vultuum filo inque danda illis
symmetria palmam facile adeptus; idque assecutus, quod rarum in artis successu inveniri posse existimat Plinius (de
Parrhassio loquens) nimirum extrema corporum facere et desinentis picturae modum includere. Artifex operum, ut
inquit de eo Junius, faecundus principalium, a quo quicquid ferme regum et primatum haec aetas habet aut habuit
iampridem expressum.’ Buchelius 1906, p. 255.
183
‘Morrus confessione artificum in exprimendo ad vivum indiscreta similitudine vultuum filo, inque danda illis
symmetria, palmam facile adeptus, idque assecutus quod rarum in artis successu inveniri posse existimat Plinius, de
Parrhasio loquens, nimirum extrema corporum facere, ac desinentis picturae modum includere. Artifex operum
foecundus principalium, a quo quicquid ferme Regum & Primatum haec habet aetas vivide expressum est.’ Junius
1588, p. 239.

  75  
other artist whose works he specifically discusses are those of the architect Sebastiaan van

Noyen. As in the case of the painters to whom he ascribes works, Buchelius merely lists Van

Noyen’s various projects.184

Figure 18. Anthonie van Blocklandt, The Adoration of the Shepherds, 1583, 72 x 96 cm,
Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest

Figure 19. Hendrik Golzius after Anthonie van Blocklandt, Lot and His Daughters Leaving
Sodom, 1582, 34 x 39.5 cm, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
                                                                                                               
184
See ‘Appendix III’ for Latin and a full English translation of the remainder of the passage.

  76  
Figure 20. Philips Galle after Anthonie van Blocklandt, Venus and Adonis (Series: The Story of
Adonis), ca. 1579, 22 x 31.2 cm, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The fact that previous studies of Buchelius’ Commentarius conclude that the humanist had little

interest in fine art has led me to seek a new means of contextualizing his collective biography of

artists in the description of Utrecht. Langereis, in reference to the Commentarius and a second

compilation that Buchelius began while back in Utrecht on the city’s monuments (Monumenta

passim in templis ac monasteriis Traiectinae Urbis atque agri inventa) (1617), asserts that the

scholar took greater concerns with monuments which provided him with information about the

past through inscriptions and portraits than artworks.185 As artworks bear less conspicuous

historical significance, they and their creators were not of interest to the antiquarian. The art

historian Jan de Jong and classicist Sjef Kemper have reached the same conclusion in a series of

articles in preparation for a published edition of the section in the Commentarius on Buchelius’

                                                                                                               
185
Langereis 2001, p. 85.

  77  
journey through Italy (also known as the Iter italicum).186 An example that the authors

continuously bring up is how when in Rome, it appears that Buchelius walked through the

Sistine Chapel without feeling the need to comment on Michelangelo’s famous ceiling, yet

showed great interest in the artworks of the adjacent Sala Regia. Iconographies of papal history

and inscriptions fill the frescoes of the latter.187

Buchelius’ Commentarius and album of monuments tell one side of the story: that while

on foot, Buchelius did not write about many artworks which he encountered, even when he

updated his travel reports with new information and polished them. 188 What is very interesting

and I think more fertile to the discussion of the artists in the ‘descriptio’ is Buchelius’ entirely

separate collection of notes dedicated to matters related to artists of the sixteenth and seventeenth

century. The bundle of 34 fragmentary papers belonging to the University of Utrecht Special

Collections goes under the title of the Res pictoriae. 189 According to G. J. Hoogewerff, who

transcribed and annotated the latest edition in 1928, Buchelius compiled the notes over a span of

                                                                                                               
186
J. L. de Jong and J. A. R. Kemper, ‘Aernout van Buchel in Napels’, Incontri 27 (2012) nr. 1, pp. 3-20; J. L. de
Jong, ‘Responding to Tomb Monuments. Meditations and Irritations of Aernout van Buchel in Rome (1587 – 1588)’
in The Authority of the Word, Reflecting on Image and Text in Northern Europe, 1400-1700, C. Brusati et al. (eds.),
Leiden/Boston 2012, pp. 534-558; J. L. de Jong and J. A. R. Kemper, ‘La visione di Roma dell’olandese Arnoldus
Buchelius (dicembre 1587)’, Studi Umanistici Piceni 31 (2011), pp. 187-98; J. L. de Jong, ‘“Iacet in colle...” Siena
in een beschrijving van Aernout van Buchel (1588)’, Frons. Blad voor Leidse Classici 30 (August 2010 – Lustrum
editie: De Bestendigheid van de Klassiek Oudheid), pp. 41-52; J. L. de Jong and J. A. R. Kemper, ‘Historiam hanc
diu quaesitam invenire non potui: Aernout van Buchel bij de Engelenburcht en op het Capitool’ in Bijzonder
onderzoek: een ontdekkingsreis door de Bijzondere Collecties van de Universiteitsbibliotheek Utrecht, M. van
Egmond et al. (eds.), Utrecht 2009, pp. 48-55; J. L. de Jong, ‘The Painted Decoration of the Sala Regia: Intention
and Reception’ in Functions and decorations: art and ritual at the Vatican Palace in the Middle Ages and the
Renaissance, T. Weddigen et al., (eds.), Rome/Turnhout 2003, pp. 153-168; J. L. de Jong, ‘An art loving Dutchman
in Florence. Observations on Aernout van Buchell’s appreciation of contemporary works of art in the ‘pulcra et
florente Hetruriae urbe’, 1588’ in ‘Aux quatre vents’, a Festschrift for Bert W. Meijer, A. Boschloo et al. (eds.),
Florence 2002, pp. 263-266.
187
For Buchelius’ ignoring the Last Judgment see De Jong 2012, ‘Aernout van Buchel in Napels’, p. 3; 2010, p. 42;
2002, p. 263; for Buchelius on the Sala Regia see De Jong 2003, pp. 155-158 and 2002, p. 264.
188
De Jong has noted Buchelius’ later additions/changes to his polished version of the Iter italicum in multiple
places. See De Jong 2012, ‘Aernout van Buchel in Naples’, p. 5; 2011, p. 188; 2010, pp. 42-43; 2009, p. 48.
189
Op. cit. 16.

  78  
almost 60 years.190 Buchelius drew his information from literature, among which are references

to the chorographies of Junius, Opmerus and Scribanius, his own observations from visits to

ateliers and private collections, and word of mouth through both the humanist network and artists

whom he knew personally.191 As Hoogewerff’s edition of the Res pictoriae does not set the

notes into any sort of theoretical framework, I briefly suggest a way in which we can

characterize them before stating their relationship with the description of Utrecht. This is as a

‘commonplace-notebook’.192

Keeping a common-place notebook, a compendium of personal notes that houses

meaningful quotations and information gathered from literary sources, was popular in the late

sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries due to the fact that the practice was embedded in the

earliest level of humanist education. At Latin schools, which most attended as youths, humanists

would have learned to maintain such repositories in which they would write copia, meaningful

quotations observed while studying, under headings called topoi, categories dedicated to specific

topics. It is presumable that in future written endeavors – be it letters, poems or chorography –

scholars would have drawn upon information recorded in their personal notebooks. Buchelius’

Res pictoriae appears to be such a collection of notes on the topic of contemporary painting. It

                                                                                                               
190
Op. cit. 16; Victor M. Schmidt has recently described Hoogewerff’s dating of the notes as problematic. As his is
unfortunately the only present transcription/publication on the manuscript, I must for now go by his suggestions. V.
M. Schmidt, ‘Van Buchel’s ‘Res pictoriae’’, unpublished paper presented at the symposium Kunst op schrift:
kunsthistoriografie en theorie in de Lage Landen gedurende de 16e eeuw, University of Utrecht, Utrecht, 14 March
2014; two chapters of Hoogewerff’s publication, ‘“Diarum” uit de jaren 1583-1590’ and ‘Uit het “Diarium”, 1590-
1605’ do not come from the Res pictoriae, but the Commentarius.
191
Hoogewerff notes the occasions on which Buchelius cites Junius and Opmerus, both of which the author himself
also notes, but neither he nor Buchelius cite Scribanius. In a note made in 1621, Buchelius word for word copies
Scribanius’ passage on Michael Coxcie’s painting of St. Sebastian. See Buchelius 1928, p. 51, and Scribanius 1610,
p. 39; Hoogewerff names among others of Buchelius’ contacts, Claes Jansz. Visscher, the engraver and publisher,
the learned cannon of Utrecht Jan de Wit whose written work on Netherlandish painters has not survived, and the
artists Abraham Bloemaert and Paulus Moorelse. For further details see Hoogewerff 1928, pp. 2-9.
192
For an overview of the role of commonplace-notebooks in humanist education and practice, see Ann Moss’s
seminal study, Printed commonplace-books and the structuring of Renaissance thought (1996), which focuses on
the dialectical and linguistic origin of the commonplace-book, and Anne Blair’s Too Much to Know: Managing
Scholarly Information before the Modern Age (2010) which describes its organizational development.

  79  
has the outward appearance of an unorganized heap of all of the information that he had gathered

on the subject over a number of years in order to preserve it to memory and call upon it if

needed. It seems that he did exactly this when he wrote the collective biography of artists in his

description of Utrecht.

The information in Buchelius’ segments describing the three major sixteenth-century

painters of Utrecht, Van Scorel, Van Blocklandt and Mor, are repeated on a specific sheet of the

Res pictoriae. 193 Hoogewerff titles the sheet, allotted its own chapter in his publication, the

‘Pictorum Catalogus 1585-1590’.194 Its following two notes in addition to Buchelius’ paraphrase

of Junius comprise the segment on Van Scorel in the description of Utrecht.

‘Jan van Scorel, also of Utrecht, deserved exceptional praise for painting. I saw his most
excellent painting of S. Cecilia, wherein there is great attractiveness through pleasant expressions
of the landscape…’195

                                                                                                               
193
Transcriber Muller, who was a contemporary of Hoogewerff’s, had noted to the latter that notes from the Res
pictoriae are taken up into the segments on artists in the description of Utrecht. Hoogewerff cites the segments on
Scorel, Mor and Van Blocklandt found in the description of Utrecht within his annotations of the Res pictoriae, but
does not further pursue the relationship between the two texts. Buchelius 1928 pp. 24, 26, 27, 75.
194
Buchelius does not mention Bloemaert of Wtewael, his two younger painters, in the ‘Pictorum Catalogus’. There
are segments on each painter in a part of the Res pictoriae that Buchelius wrote at a later date (as suggested by
surrounding references to Van Mander’s Schilder-boeck, published in 1604). The segments are more elaborate than
those found in the description of Utrecht. On Bloemaert, Buchelius wrote, ‘[Bloemaert is] of a great name, in
particular among all foreign nations, and you would try to extoll his art with any words in vain, because his works
and accomplishments I see are so excellent that all before are reprehensible, and because they could be included
with the great works of former ages. In invention he is abundant and versatile, in disposition – which in the
vocabulary of art they call ‘ordinantie’, charming, in application of color lively, and with regard to the rest the most
perfect in painting among all that are gifted; although his days increase to a great degree, with mature age, which
begins to increase in this, the art of painting does not make any small increase (Magni nominis apud omnes precipue
[=praecipue] exteros, cuius artem frustra verbis conetur aliquis extolleres [=extollere], quod opera eius et facta
videamus, tam excellentia ut omnia reprehensione sint maiora et quod cum prisci saeculi operibus componi possint.
Inventione est uber et varius, dispositione – quod artis vocabulo ‘ordinantie’ vocant – venustus, colorum distinctione
vividus, caeterum omnibus in pictoria dotibus absolutissiumus; quamvis seipsum [se ipsum] in dies adhuc superat, et
cum virili aetate, quae crescere ei incipit, in eodem ars ipsa pingendi haud exiguum faciat incrementum)’; on
Wtewael, ‘Joachim Wtewael from Utrecht, an exceptional painter, yet more neglected by some crowds and soft
natured, kept busy with art. For some other groups he was having charm and versatile invention. His works testify to
this, which sell daily at no meager price. This, other than the fact that he keeps busy with painting, excels in
sculpture to such an extent that he has acquired great praise by this for a long time from the greatest and highest
geniuses (Joachimus de Wael (Wtewael), Ultraiectensis, pictor egregius et celebris nisi quod neglectius et remissius
artem exerceat, venustae alioqui et variae inventionis, quod testantur eius opera, quae non exiguo praetio quotidie
distrahuntur, hic praeterquam quod pictoriam exerceat, plastica adeo excellit ut maximam ex ea laudem iamdudum a
magnis et summis ingeniis sit consecutus).’ Buchelius 1928, pp. 74-6.
195
‘Scorellius etiam Ultraiecti egregiam picturae laudem meruit, cuius ego tabulam excellentissimam D. Ceciliae
vidi, ubi maxima venus in expressis ruris delitiis.’ Buchelius 1928, p. 26.

  80  
‘About Van Scorel, see Johannes Secundus in Epigrams, and in Letters 3, Book 2.’196

The following note in the ‘Pictorum Catalogus’ in addition to a paraphrase of Junius comprise

the segment on Van Blocklandt.

‘I saw the following paintings by him: a nativity of Christ, a Pentecost, a Lot with his
daughters, and an Adonis.’197

Recall that Mor’s description is a copy of Junius’. With regard to Junius, there is explicit

evidence in the ‘Pictorum Catalogus’ that Buchelius made use of his passages on artists in

Batavia. The remark, which Hoogewerff omitted in the 1928 edition, states Junius’ name and the

page in Batavia on which the passage on artists begins.

‘About painters see some in the writings of Hadrianus Junius 238.’198

Figure 21. Arnoldus Buchelius, Detail on Batavia in the Res pictoriae, fol. 4v

Buchelius’s using the ‘Pictorum Catalogus’ for describing artists in his chorography indicates

that he made a choice of what to include and what not to. He for example passes over a note on

Mor that describes the artist as having lead a contemptible lifestyle before beginning to paint.199

A second passage omitted from the Descriptio offers surprising insight on the personality and

                                                                                                               
196
‘De Scorellio vide Joannem Secundum in Epigrammatis et Epistolis 3 liber 2.’ Buchelius 1928, p. 28.
197
‘Vidi eius tabulas: Nativitatem Christi, Pentecostem, Lotum cum filiabus, Adonidem.’ Buchelius 1928, pp. 25-
26.
198
‘De pictoribus vide quaedam ap. Hadr. Junium 238’. Both Victor M. Schmidt and Dirk van Miert provided me
with useful suggestions on transcription. The omission, which Victor pointed out to me, occurs between the
following lines of Hoogewerf’s edition: ‘De Francisco Hollando…’ and ‘De lampsonio philopictore…’. Buchelius,
Res Pictoriae, fol. 4v and Buchelius 1928, p. 33.
199
‘A lucky breath incited Antonis more, father of the most learned poet Philip Mor, who was passing an inglorious
life, from out of the filthy dirt and carried the fame of his name to future generations (Antonium Morum, Philippi
Mori poetae doctissimi patrem, ingloriam vitam degentem, felix excitavit spiritus et e sordido pulvere ad aeternam
nominis sui famam extulit).’ Buchelius 1928, p. 27.

  81  
reception of the glorious Van Scorel, particularly in light of what we have read about him in

Junius and Opmerus. Buchelius states,

‘Van Scorel, an excellent painter, when he had first come back from Italy to Utrecht, strived
eagerly for honor, glory and prudence. When he was harassed by the others of his art to enroll in
the guild of painters he became infuriated, and uttered that he by his fame and the multitude of
his works would overcome the total profit of theirs. That was in a way fulfilled. By the multitude
of his works he indeed gained much profit although he retained a darker reputation. He was
frequently attending parties. After giving much to these, the art in him declined…’200

From the passage we learn that Van Scorel was haughty and not well liked, and that he, unlike

Mor who had given up going to parties, succumbed to festivities. Such omissions demonstrate

that Buchelius very carefully considered his presentation of information on painters so as to grant

honor to Utrecht.

4.3. Carolus Scribanius’ book on Antwerp

Carolus Scribanius (1561 – 1629), the rector of the Jesuit order at Antwerp and later provincial

of the region, published two books on Antwerp, Antverpia and Origines Antverpiensium (usually

bound in one volume), in 1610.201 As the art historian Julius S. Held has produced an outstanding

                                                                                                               
200
Victor M. Schmidt and Dirk van Miert both provided me with very useful suggestions on translating this note.
Hessel Miedema has translated segments of it in his annotations to Van Mander’s life of Van Scorel. See Van
Mander 1998, volume 3, pp. 268-269; ‘Scorelius, excellens pictor, cum primum ex Italia Traiectum venisset, honoris
avidus, sobrietati et gloriae studebat; inde vero cum a reliquis eius artis vexarentur, ut collegio pictorum nomen
daret, iratus subiecit, ‘se sua fama et operum multitudine omnem illorem lucrum subversum’, quod et quodammodo
prestitit et multitudine operum lucrum quidem plurimum cepit, famam autem reddidit obscuriorem. Accedebat
symposiorum frequentia, quibus deditus multum ars in ipso perdidit.’ Buchelius 1928, p. 29.
201
Op. cit. 17; Scribanius’ father, from an Italian noble family, had come to the Netherlands as part of the entourage
of the governess Margaretha of Parma. He met his mother, Maria Vander Beke, of a well respected family of learned
men, in Ghent. They settled in Brussels, where they had Carolus. Although there is no record of Scribanius’ early
education, the institutions that he attended later and his written oeuvre suggest a Latin school or a private tutor.
Scribanius studied at the Jesuit College in Cologne from approximately 1579-1582, where he would have had both a
linguistic and religious education. After living in several different locations where he studied and taught, he settled
in Antwerp in 1593 as a professor of the Jesuit College. In 1598, he became the rector of the college, during which
time he wrote Antverpia and Origines Antwerpiensium. In 1611 he was appointed consultant of the Jesuit provincial
of his region, and in 1613 he became provincial. Due to chronic illness he stepped down from this position, and
served as the rector of the St. Michael’s College in Brussels from 1619-1625. He spent the remaining four years of
his life free of official duty in Antwerp. His published works, nearly just as prolific as his Jesuit services, are of a
predominantly religious or political orientation. Among others are the Amphitheatrum Honoris (1605), and a defense
of Justus Lipsius, Iusti Lipsi Defensio postuma (1608). Later, more politically oriented works include the Politico-

  82  
description, translation and annotation of the fascinating chapter on painting featured in

Antverpia in addition to a description of the following chapter on sculpture, silver chasing and

engraving, it is hardly necessary that I do likewise.202

Before a brief summary of the  

chapters, I share two of Scribanius’

segments on painters in order to relay how

the author wrote his collective biography

of artists using Pliny, and how it relates to

those of the other chorographers

addressed in my thesis. What is most

surprising is that the author, the only one

of my study to write after’t Leven,

mentions Van Manders Schilder-boeck

merely once in fifteen pages describing


 
artists, and makes no use of his Figure 22. Anthony van Dyck, Portrait of
Carolus Scribanius S.J., ca. 1629, 117.5 x 104 cm,
biographies as a source.203 Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Unprecedentedly, Scribanius focuses more on describing specific paintings than

characterizing the abilities of artists in his collective biography. The artworks which Pliny

describes serve as his springboard for claiming Antwerp’s superiority through its artists. Take for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Christianus (1624) and Verdicus Belgicus (1625). For a very detailed description of Scribanius’ life and oeuvre in its
historical context, see L. M. Brouwers, Carolus Scribani S. J., (1561-1629): een groot man van de Contra-
Reformatie in de Nederlanden, Antwerp 1961.
202
Op. cit. 18 (Held); when I wrote the chapter on Hadrianus Junius’s passages on artists and their relationship with
Pliny, derived from a seminar paper written in the winter of 2013 and presented at the symposium Kunst op schrift
(14 March 2014) the following year, I was unaware of Held’s article on Scribanius. I am indebted to Robrecht
Janssen for advising me to take a look at it after listening to my talk.
203
The only possible exception to this is the short segment on Beuckelaer. Held notes that Scribanius
characterization of the artist as a painter of ‘apples… fowl, meats and fish’ could echo Van Mander’s saying that he
painted ‘vegetables, fruid, meat, birds and fish’. Held 1996, p. 178.

  83  
example his passage on Pieter Bruegel, whose painting the Massacre of the Innocents (1567)

forms the author’s primary focus.

Figure 23. Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Massacre of the Innocents, ca. 1565-1567, 109.2 x 158.1 cm,
HM Queen Elizabeth II

‘Parrhasius of Ephesus was a great artist, who painted a Cretan nurse holding an infant in her
arms; he also painted an athlete running in a race, so that he seems to be sweating, as well as
another man who, as he lays down his arms, is perceived to pant. Another great painter was
Aristides of Thebes, who showed an infant in a captured town, crawling towards the breast of its
wounded dying mother: it is evident that the mother is aware of this and fears that the child may
suck blood since her milk has stopped flowing. Pieter Bruegel will not be judged inferior [to
these ancient artists]. He depicted Herod’s Massacre of the Innocents in a snowy setting, so that
you would believe that the snow is real, and swear that the blood is too; and you would shudder
at the terrible mingling of blood and snow, of white and red. What will you say when you see a
mother tearing her hair, lacerating her face and, in place of sweat, pouring out tears like raging
torrents, the only solace for a beloved child? What will you say when you see another woman
almost at the very moment when her soul is slipping away, or lying prostrate, as she takes the last
breath before soul is sundered from body, in whom you see no tears but many signs of death?
And when you see a third woman shedding milk and blood from a single wound and imbibing
life from the infant hanging from her breast, so that as the baby drinks milk and blood he injects

  84  
life into that same nourishing breast, as if he were going to return to life to the mother when you
see a baby pierced through by a gaping wound and are able to discern how much life still
remains in him-a child who, as he stretches out for the last time, sucks at snow instead of breasts,
as if reclaiming the life which is escaping through his wounds – would you not cry out, ‘Hurrah!
Victory!’?’204

Scribanius begins the passage by describing works by two ancient artists whom Pliny mentions

in the Natural History. These are Parhassius’ Cretan nurse holding an infant and running race,

and Aristides of Thebes’ depiction of a captured town.205 Based on these works, he offers an

ekphrastic depiction of the painting by Bruegel. He imposes a number of emotions and fictitious

characters. The depiction is likely from memory, as in the Massacre of the Innocents one neither

views Scribanius’ dying women and abandoned infants nor blood mixed with snow.

Scribanius formulated his segment on Jan van Hemessen, my second example, in nearly

the exact same way as that on Bruegel. It centers around the artist’s painting, the Parable of the

Prodigal Son (1536).

                                                                                                               
204
Ibid., 202; ‘Magnus fuit Parrhasius Ephesius, qui Cressam nutricem, infantemque in manibus dedit: qui Athletam
in certamine currentem, ut sudare videatur; qui alterum arma deponentem, ut anhelare sentiatur. Magnus Aristides
Thebanus, cuius erat oppido capto ad matris morientis e vulnere mammam adrepens infans: intelligiturque sentire
mater, & timere ne emortuo lacte sanguinem infans lambat. Non erit inferior Petrus Brugelius, qui Infanticidium
Herodis in media statuit nive; ut & nivem credas, & sanguinem iures; & exhorrescas in illa sanguinis & nivis,
candoris & ruboris, saeva mistione. Iam ubi matrem videris spargentem comas, lacerantem vultum, & pro sudore
lacrymas; tamquam salebrosos torrentes, unicum cari solamen pignoris, protrudentem, quid dices? Quid ubi alteram,
quasi iam iam cadente anima, aut in ultimo secretionis suae spiritu iacentem; in qua cum nihil videas lacrymarum,
mortis videas plurimum: ubi tertiam uno vulnere lac & sanguinemque bibat, & animam in eamdem nutriciam
mammam iaculetur, tamquam redditurus vitam, a qua acceperat; non inclames, Vicisti? Quid ubi infantem ingenti
vulnere confossum, in quo intelligere possis quantum restet animae, & in ultima illa proiectione nivem pro uberibus
sugentem, quasi in redhibitionem animae per vulnera fugientis; non acclames, Io triumphe?’ Scribanius 1610
(Antwerpia), pp. 34-35; as Dirk van Miert has pointed out to me, the translation passes over the phrase ‘…non
inclames, Vicisti?’.
205
‘He [Parrhasius] also painted a Thracian nurse with an infant in her arms… There are also two very famous
pictures by him, a Runner in the Race in Full Armour who actually seems to sweat his efforts, and the other a
Runner in Full Armour Taking off his arms, so lifelike that he can be perceived to be panting for breath
(…[Parrhasius] pinxit Tressam nutricem infantemque in minibus eius… [sunt et duae picturae eius] hoplites in
certamine ita decurrens ut sudare videatur, alter arma deponens ut anhelare sentiatur. NH 35.70).’ Pliny 1952,
volume 9, pp. 313 and 315 and Held 1996, note 90; ‘Contemporary of this [Apelles] was Aristedes of Thebes…his
works include: on the capture of a town, showing an infant creeping to the breast of its mother who is dying of a
wound; it is felt that the mother is aware of the child and is afraid that as her milk is exhausted by death it may suck
blood (Aequalis eius fuit Aristides Thebanus… huis opera: oppido capto ad matris morientis ex volnere mammam
adrepens infans intelligeturque sentire mater et timere ne emortuo lacte sanguinem lambat. NH 35.98).’ Pliny,
volume 9, 1952, p. 335 and Held 1996, note 91.

  85  
Figure 24. Jan Sanders van Hemessen, Parable of the Prodigal Son, 1536, 140 x 198 cm,
Royaux Musée des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels

‘Zeuxis was a great artist. But was Jan van Hemessen inferior? But whose genius and art proved
a greater splendor?206 Consider the products of each of their brushes as if they were the
accomplished offspring of a learned mother. You will hesitate to say whether Zeuxis’s Jupiter,
with the gods flanking him, or Hemessen’s Prodigal Son, beset by female bacchants, is more
outstanding; or whether the former’s Hercules’s terrified mother, compare to Hemessen’s
Prodigal, who, in his mental uncertainty, is torn by an internal conflict between hunger, cold,
shame, memory of the past and fear of the future? What of the fact that Hemessen rivalled the
glory of not just one [ancient artist] in that very painting? Nicias, renowned in ancient accounts,
was more successful than all the rest at depicting dogs; yet our Hemessen painted a cat which is
every bit as good as his Molossian hounds. Also renowned was Pausias, whose cattle were
imitated by many but equaled by none, though I am not at all sure that Hemessen’s pigs grunting
in their trough are any less marvellous. Timomachus too was famous: his Medea we learn was
sold for eight talents; but I doubt whether Hemessen’s procuress, sticking out her impudent
tongue as she makes fun of the Prodigal among his girl-friends, could be exchanged for a
sufficiently worthy sum of gold. I say nothing about the rest of the painting-the spread on the

                                                                                                               
206
In Held’s article, this sentence rather reads ‘Which of them had greater esteem for his talent and art?’ Dirk van
Miert pointed out this error to me, and in place suggested this one.

  86  
table, the old drunkard, the blind musician and the artist himself, blowing into several pipes
together, accomplished in every mode, not only as painter but as musician.’207

Scribanius harkens on two of Zeuxis’ paintings described by Pliny, a Zeus flanked by gods and a

terrified mother of Hercules, to characterize Van Hemessen’s Parable of the Prodigal Son.208 He

characterizes the prodigal son, at center, as being engulfed in an internal conflict between right

and wrong. Through the painting Van Hemessen rivals three of Pliny’s other ancient artists. The

cat on the bottom left is just as good as the famous dogs of Nicias, the pigs in the background the

cattle of Pausias, and the smiling procuress Timomachus’ Medea.209 Held does not find blatant

falsities in Scribanius’ observations as in the case of Bruegel. He doesn’t doubt that the bagpiper

in the background is a self-portrait of the artist, for the figure is age appropriate and there is

sufficient evidence that Van Hemessen was familiar with music.210

                                                                                                               
207
Held 1996, p. 202-3; ‘Magnus Xeuxis. Inferiorne Ioannes Hemssen? Aut cuius ingenii artisque decus maius?
Intuere utriusque penicilli, tamquam doctae matris eruditos partus; dubitabis, magisne eluceat illius Hercules
dracones strangulans, an huis Prodigus deiugulato marsupio, fustes pro genis basians; illius Alcmena matre pauente,
an huius Prodigus incertus animi, pugnantibus inter se, fame, frigore, erubescentia, praeteritorum memoria,
futurorum metu. Quid quod in eadem tabula non unius gloriam aemulatus? Clarus veteri fama Niceas, qui supra
reliquos, canes prosperrime expressit: at noster felem, quae nihil illius concedat molossis. Clarus Pausias, cuius
boves imitati multi, aequavit nemo; ac nescio an huius porci inferiore lintrem degrunniant miraculo. Clarus
Timomachus, cuius Medeam octoginta talentis venumdatam accepimus: ast ego dubito, dignone satis auro permutari
possit Hemsseni Lena, exerta impudenti lingua Prodigum inter amicas ludens. Taceo tabulae huius reliqua, mensae
apparatum, senem bibulum, caecum citharoedum, operisque auctorem varias uno spiritu tibias animantem,
omnismodis peritum ut pictorem ita modificatorem.’ Scribanius 1610 (Antverpia), pp. 36-37.
208
‘His Zeus seated on a throne with the gods standing by in attendance is also a magnificent work, and so is the
Infant Heracles throttling two Snakes in the presence of his mother Alcmena, looking on in alarm… (Iuppiter eius in
throno adstantibus diis et Hercules infans dracones strangulans Alcmena matre coram pavente… NH 35.63).’ Pliny
1952, volume 9, p. 309 and Held 1996, note 94.
209
On Nicias, ‘In drawings of animals he was most successful with dogs (huis eidem adscribuntur quadripedes,
prosperrime canes expressit. NH 35.133).’ Pliny 1952, volume 9, p 359 and Held 1996, note 95. Held has accounted
for the fact that Scribanius writes ‘molossian dogs’, an apposition not found in Pliny’s description of Nicias, by
claiming that it is an interpolation of a text by Horace; on Pausias, ‘Pausius also did large pictures, for instance the
Sacrifice of Oxen… He first invented a method of painting which has afterwards been copied by many people but
equaled by no one; the chief point was that although he wanted to show the long body of an ox he painted the animal
facing the spectator and not standing sideways, and its great size is fully conveyed (Pausias autem fecit et grandes
tabulas, sicut… boum inmolationem. Eam primus invenit picturam, quam postea imitate sunt multi, aequavit nemo.
Ante Omnia, cum longitudinem bovis ostendi vellet, adversum eum pinxit, non traversum, et abunde intellegitur
amplitude. NH 35.126).’ Pliny 1952, volume 9, pp. 353 and 355 and Held 1996, note 96; on Timomachus,
‘Timomachus of Byzantium in the period of Caesar’s dictatorship painted an Ajax and a Medea… having been
bought at the price of 80 talents… (Timomachus… Aiacem et Mediam pinxit… LXXX talentis venundatas… NH
35.136).’ Pliny 1952, volume 9, p. 361 and Held 1996, note 97.
210
Held 1996, pp. 189-190.

  87  
As in the cases of Bruegel and Van Hemessen, Scribanius describes Frans Floris, Quinten

Massys, Joachim Beuckelaer, Willem Key and Pieter Balten by equating works of each with

paintings named in the Natural History. Frans Floris’ Fall of the Rebel Angels (1554),

Assumption of the Virgin (no longer extant) and Last Judgment (1565) compare with the ancient

artist Bularchus’ ‘Battle of the Magnetes’, and Quinten Massys’ St. John Altarpiece (1508/9-

1511) (Figure 5) is a competitor of Timanthes’ sacrifice of Iphigenia. Joachim Beuckelaer’s

kitchen scenes rival those by the grape sculptor of Rome, Possis, a lost crucifixion by Willem

Key Pamphilus’ painting of Odysseus on a raft and Echion’s Bacchus and Libentia, a peasant

scene by Pieter Baltens Callimachus’ dancing Spartan women, and Michael Coxie’s Martyrdom

of St. George (1575) Apelles’ life like neighing horses. Scribanius describes three paintings by

Marten de Vos: a satyr, the Beheading of S. John (1574) and the Temptation of S. Anthony

(1594). Through the satyr, De Vos is an equal of Protogenes. His is the single case in which

Scribanius describes an artist’s qualities through Pliny. The author claims that De Vos had

everything in common with Apelles with the exception of the fact that he didn’t know when to

lift his hand from a painting.211 Lists of other Italian, German and Netherlandish (both northern

and southern) painters close the chapter.212

The following chapter on sculpture, silver chasing and engraving is far less vivid because

Scribanius does not describe specific sixteenth-century artworks. He merely names artists. After

a long list of specific works of ancient sculptors, he names three Flemish sculptors. He does

likewise for silver chasers. Scribanius concludes by describing engraving and drawing (on which

he includes a small passage) as arts unprecedented in classical times.213

                                                                                                               
211
Ibid.,198-201 (Latin and annotated references) 201-204 (English).
212
This is likely the only other place in which Scribanius used Van Mander. Held 1996, p. 178.
213
Held 1996, pp. 196-197 and Scribanius 1610 (Antverpia), pp. 41-42.

  88  
As stated in the introduction, Held’s article lacks a strong contextualization of the

passages. He considers Scribanius’ chapters on art as the confluence of two literary trends. The

first is descriptions and praises of cities, for which he cites C. J. Classen, Frans Slits and

Lodovico Guicciardini, and second is the ‘querelle’, the ‘equally age-old intellectual game of

comparing the past to the present, or the ‘ancients’ to the ‘moderns’…’214 The querelle, although

an anachronistic concept in the context of Scribanius’ text because they did not occur until the

end of the seventeenth century, could account for the fervor and extravagance of the author’s

descriptions of Antwerp’s artists. Given the fact that they were not an established topos of the

time, it seems however more plausible that collective biographies of artists in chorographies,

many of which I have shown like Scribanius’ describe moderns through references to the

ancients, are what precede the chapter on artists in Antverpia.

With regard to chorography, Scribanius’ text features some idiosyncrasies. Whereas most

go from past to present, in his account, a description of modern Antwerp in Antverpia precedes a

description of the city in ancient times in Origines Antwerpiensium. Furthermore, the people of

the city and their virtues outweigh history and topography. 215 In spite of the differences, the

author’s stating that he will avoid excessively describing fortifications, successions of ages and

topography in the introduction to the first text strongly suggests that chorography was at the very

least his starting point for writing the account.216

                                                                                                               
214
Held 1996, p. 176; Brouwer also notes Guicciardini’s Descrittione as a source for Antverpia, but claims that
Scribanius’ work is for the largest part based on the authors personal experience. Brouwers 1961, p. 189.
215
For the contents of Antverpia and Origines Antwerpiensium see ‘Appendix V’ and Brouwer pp. 188-198.
216
‘For neither with ramparts, nor with long successions of ages, was I thinking it proper that cities be measured.
The virtue of the citizens will give a clear city (Neque enim moenibus, aut longa saeculorum serie metiendas urbes
arbitrabar. Civium virtus civitatem claram dabit).’ Antwerpia 1610, ‘Senatui populoque Antwerpiensi’. See also
Brouwers 1961, p. 188.

  89  
Conclusion

In the most elaborate description of an artist in Batavia (1588), Junius foresees that the city of

Delft will experience perpetual fame because it houses a marvelous sculpture by the artist

Willem van Tetrode. Junius derives his prediction from tales about Praxiteles, the most famous

marble sculptor of the ancient world, that are recorded by the classical authors Pliny and Cicero.

People would eagerly travel to Cnidos from all over the world to set their eyes on Praxiteles’

Aphrodite, and even if they had no other reason they would visit Thespiae to see a cupid by the

hand of the same artist. Although we will never know if it came to be because Van Tetrode’s

sculpture in Delft that Junius speaks of, the high altar piece of the Oude Kerk, was victim to

iconoclasts before the second year after its completion, the humanist’s prophesy has certainly

been fulfilled. Today people travel to the Netherlands from reaches of the world that he could

have never possibly imagined just to view works by the country’s long history of artists – from

Bosch, to Rembrandt, to Van Gogh.

A proliferation of city descriptions, the consistency with which the writings describe

artists, and their correlation with the aftermath of a revolt for independence portray the Golden

Age as the point at which artists became part of the identity of the northern Netherlands. While I

would not argue against the fact that artist pride was in full swing during the seventeenth century

due to the recent findings of Stedentrots and stedenpracht, as my thesis on Hadrianus Junius,

artists, and chorography has clarified, the description of the artist in accounts of areas was not

original to this time period, nor location. The topos was a Pan-European phenomenon that

originated in Renaissance Italy, and spread to the north in the sixteenth century.

As described in chapter 1, erudite humanists, the first to write books on areas of land

during the Early Modern period, a genre of writing called ‘chorography’, included artists in their

  90  
accounts. Chorography, derived from the ancient Greek ‘χωρογραφία’, indicated a qualitative

description of an area of the world during both ancient times and the Early Modern period.

During the latter, in taking on a new repertoire of features usurped from four channels of

classical literature that were rediscovered during the Renaissance, the genre came to include

passages describing artists. The first classical influence, the antiquarian method, a combined

study of a society through physical remains and oral or written history from past to present, and

the second, a fusion of topographical and historical observations by ancient authors who wrote

on areas of the world, be it geographers or chorographers, formed the basis of the revived genre.

The third influence, descriptions and praises of cities, familiarized the humanists with specific

topoi to include while writing about a place. Of these were fine art and the deeds of famous men.

Collective biographies, the final type of influence, prompted chorographers’ inclusion of

sequences of biographies of famous men by profession so as to grant honor to a place. Filippo

Villani’s On the Origin of the City of Florence and her Renowned Citizens (1381/2) is not only

the earliest known collective biography of artists, but an example of one in the context of an

account of a city.

Villani’s account introduced the importance of Pliny’s chapters on art in the Natural

History as a source for humanists writing on contemporary artists. The earliest generation of

chorographers in Italy, Germany and the Low Countries, the subject of Chapter 2, used Pliny

relatively frequently. As I stated in the first sentence of this chapter, from the beginning of its

revival in the Early Modern period with Flavio Biondo’s Italia Illustrata (1474), chorography

included segments on artists next to ones on other accomplished men. Flavio’s handful of

observations, a number of which reference Pliny, are meager. His successor Leandro Alberti’s

great expansion of chorography with the Descrittione di tutta l’Italia (1550), included collective

  91  
biographies of artists. Whereas Flavio had named two artists while discussing Florence, Giotto

and Donatello, Alberti names nearly thirty. Although Alberti makes one, simplistic reference to

Pliny, his Descrittione showed the consolidation of artists as a topos of chorography, and joined

descriptions of individual artists with descriptions of specific artworks and technical

developments.

The German and Netherlandish chorographies that followed relayed the consistency of

the topos as it moved northwards. Underlying both German chorographies, Jacobus

Wimphelingus’ Rerum Germanicarum epitome (1505) and Johannes Cochlaeus’ Brevis

Germanie Descriptio (1512), the first of which authors makes references to Pliny in the likes of

Flavio while discussing artists, is a strive to assert the legitimacy of Germany’s artists by

repeatedly asserting that their works are desired all throughout Europe. Although the first

Netherlandish example, a list of artists among other famous Lower Germans in Gerardus

Geldenhouwer’s Collectanea, was probably not intended for a chorography but a chronicle, it is

noteworthy because of its very early date of the 1520s. One can only wonder if the artists that

Geldenhouwer lists had a place in his lost book on illustrious men. Lodovico Guicciardini, the

second chorographer of the Low Countries, closely adhered to Alberti’s format for his

impressive five page list of Netherlandish artists in the Descrittione di tutti I Paesi Bassi (1567).

With Hadrianus Junius, a contemporary of Guicciardini, I arrived at the core of my thesis.

Chapter 3 revealed how Junius, in writing passages on eleven, northern Netherlandish artists in

his chorography of Holland, Batavia (ca. 1566-1575), very closely followed Pliny’s Natural

History. This makes his account of a unique nature with regard to his predecessors’, who

commonly yet not explicitly referred to the ancient author. The previous tendency of art

historians to compare a selection of Junius’ passages with Van Mander’s Schilder-boeck

  92  
precluded earlier research on Junius’ Plinean schema and an attempt to relate the artists within

his text to those in later and earlier chorographies.

A close examination of the passages’ intricate relationship with Pliny prompted a

digression on a separate art historical polemic: the long standing debate surrounding the origin

and meaning of still life and genre painting to which the humanist’s passage comparing Pieter

Aertsen with Pliny’s artist Piraeicus is fundamental. A fresh analysis of Junius’ passage in terms

of Pliny’s in addition to one found in Opmerus’ Opus chronographicum on a painting by an

unknown artist, Joannes Einoutus, likewise referenced as evidence in these debates, suggest that

Aersten did not emulate Piraeicus’ rhyparography. At least not according to the humanist

observers.

Junius was not alone in applying Pliny to write a collective biography of artists during the

second half of the sixteenth century in the Low Countries. As the final Chapter 4 has shown, two

authors, Petrus Opmerus in the Opus chronographicum (published posthumously in 1611) and

Carolus Scribanius in Antverpia (1610) do so just as heavily. Opmerus’ remarks on artists,

although not a part of a chorography but a chronicle of the world, are also found in collective

biographies. He combines references to Pliny with detailed descriptions of paintings and artists’

technical contributions – knowledge which it is likely that he had through his interest in early art

historical literature and acquaintance with the artists that he describes. Scribanius’ Antverpia, a

chorography of Antwerp, includes two zealous chapters on artists for which the author references

Pliny just as explicitely as Junius. His use of Pliny is however for describing paintings and not

the general abilities and specializations of artists. The fact that Scribanius had access to Van

Mander’s Schilder-boeck while writing the chapters makes his reliance on the ancient author

particularly interesting. I can not say this certainty for I have only examined a handful of

  93  
examples, but it seems that the authors writing in Latin more frequently looked to the Natural

History than those using the vernacular. A single chorographer which I examined whose text is

in Latin, Cochlaeus, did not.

For the author examined between Opmerus and Scribanius, Arnoldus Buchelius, Batavia

was a key source. Although the passage on artists in his Traiecti Batavorum descriptio (late

1580s/90s) is not as impressive as those by his contemporaries, and has for that reason been

formerly ignored, a reading of the text in conjunction with the Res pictoriae revealed something

highly valuable: that in composing the passage, the author made a pointed selection of

information to include. The details he chose for the biographies build praise and overlook

shortcomings. The example warns us that while reading such passages, one must keep in mind

that they are explicit encomia. In the end, Buchelius’ collective biography and the other two

fascinating examples with which it was juxtaposed presented the artist as an established topos of

accounts describing the Low Countries just prior to the Golden Age.

What remains is the question of whether humanist descriptions of artists in chorography

of the late sixteenth century Low Countries actually influenced seventeenth-century city

descriptions. While I leave an exploration of this relationship to future research, I can at least

suggest through the example of Pontanus’ book on Amsterdam, the first city description, that the

topos of the artist in the later genre was a continuation of that in humanist chorography.

Pontanus, like Buchelius, most evidently used Batavia to write the inclusions of artists in his

text, which indeed comprise a collective biography. What is fascinating to see is that besides just

paraphrasing Batavia and adding in bits of factual information like the earlier author in the

chorography of Utrecht, Pontanus actually emulates Junius’ method. While Pontanus paraphrases

Junius in describing Aertsen and Coornhert, he discusses a new artist, Dirk Jacobsz., through his

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very own reference to Pliny’s Parrhasius. Jacobsz. ‘…most zealously gave vivacity to the

countenance, and boundaries to the joints and mouth…’ and ‘in the confession of artificers he

easily won the palm in drawing outlines ….’ 217 Pontanus expands Junius’ description of

Barendsz with a new Plinean reference. Besides having Apelles’ ‘charis’, the artist values the

study of other disciplines in order to better his own practice, seeming ‘…to carry on just as this

Pamphilius, whom the ancients celebrated, or Dürer of the previous century, who, erudite in

painting and in all letters was refusing to be without liberal arts, especially arithmetic and

geometry, by which sciences art can be perfected.’218 A stronger understanding of how artists

transferred from chorography to city descriptions of the Golden Age requires another

comprehensive study, but my findings suggest that we henceforth consider Junius’ passages on

artists in Batavia, now set into a context of humanist discourse, an authority in the process.

                                                                                                               
217
‘…praecipue argutias vultus & artuum finis orisque… quoque artificum confessione in lineamentis extremis
palmam adeptus.’ Pontanus 1611, p. 245; for Parhassius see note 110.
218
‘…ita ut Pamphilium illum, quem celebrant veteres, aut Durerum superioris seculi [=saeculi] referre videretur;
qui, in pictura omnibus literis eruditi, negabant sine atrium liberalium, & praesertim Arithmetices ac Geometricae,
scientia perfici artem posse.’ Pontanus 1611, p. 245; Pliny’s Pamphilius ‘...was the first painter highly educated in
all branches of learning, especially arithmetic and geometry, without the aid of which he maintained art could not
attain perfection (…primus in picture omnibus litteris eruditus, praecipue arithmetica et geometria, since quibus
negabat artem perfici posse. NH 35.75)’ Pliny 1952, p. 317.

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Appendix

I. Menander’s suggestions for describing and praising cities

A) Location
1) Climate, seasons, agriculture
2) Position in respect to ocean
3) Position in respect to land
4) Position in respect to the territory it controls (i.e. the topography of its surroundings)
5) Position in respect to neighboring lands and cities. Geographical position, and
comparison of greatness, fame and age with those of its neighbors. Constitution of the
central settlement of the city
6) If it lies on a mountain – advantages are safety and pure air, and disadvantages are lack of
space and extreme weather
7) If it lies on a plain – advantages are visibility, space, regularity, and suitability for
agriculture, and disadvantages are lack of safety (the inhabitants must be brave), and also
potentially the weather (extreme heat or dryness). If the city lies against mountains in a
plain, one can praise the fact that it seems like two cities in one
8) The presence of harbors – in or outside the city, natural or manmade, number, quality
9) The presence of a bay – size, beauty, moderateness, possession of many good harbors
10) The presence of an acropolis – in the middle of the city or on the edge, its safety features.
One must relay that the advantages of an acropolis surpass the disadvantages
B) Origin
1) Founders – gods, heroes, or men (a general or a king are always possibilities, and a
regular citizen only if he is famous). A praise of the founder reflects on the city
2) First inhabitants – where the people come from, if they are very old, royal, wise or the
like (in the case of barbarians), or if they are of one of the three most honorable Greek
tribes (the Dorians, Aeolians, or Ionians). In the last case, the first inhabitants retain the
characteristics of the respective tribe
3) The age of the city. At every age there is something to praise. Very old means venerable,
and very young means fresh
4) Changes – if the city is a daughter city, the result of an incorporation of different
settlements, the complete move of another city, a township grown into a city, or totally
new. Each can be praised. The city could have had different names, but this potentially
only leads to more reason for praise especially if one praises the persons or gods after
which the city was named
5) Circumstances of its origin – could be in connection with gods, heroes, men, merriment
or sorrow, and with justice, honor, use or need. For an orator this topic is always needed
for the praise of a city
C) Capacities
1) Administration
2) Studies
3) Art – free arts (as sculpture, painting, medicine) and crafts (as gold and bronze work and
carpentry), the degree to which they are practiced and precision makes for praise
4) Capacities – for example athletics and rhetoric (both are pastimes for a member of the
propertied class)

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5) Activities – lifestyle, education. Here one can verify if a city is harmoniously governed
D) Actions
1) Justice – to the gods, what they call piety (god loved, and in word and deed god loving),
as is evident through, for example, festivals and temples; to people, fellow citizens as
well as foreigners, as can be seen through relations, habits and laws; to the deceased,
which is shown through funerals and graves
2) Moderation – education, marriage customs, public order (with special attention for the
position of women). In private life, the degree of the lack of adultery and other
condemnable behaviors
3) Wisdom – laws and customs (especially those on inheritance), number of famous
practitioners of learning (orators, philosophers, mathematicians)
4) Strength – courage in times of war, and behavior during earthquakes, floods, and
disasters the like
E) Honor
A separate topic related to ‘Actions’ (D). Here, one can praise the honors that kings, rulers, or
famous people have granted to the city
F) Supplement
One can praise a specific part of the city or a special event

II. Contents and artists of Hadrianus Junius’ Batavia

A) Contents (for Latin, see Junius 1588, ‘Elenchus rerum, quae in Batavia continentur, in capita
digestae’).

A review of the matters that are included in Batavia, divided into chapters.

Ch 1. Introduction with the descent of the Batavians from the Chatti.


Ch 2. About the giants, which chronicles say occupied Batavia.
Ch 3. Description of Pliny’s Batavia and its peoples, and an explanation of names.
Ch 4. Whether Batavia was part of Germania or Gallia Belgica.
Ch 5. That the Batavians were held in great honor, and feared even by the Romans.
Ch. 6. That the Batavians were eminent in the art of swimming and in horse riding.
Ch. 7. Why poets call the Batavians golden haired, and about the Batavian soap.
Ch. 8. About the river Rhine and its branches and mouths bordering Batavia.
Ch. 9. That the Franks invaded and occupied Batavia. Who the Franks were, and about their
domains. Also here about the Ansuarian and Salian Franks, and about Salian law.
Ch. 10. About the Roman maritime arsenal, which fortress we call Brittenburg today.
Ch. 11. About the Batavian dominion that was divided into many parts, and about the towns that
were alienated from Holland.
Ch. 12. About Claudius Civilis, born to a royal family of Batavians.
Ch. 13. About the name ‘Holland’ and a little about Zeeland.
Ch. 14. About the court of Holland, divided into many parts and sections.
Ch. 15. About the natural resources and qualities of Holland.
Ch. 16. About the talents, interests and customs of Holland.
Ch. 17. About the foremost cities, and about the towns and villages of Holland.

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Ch. 18. About the fortresses and castles of Holland.
Ch. 19. About the Batavian nobility.
Ch. 20. About the cloisters bound to Holland’s nobility.
Ch. 21. About the descent and populaces of the Germans, with what names they were once
called, and what they are called today.
Ch. 22. That the Celts were the same as the Germans and not the Gauls, the reason there were
uncertainties of origin was by a mix of names
Ch. 23. About the meaning of names and those customary to apply in old times: of nations, rulers
and persons.

B) Original and English translation of Junius’ passage on painters and engravers. The English
interpretation takes the passage’s translation into modern Dutch by De Glas (Junius 2011, pp.
305-307), and the segments on Heemskerck that Veldman has translated into English (Veldman
1974, p. 37) into account.

Junius 1588, pp. 238-240

Pictura Cognata literis res est Pictura, quae ars ut nobilis, Regibusque expetita, ita olim
etiam in primum liberalium gradum recepta, & quos posteris tradere dignatur,
nobilitans. In ea habet Batavia florentia aliquot ingenia, quae neque possum,
neque debeo silentio praeterire.
Pictores In his principem honoris ac gloriae gradum ascendit primus Ioannes Scorelius,
Praestantes in pago cognomine, equini generis mercatu nobili, oriundus; post Canonicorum
Hollandia. Io.
Scorelius
collegio Traiecti adscitus: cuius insignia opera tota passim Hollandia magna cum
admiratione pluribus in fanis spectantur, sed quod pulposos lacertososque artus
cum iusta symmetria exprimant vividae imagines, vulgus profanum & supra
crepidam sapiens, minus digne de picturae honore loquitur ac sentit: utcunque sit,
in coloribus austerior est. Huius discipuli fuere Martinus Hemskerckus &
Antonius Morrus Ultraiectinus, uterque magistro proximus, sed suo quisque (ut
dicam) in genere, uterque inter primos nominatissimus, & pene alter (si livor, qui
vivis infestior a morte cessare solet, pateretur) Apelles;
Martinus nisi quod huic nomini, facto propior videatur Martinus, tum quod parcus temporis
Hemskerckus dispensator nullum tam occupatum habeat diem, quo non aliquid agens, lineam
ducendo artem exerceat, tum etiam operum multitudine, quae infinita prope sunt
in omni genere, & penicillo ducta & calamo exarata, ut encaustarum typis
efformarentur. Utriusque certe operum aeternitas haud alium interitum, quam
universi excidium sensura putatur. Martinus in omni argumenti genere varius,
inventionis subtilitate nulli secundus, in exprimendo amoenissimo quoque
ditionis, convallium, villarum situ, amnium & euriporum decursu, velificantium
navium, aut mulis, vehiculisve urbes adeuntium, aut solem petasis defendentium
ambulationes, mirifice luxuriat.
Antonius Morrus confessione artificum in exprimendo ad vivum indiscreta similitudine
Morrus vultuum filo, inque danda illis symmetria, palmam facile adeptus, idque
assecutus quod rarum in artis successu inveniri posse existimat Plinius, de
Parrhasio loquens, nimirum extrema corporum facere, ac desinentis picturae
modum includere. Artifex operum foecundus principalium, a quo quicquid ferme

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Regum & Primatum haec habet aetas vivide expressum est.
Ioannes Hos aetate superior paulo praecessit Ioannes Mostardus Harlemo oriundus, qui
Mostardus circa minuta potius, ut illi colossicotera, trivisse ingenium videtur, manupretio in
pedalem tabellam satis magno constituto: ars eius eluxit in venustate ac decore
oris, comptu corporum, argutia vultus, capillitii elegantia, lineamentorum
tenuitate, Protogenica ferme: viroris inimitabili apparatu, alio circa lucos,
arbores, muscosos fontes, alio in vestitu, caeterisque rebus.
Antonius Antonium Blocklandium Monfortium extulit partu, pictorem non postremi
Blocklandius nominis. Qui in repraesentandis venuste vultibus minime durus, in reddendis
historiis nulli facile secundus audit, idque loqui mihi videntur nonnulla quae
spectavi opera prope spirantia, solaque anima defecta.
Theodorus Neque sua laude atque gloria fraudandus est Theodorus Bernardus
Bernardus Amstelrodamaeus, inventionis dispositionisque & eius Veneris, quam Charita
Graeci dicunt, gratia nemini libenter cessurus, vultuum imitator insignis.
Petrus Longus Neque silentio praetereundus est Petrus cognomento Longus, quem Pyreïco Plinii
comparare iure, si non anteferre videor posse, qui ex proposito, ut apparet
humilia penicillo secutus, humilitatis summam adeptus est omnium iudicio
gloriam, ac propterea ῥυπαρογράφος cognomine cum illo pariter insigniri, vel me
arbitro, potest, usqueadeo in operibus illius ubique relucet gratia quaedam;
expresso elegantissime in rusticanis puellis corporis filo habituque, obsoniis,
oleribus, mactatis pullis, anatibus, asellis, piscibusque aliis, culinario denique
instrumemto omni, ita praeter consummatam voluptatem, infinita etiam varietate,
tabulae ipsius oculos nunquam satiant: quo sit ut pluris eae vaeneant, quam
multorum accuratae maximaeque.
Guilelmus Habet Hollandia & sculptorem marmorarium Guilelmum Tetrodium, quem
Tetrodius nedum Praxiteli, sed etiam toti prope Romae nunc opponat. De quo in natali ipsi
urbe Delphis fusius agam. Restant duo lumina artis non proprie encausticae, ut
quidam putant, sed quae in laminis aereis & quovis e metallo ductilibus, averso
coeli scalprique tractu pingit iconas historiasque omnes, quas illitu atramenti
cuiusdam encaustici, imo colorum quorumvis adversas lamellae in gypseis
tabulis chartis ve reddunt.
Theudericus Ii sunt Theudericus Volcardus Amstelrodamaeus divino homo ingenio, sed fati
Volcardus, adversi, & Philippus Gallaeus Harlemaeus magistro illo, dii immortales, quanto
Philipus
Gallaeus
superior! Nisi quod inchoatam cum laude artem ille intermisit; in hoc cum
surgente aetate etiam artis gloria gliscit.

Junius 1588, pp. 238-240 (translation)

Painting A matter related to letters is painting, an ennobling art so remarkable that kings
demand it, and that already long ago returned to the top rank of liberal arts and
those things which one considers worthy to transmit to future generations. In this
faculty Batavia has several flourishing talents whom I cannot, and should not
pass over in silence.
Excellent Among Batavia’s artists, Jan van Scorel, from a village with his name that was
Painters in renowned for its horse market, first rose to a rank of honor and glory. Afterwards,
Holland. Jan
van Scorel
he was admitted to the college of Canons of Utrecht. His distinguished works are

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observed with great admiration in numerous holy places throughout all of
Holland, although because his lively images (with accurate symmetry) exhibit
fleshy and muscular limbs, the masses unlearned and judicious on the sandal
perceive of and discuss the honor of his painting less worthily. One way or
another his work is more austere in colors. Maarten van Heemskerck and Antonis
Mor of Utrecht were his students. Both were close to their master, yet as I shall
describe, each one in his own way. Among the best artists they are frequently
called, ‘almost another Apelles’ (if envy, which disturbance to the living is
accustomed to cease by death, should allow it).
Maarten van Maarten however seems more suited to this name by his actions. Firstly, because
Heemskerck being such a careful manager of time, he has no day too filled up, during which
doing nothing otherwise, he practices art by drawing a line. Secondly for the
multitude of his works that are nearly infinite in all types, both those executed
with the paintbrush and those set down by a pen so as to be turned into engraved
images. The repute of his works is thought should surely endure no dissolution
until the end of the universe. Maarten, being versatile in all types of topics and
the second to no one in fineness of invention, abounds marvelously in a most
attractive expression of the land: valleys, villas in idleness, rivers and canals in
descent, ships making sail, and people either approaching cities on asses or
carriages or averting the sun with traveling caps walking.
Antonis Mor In the judgment of artists, Mor has easily won the palm in modeling the nature of
faces with close similitude to life, and in giving harmony to them. Pliny,
comprehending the same thing while speaking about Parrhasius, reckons that this
can rarely be found in successful artistry: an authentic rendering of the contours
of bodies, and a limitation of the extent of an image’s finish. The artificer
abounds of foremost works in which he has quite vividly portrayed almost every
king or noble that the age has.
Jan Mostaert Jan Mostaert of Haarlem, slightly superior in age to these artists, seems to have
wielded talent in small works rather than their gigantic ones. The value of one of
his foot-size panels is equal to that agreed upon for a large one. His skill was
showing through in the beauty and grace of the mouth, in the composition of
bodies, in the vivacity of the countenance, in elegant hair, in the slenderness of
lines close to Protogenes’, and in an inimitable application of green – in one
place within groves, trees, and mossy springs, and in another in clothing and
other materials.
Anthonie van Montfoort brought forward Anthonie van Blocklandt, a painter of a not inferior
Blocklandt name by birth. Though less vigorous in beautifully displaying countenances, he is
easily second to no one in rendering histories that he hears. And thus several
works which I observed seem to speak to me, nearly breathing, with only the
breath of life lacking.
Dirck Barendsz Nor should Dirck Barendsz of Amsterdam be cheated of praise and glory. The
distinguished imitator of countenances could willingly come second to no one in
esteem of invention, arrangement, and grace, what the Greeks call ‘Charis’.
Pieter Aertsen Nor in silence should Pieter, with the nickname ‘Longus’, be passed over. I seem
to rightly compare him with Pliny’s Piraeicus if I am not able to place him higher
as it appears that he followed lowly things with the brush from out of the open.

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He has obtained the highest renown of low things in the opinion of all, and
therefore, can likewise be distinguished with the nickname ‘rhyparographer’, [a
painter of low subjects], at least in my judgment. There are extents in his works
where a certain pleasantness shines forth: in a most elegant expression of country
girls, in the nature and deportment of the body, in victuals, vegetables,
slaughtered chickens, ducks and asses, one or another fishes, and lastly, in all
utensils that belong to the kitchen. Being beyond exquisite pleasure, his painted
panels never satiate the eyes in their ever-infinite variety. By this, it happens that
his works sell more than the greatest and the most carefully wrought pieces of
many others.
Willem van Holland has a marble sculptor Willem van Tetrode who not only rivals Praxiteles,
Tetrode but also everyone currently in the neighborhood of Rome. I will discuss him at
greater extent in the section on the city of his origin, Delft. Two luminaries of art
remain. They are not simply engravers, as some think. By the turn of the burin
and dragging of the chisel into copper plates and other types that can be worked
by metal, they render figures and all histories. They reproduce them on tablets
covered in gesso or paper through smearing the black ink of the engraver, or
rather of any color, against the metal plate.
Dirck These are Dirck Volkertsz. Coornhert from Amsterdam, a man of divine talent
Volckertsz. but of an unfavorable fate, and Phillips Galle of Haarlem, immortal gods, a man
Coornhert,
Philips Galle
much more superior to that master! Coornhert omitted only his earliest art with
praise, while with Galle’s increasing age, the glory of his art also swells.

III. Artists of Petrus Opmerus’ Opus chronographicum

*Artists not identified in Thieme and Becker 1907-1950


**Artists with portraits

Church
Iotto Florentinus Pictor.** Giotto the Florentine Painter

Picturae barbarie profligata restaurator ac After the barbarians were conquered, Giotto of
vindex Iottus Florentinus nunc pinxit Romae Florence, the restorer and champion of
naviculam, in qua undecim metu ac stupore painting, now painted the Navicella in Rome,
perculsos, ob socium Petrum, quem super in which he depicted eleven men overcome by
undas meantem videbant, expressit, ita pro se fear and bewilderment on account of their
quemque suum turbati animi indicium vultu & companion Peter, whom they were seeing
toto corpore praeferentem. p. 392 passing above waves. Just as Peter, he depicted
each individual man as having a disturbed
mind through countenance and total body.

Ioannes van Eyck. Pictor.** Jan van Eyck Painter


Hubert van Eyck Pictor.** Hubert van Eyck Painter

Hac tempestate floruerunt Gandavi Ioannes At this time Jan van Eyck flourished in Ghent

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Eickius cum Huberto fratre suo maiore natu with his older brother Hubert. They were great
summi pictores. Quorum ingeniis primum painters. Of these the first thought up by clever
excogitatum fuit, colores terere oleo seminis devices to grind colors with the oil of flax
lini. Nec modo tabulas pinxerunt suis Belgis: seed. The brothers did not only paint panels for
sed complures ipsorum tabulae ad Alphonsum their native Belgium: rather many of their
Neapolim, & Laurentium Medicem Florentiam paintings were sent to Alfonso at Naples and
transmissae in magno apud eos precio fuerunt. Lorenzo de’ Medici at Florence. They
witnessed great value among these.
Secutus hos est etiam Rogerus Weidenus
Bruxellensis: cuius tabulam sibi usque Rogier van der Weyden of Brussels followed
placentem Maria Hungariae Regina precibus ac these. One of his paintings was continuously
pretio comparavit Louanii ab aedituis sacelli pleasing Mary Queen of Hungary. After
dolorum Virginis Matris transmisitque in requests and an offer she purchased it in
Hispaniam. Leuven and transferred it from the sacristans of
the chapel of Our Lady into Spain.
Hugo quoque Leydensis deinde Goude gloriam
sibi pingendo comparavit non exiguam, & post Also, Hugo van der Goes from Leiden and then
eum Lancelotus Brugensis. Porro Ioannes Gouda procured no less glory for himself by
Eickius iuvenis Brugis obit: & Hubertus painting. After him was Lancelot Blondeel.
grandaevus Gaudae, orti Masaico Taxandriae Later, Jan van Eyck died a young man at
oppido ad flumen Mosam. Hic in D. Ioannis Bruges, and Hubert, old-aged at Ghent. They
sepulcro Flandricis carminibus annum obitus came from the town of Maaseik of Brabant on
1426 decimo quarto Kalendas Octobris the river Maas. For Hubert, by a tomb in St.
indicantibus ornato, fuit conditus: ille in S. Bavo’s in Ghent decorated with informative
Donatiam, ubi eius Epitaphium elegiaco verses, a death date of 1426 (18 September)
carmine Latino columnae appensum legitur: (p. has been established. Jan is in S. Donaas,
406) where an epitaph (hanging on a pillar) in
elegiac Latin verse is read.

Illustrious men
Leo Baptista Albertus Florent.** Leon Battista Alberti of Florence

Hoc anno edidit Leo Baptista Albertus In this year Leon Battista Alberti of Florence
Florentinus decem libros de architectura, published ten books on architecture, three
Latine tres libros de arte pictoria, atque alios books on the art of painting in Latin, and other
tractatus sculptoribus, architectis ac pictoribus tracts very useful for sculptors, architects and
perutilis edidit: in quibus ipse aliis optimis painters. In these he illuminated other excellent
praeceptis praeluxit, cum ipse nihil pingeret, instructions. Although he himself did not paint,
quod laudem mereatur. p. 430 he nevertheless deserves praise.

Andreas del Sarto. Pictor Florent.** Andrea del Sarto Florentine Painter

Andreas del Sarto Florentinus Pictor excellens Andrea del Sarto, an excellent Florentine
hoc anno nascitur. Obiit anno M. D. XXX. painter, was born in this year. He died in the
Aetatis XLII. p. 430 year 1530 at age 42.

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Quintus Lovanien. Pictor.** Quinten Painter of Leuven

Excellebat in arte pictoria Quintus Lovaniensis Quinten Massys of Leuven was excelling in
Antverpiae; ut cum Erasmum & Petrum the art of painting in Antwerp when he had
Egidium ita eadem in tabula pinxisset, ut ille painted Erasmus and Peter Gillis in the same
librum manu teneret, in quo titulus Paraphrasis canvas. Erasmus had a book in hand, on which
in epistolam ad Romanos cum eius nomine the title Paraphrases on the epistoles to the
legeretur: & Petrus legeret litteras Mori manu Romans with the name of this is read; Peter
ad se scriptas: voluerat enim Morus, ut was reading letters written to him by the hand
falsorum, ridendo accusare: affirmans se itidem of Thomas More. In fact More had wanted, as
easdem litteras tam exacte non posse imitari, a deciet, to reproach him for smiling. Mor
quam eas Quintinus expresserat. Et quod affirmed that he even was not able to imitate
mirum, hic relictis include ac malleo (faber these letters as precisely as Quinten had
ferrarius enim fuerat) fine doctore penicillo depicted them. And it is a wonder that Quinten,
magnum contulit decus. hammer and mallet left behind (for he was a
blacksmith), gathered great honor from a
Multum nunc adiumenti attulit etiam Albertus highly learned man with the brush.
Durerus artificibus variis, edendo libros suos
de Geometria ac Symmetria, hoc est de pro Also now Albert Dürer brought forth much of
proportione corporis humani, urbibus, benefit to various artificers by publishing his
arcibusque condendis muniendisque. Cum books on Geometry and Symmetry, that is,
vestustis pictoribus merito conferendus, ut qui about the proportion of the human body, and
pinxerit quae pingi non possunt, lumina in building cities, castles and fortifications. He
umbris, fulgura, tonitrua, ventos. Fuit certe deserves to be set together with ancient
decori Norimbergo, sicuti Leydae Lucas, & painters, specifically the one who painted what
Amstelredamo Guilielmus Crocus & Iacobus was not able to be painted: lights in shadows,
Cornelius, Harlemo Theodoricus Daventriensis lightening, thunder, and wind. He was certainly
& Ioannes Sinapius, Hannoniae Ioannes decorated at Nuremberg, just like Lucas van
Mabusius, inter lumina artis principem sortitus Leyden at Leiden, Gugliemus Crocus* and
locum: cum nudos pingeret & floridis prae aliis Cornelisz. van Oostanen at Amsterdam,
uteretur colorbus. Pinxit tabulam Midelburgi in Theodoricus Daventriensis219 and Jan Mostaert
Praemonstratensium templo accersitus a at Haarlem, and Jan Gossaert at Hainault.
Maximiliano Burgundo Abbate in qua & se Gossaert is allotted a foremost place among
ipsum expressit quae periit Iconoclastarum in luminaries of art. When painting nudes and
Belgio tempore. Eius est & illa tabula in D. using colors, he is in advance of others that are
Rumoldi Mechliniae, quae aram pictorum excelling. He painted a panel at Middelburg in
exornabat. p. 448, 450 the sanctuary of the Premonstratensians,
commissioned by Maxmilian the Burgundian
abbot, in which he rendered himself. It
vanished at the time of the iconoclasm in
Belgium. There is this painting of him at S.
Rombout’s cathedral in Mechelen, which was
embellishing the altar of painters.
 

                                                                                                               
219
Dirck Vellert?

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Hieronymus Bosch Pictor** Hieronymus Bosch Painter

Hieronymus quoque Boschius Buscoducensis The marvelous artificer Hieronymus, also


mirus nunc etiam artifex exstitit pingendis known as Boschius, from ’s-Hertogenbosch,
Gryllis. Vocant ridiculi habitus formaeve stood out in painting ‘grylli’. They call figures
figuras eo nomine iocoso: quod talem apud with a ridiculous deportment and form by this
saeculum prius depinxerit Antiphilus. humorous name. That such thing Antiphilus
had painted during an earlier age.
Ioducus denique Clivensis, qui evocatus
Antverpia Parisios Franciscum Galliae Regem Then Joos, from Cleves, was summoned from
cum Regina, maximaque nobilitatis turba ad Antwerp to Paris, France. To the greatest
vivum pernicillo (=penicillo) expressit. p. 450 uproar of the nobility he painted the King with
the Queen after life with a brush.

Raphael Urbinas Pictor** Raphael Painter from Urbino

Excellebant tum pictores eximii Raphaël And then the exceptional painters Raphael of
Urbinas & Michaël Angelus Florentinus, Hic Urbino and Michelangelo of Florence were
Apelli non dissimilis iudicium illud extremum excelling. The latter, similar to Apelles,
toti orbi admirandum in pariete Sacelli Sixti painted a last judgment on the wall of the
Basilica Vaticana depinxit. Illius qui Protogeni Sistine Chapel of the Vatican Basilica. The
non impar, tabula illa est, ubi Paulus in work is to be admired by the whole world. The
Ariopago concionatur inter Stoicos atque first of the two is an equal of Protogenes by
Epicureos. p. 458 this painting, wherein Paul is stirred up in
Areopagus among the Stoics and Epicurians.

Pomponius Gauricus.** Pomponius Gauricus

Pomponius quoque Gauricus praeter Poëmata Pomponius, also Gauricus, besides poems
de Physiognomia & Statuaria arte opuscula published small books on physiognomy and
artificibus mire laudata edebat. p. 462 sculpture that are praised marvelously by
artists.

Albertus Durerus** Noricus inter pictores Albrecht Dürer, from Bavaria, easily the
atque incisores facile Princeps obiit foremost among painters and engravers, died in
Norimbergae anno aetatis suae quinquagesimo Nuremberg at the age of 56 on the 5 of April.
sexto octavo Idus Aprilis. Tantus in arte He was such a great master in the art of
incisoria artifex, ut Germania nondum habuerit incising that Germany has yet to have an equal.
parem[…] p. 464, 470
Henricus Aldegravius incisor.** Heinrich Aldegrever engraver.

[…] ut qui tantum superaverit Israëlem As much as [Dürer] was surpassing his teacher
magistrum suum, quanto ipso inferior, mansit Israel, by as much as this [Israel] was lower,
Henricus Aldegravius eius discipulus Heinrich Aldegraver, a student of him from
Suzatiensis pictor itidem & sculptor egregius Soest, at the same time a painter and a sculptor,
cui in pingendo incidendoque; comparo paucis, remained distinguished. Few compare to him

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antepono neminem. Natus est in Westphalia; in painting and engraving, and none are put
mortuus est Soestii, haud procul ab urbe before him. He was born in Westphalia and
Novasteriensi [=Monasteriensi]. died in Soest not far from the city Münster.

Florebat hac tum tempestate Roterodami Then at this time Joannes Einoutus was
Ioannes Einoutus, infinis quoque pictor, qui flourishing, also a limitless painter. Stimulated
exemplo Moriae civis sui D. Erasmi by the example of the Praise of Folly of his
provocatus pinxit tabulam ex albo Christi fellow citizen Desiderius Erasmus, he painted
affigendi cruci: in qua varii coloris atque on a white panel Christ attached to the cross, in
diversae formae deformium hominum figurae which in a variety of colors and diversity of
conspiciebantur. Ita ut artifices in ea viderent forms of misshapen men were seen. And it was
errata omnium celebrium pictorum: so that artists would see errors of the most
videreturque ipse non modo artificibus, sed celebrated painters in this. It seems that he
etiam illusisse arti. Hanc tanti aestimabat himself [Einoutus] was not only among artists,
Petrus Longus pictor, ut mihi diceret eam non but also made fun of art. The painter Pieter
posse aestimari auro, sed insigni aliqua Aertsen was esteeming this [painting] so
provincia. p. 470 highly that he said to me that it was not able to
equaled with gold, or another distinguished
currency.

Antonius Blocklant Pictor.** Anthonie van Blocklandt Painter

Antonius Montfort, cognomento Blocklant, Antonius of Montfoort, with the surname


natus est Montforti, anno Christi 1532. Cum Blocklandt, was born in Montfoort in 1532. He
natura sua ad artem pictoriam ferretur, totum se was carried by his own propensity to the art of
eidem, ac praecipuis sese artificibus painting. He gave himself totally to this, and to
instruendem tradidit: qui mox tantus evasit, ut be instructed by excellent artificers. He soon
varia eius per Hollandiam sparsa opera non turned out to be such, as his various works
mediocrem laudem obtineant. Mortuus est spread throughout Holland do not obtain
Ultraiecti anno aetatis 49. p. 472 mediocre praise. He died in Utrecht at the age
of 49.

Ioannes Mabusius Pictor.** John Gossaert Mabuse

Inter pictores non minimam laudem merebatur Among painters Jan Gossaert Mabuse was
Ioannes Mabusius Hannonius, qui Italia, deserving no less praise, who having traveled
aliisque, peragratis regionibus, magnam sibi through Italy and other regions, matches
artique suae famam comparavit, & Albertum Albrecht Dürer, Lucas van Leyden and others
Durerum, &Lucam Leidensem aliosque. p. 484 with regard to the greatness of his art and his
fame.

Ioannes Schorelius** Jan van Scorel

Admirabatur supra modum Ioannes Juan Cristóbol Calvete de Estrella was


Christophorus Stella tabulam in aede D. admiring at an earlier time the work that Jan
Nicholai, quam Ioannes Schorelius summa arte van Scorel had painted with greatest skill in the

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pinxerat (in qua conspiciebatur a sinistra church of S. Nicholas (in which on the left side
Christi latro; cuius spinam dorsi simul & of Christ a figure was viewed of which the
pectus videre licebat,) nunquam satis ab spine and chest can be seen at the same time).
artificibus laudatus. Asserit vero Stella in suis He has never been sufficiently praised by
Commentariis tabulam illam totius Belgii painters. Estrella claims in his comments that
fuisset artificiosissimam. Certe Scorelius this painting was the most artful of all
summam gloriam penicillo contulit Batavis, Belgium. Surely Van Scorel contributed great
optices peritissimus & exactissime pingens, glory to Holland with the brush. He is so
quantum quid a quo distare debeat. In extremis skilled and paints things so exactly that
quoque lineis ducendis, umbraque erigendis anything by him should stand apart. In drawing
corporibus ac mediis rerum obtinebat palmam. outmost lines and in arranging bodies with
pp. 492-493 shade and the centers of objects he was
winning the palm.220

Antonius Morus.** Antonis Mor

Discipulum reliquit Antonium Morum He [Jan van Scorel] left behind a student,
Ultraiectinum summis Principibus ob pingendi Antonis Mor of Utrecht. On account of his
artem gratissimum, in Philippi etiam Regis most pleasing skill in painting he was accepted
aulam abscitus. Obiit Antverpiae annos natus by the greatest princes, and also in the court of
LIX. p. 493 Philip II. He died in Antwerp at age 59.

Lambertus Leodiensis Pictor.** Lambert of Liege

Lambertus Lombardus natus Leodii, ultra Lambert Lombard of Liege, besides his artful
artem pictoriam architectus quoque; fuit painting, was also a most outstanding architect.
praestantissimus, ac simul peritissimorum At the same time he was a master and
pictorum magister & efformator, uti Francisci fashioner of most skilled painters such as Frans
Floris, & Huberti Golzii Venloi. Abstulit ille Floris and Hubert Goltzius of Venlo. He is
inter primos rudem illam & stupidam pingendi among the first who imparted a method of
rationem, & aliam longe venustiorem & ad painting, which was before raw and
antiquitatis praecepta excogitatam excoluit. p. astounding. He refined the other method,
508 which was regarded as more lovely for a long
time, according to the principles of antiquity.

                                                                                                               
220
The Spanish humanist Juan Cristóbal Calvete de Estrella. Opmerus here refers to Estrella’s book describing his
trip through Europe with the Spanish prince Phillip (to whom he was tutor) wherein he makes note of Van Scorel’s
painting in the section on Amsterdam. I am indebted to Abigail Newman for the following translation of the segment
in the travel book, which confirms that the observations of specific features of the painting (i.e. the rendering of the
man to the left of Christ) belong to Opmerus: ‘… in the basilica of S. Nicholas there is a painting of the mystery of
the Passion of Christ, which is the best that there is in all the States of Flanders. Jan van Scorel, canon of Utrecht,
made it, which is unique among the paintings in those parts (… en la de San Nicolas ay una pintura d’el mysterio de
la passion de Christo, que es la mejor, que ay en todos los Estrados de Flandes, hizola Iuan Scorelio Canonigo de
Utrecht, unico en la pintura por aquellas tierras).’ Juan Cristóbol Calvete Estrella, El felicissimo viaje d’el muy alto y
muy poderoso príncipe Don Phelippe, hijo d’el emperador Don Carlos Quinto Maximo, desde Espãna à sus tierras
dela baxa Alemaña: con la descripción de todos los Estados de Brabante y Flandes, escrito en quatro libros,
Antwerp 1552, p. 288.

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‘Germania’
Guglielmus Tethrodius Delphus statuarius Willem van Tetrode, sculptor of Delft, was
molem marmoream arae maximae viginti now making the marble mass of the great altar
quatuor signis ex albastrite lapide mire ornatam in the Oude Kerk (St. Hippolytus), decorated
in aede D. Hippolyti nunc faciebat, inter with twenty-four figures of alabaster stone. It
miracula orbis etiam annumerandam: in quam is even to be counted among the wonders of
hocce tetrasticho Cornelius Musius lusit: the world. About which Cornelius Musius
jested in this four-line poem:
Hoc opus augustum diverso ex marmore pulcre
Perfectum, ut nusquam cultius invenias, This beautiful sacred work, out of diversely
Alter Praxiteles, si non illustrior illo est, colored marble / and so perfected that you
Delphus apud Delphos Tethrodius posuit. should no where find more care, / Another
Praxiteles, if he is not more illustrious, /
Antonius quoque Bloclandus Montfortius Tetrode of Delft made in Delft.
Delphos tabulis decorabat, cuius arti dum vario
distincta refers nona signa colore Anthonie also van Blocklandt of Montfoort
Cedit Apellea Cypria picta manu. was beautifying Delft with paintings, whose
art, although it is bearing figures with nine
Decori etiam fuere nunc suo Amstelredamo different types of color, is equivalent to works
Theodorus Bernardus Titiani Veneti discipulus, painted by Apelles’ hand at Cyprus.
& Iodocus Ioannis Statuarius
Quorum hic spirantes finxit de marmore vultus. Also of honor now in his Amsterdam was Dirk
Ille oculos pictis fallit imaginibus. p. 514 Barendz the student of the Venetian Titian, and
Joost Jansz. Bilhamer the sculptor. Of these,
Bilhamer shapes breathing countenances out
of marble. Barendz deceives the eyes with
painted images.
‘Belgia’
Ex Hollandia… Guilielmus quoque Tethrodius From Holland …. Willem van Tetrode a great
summus Statuarius… Offerebant ei suas sculptor…. Those offering their inventions
inventiones Fransicus Florius, Guhlielmus were Frans Floris, Willem Key, Martin de Vos,
Kaius Bredanus, Martinus Vossius, Antonius Antonis Mor of Utrecht, and other painters.
Morus Ultraiectensis, allique pictors. p. 515

Philippus Galleus Incisor.** Philips Galle Engraver

Quas incidebant aeri Philippus Galleus Philips Galle from Haarlem, Jan Wierix and
Harlemensis, Ioannes Wirinzius & frater eius his brother Hieronymus, and various other
Hieronymus, aliique varii incisores. p. 515 engravers were incising some things in copper.

IV. Contents and artists of Arnoldus Buchelius’ Traiecti Batavorum descriptio

A) Contents (for Latin chapter titles, see Buchelius 1906, pp. 138, 144, 149, 153).

Ch 1. About ancient Batavia.

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Ch. 2. A brief description of the river Rhine.
Ch. 3. About France and the other nations that invaded, devastated and occupied.
Ch. 4. About Utrecht of Batavia.

B) Original and English translation of Arnoldus Buchelius’ passage on artists in the ‘Descriptio’.

Buchelius 1906, pp. 254-5

Pictura etiam habet quod huic referat. Quae tam benigne foverit et honoribus auxerit
Joannem Scorellium, pictorem excellentissimum, eumque collegio Mariano ascripserit et civium
numero habuit. Hic cum pulposos lacertososque cum iusta tamen symmetria artus exprimeret,
vulgi malesano iuditio minus digne laudatus est; illud verum, coloribus esse austeriorem. Huius
vidi tabulam Divae Ceciliae, in qua montium, agrorum, silvarum mixta diversitas et ruinarum
insitae reliquiae, mirum in modum placuerunt. De hoc Joannes Secundus Hagiensis:

‘I fausto pede, patrias ad urbes


Divinae renovator artis.’

et post:

‘Pictorum sublimis honos, columenque virorum,


Artificum rudibusque novum decus edite terris,
Qui procul ad patrios orbis monumenta Latini
Fers agros Rhenique locas ad flumina Romam.’

Quem insequutus Antonius Morus, confessione artificum in discreta similitudine vultuum


filo inque danda illis symmetria palmam facile adeptus; idque assecutus, quod rarum in artis
successu inveniri posse existimat Plinius (de Parrhassio loquens) nimirum extrema corporum
facere et desinentis picturae modum includere. Artifex operum, ut inquit de eo Junius, faecundus
principalium, a quo quicquid ferme regum et primatum haec aetas habet aut habuit iampridem
expressum.
Antonius Blocklandius municipio Traiectensi Montfortio ortus, Traiecti educatus, qui in
praesentandis venuste vultubus minime durus, in reddendis historiis nulli facile secundus audit,
at viridi etiam tum aetate nuper ereptus, nondum omnibus satisfecit sui desiderio. Vidi eius
tabulas: Nativitatem Christi, Pentecosten, Lotum cum filiabus, Adonidem, Rudolphum quoque
Weeldium; vividae multorum effigies et coloribus spirantes vultus immortalem reddidere. Cuius
etiam filiam Mariam, puellari quadam dulcedine non invenustas exprimere imagines notum est.
Duo restant in ipso aetatis flore crescentia ingenia, temporis iuditio maiorum famam
assecutura: Abrahamus Blommartius et Joachimus Utevalius; quorum ille audatior, hic mitiori
quodam filo operosior; prioris tamen, ut liberioris ingenii, magis placent commenta.
Ars quoque hac aetate usitissima, vitrum pingere et vividis coloribus ex tam fragili
materia nominis aeternitatem quaerere. Et produxit haec nostra civitas huius artis non ultimum
Joannem Zylium, cuius memoria erit, donec ipsius artis in orbe vestigia.
Architectum praeterea genuit nominatissimum Sebastianum Oyum, cuius magna apud
Carolum V imperatorem eiusque filium Phelippum aestimatio, qui mira arte Montem Carolum,

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Oppidum Phelippi vel Philippopolim ac Hesdinfertum designasse, fortissima totius Belgiae
contra Gallorum impetus propugnacula, fertur.
Habet et nunc caelatorem argentarium excellentissimum, Henrici III Francogallorum
regis aurificem, Johannem Crocium*.

Buchelius 1906, pp. 254-5 (translation)

Painting also has some things it brings to this [Utrecht]. She so generously nurtured and
exalted Jan van Scorel with honors, a most excellent painter, and she numbered him in the
college of Mary and held him in the regard of the citizens. This, although he was modeling
fleshy and muscular limbs with accurate symmetry, was nevertheless praised less worthily by the
senseless judgment of the masses; that is true that he is more austere in colors. I saw his painting
of S. Cecilia in which a variety of hills, fields, woods and incorporated remnants of ruins are
mixed. They gave pleasure in a wonderful way. About him Janus Secundus of The Hague wrote:

‘Walk on favorable foot to your city of birth, restorer of divine art.’

and after:

‘Sublime honor of painters, leader of men,


New glory of artists brought forth from the untilled earth,
Bringing remainders of the Latin world to the fatherland from far
You place Rome in the lands close by the river Rhine.’

Antonis Mor followed him. In the judgment of artists he has easily won the palm in
rendering the nature of faces with close similitude and in giving symmetry to these. Pliny,
comprehending the same thing while speaking about Parrhasius, reckons that this can rarely be
found in successful artistry: an authentic rendering of the contours of the body, and a limitation
of the extent of an image’s finish. The artificer abounds of works, as Junius says about him, in
which he has portrayed almost every king or noble that this age has or had long ago.
Anthonie van Blocklandt, from the town Montfoort of Utrecht, was raised in Utrecht.
Though less vigorous in beautifully displaying countenances, he is the second of no one in
rendering histories he willingly hears. But indeed as he recently died at a youthful age, he has not
yet satisfied the desire for him by all. I saw his paintings: a nativity of Christ, a Pentecost, Lot
with his daughters, an Adonis, also Rudolphus Weeldius; the lively semblances of many and
countenances breathing with colors make him immortal. It is recorded that his daughter Maria,
with a certain youthful sweetness, wrought charming images.
Two thriving geniuses of this flower of an age remain who in the judgment of the older
ones of the time shall obtain fame: Abraham Bloemaert and Joachim Wtewael. Of these the
former is more bold, and the latter is more elaborate, with a certain inclination for more
gentleness. However, the inventions of the first, a more unbridled genius, are more pleasing.
An art also most customary in this age is to paint glass. With vivid colors on so fragile a
material men seek immortality of name. Our city brought forward of this art, not finally, Jan van
Zijl. His memory will last as long the traces of his art are in the world.
Moreover, it [Utrecht] carried forward the most famous architect Sebastiaan van Noyen.
He, greatly valued by the emperor Charles V and his son Philip II, is said to have designed the

  109  
town of Philip at the hill of Charles (Philippopolis) with wonderful art, and Hesdin, a most strong
fortification of all of Belgium against an attack of France.
And now it has the most excellent embosser of silver and goldsmith of Henry III King of
France, Johannes Crocius*.

V. Contents of Carolus Scribanius’ Antverpia and Origines Antverpiensium

For Latin see Scribanius 1610, ‘Index Titulorum’; ‘Index Capitum’

Index of chapters
Ch. 1. Education.
Ch. 2. Food, sleep, vigilance, care for the body.
Ch. 3. Various exercises.
Ch. 4. Change of the climate, knowledge of languages.
Ch. 5. Clothing, the importance of traditions, the composition of the body.
Ch. 6. The nobility.
Ch. 7. The strength of mind to the people.
Ch. 8. The variety of goods which are shipped to the whole world.
Ch. 9. Monetary business.
Ch. 10. World conflicts, and their moderation by the skill of these. The consistancy of ships.
Ch. 11. Mechanical arts.
Ch. 12. Painting.
Ch. 13. Sculpture, silver chasing, engraving.
Ch. 14. Printing.
Ch. 15. Architecture.
Ch. 16. Aqueducts, pumps, and the fire fighting machines.
Ch. 17. Natural genius, judgment.
Ch. 18. Erudition, love of letters.
Ch. 19. Moderation in food and drinking.
Ch. 20. Chastity.
Ch. 21. Generosity.
Ch. 22. Speech. Faith in words.
Ch. 23. Strength of mind.
Ch. 24. Here the slander is falsified about the city occupied by Spain.
Ch. 25. Military strength.
Ch. 26. Recognition of the heretics that are exiled.
Ch. 27. Piety and reverence towards God.

Index of Chapters
Ch. 1. Belgium, what the province was for the ancient inhabitants: the grain fields and by which
ancestors they were beaten down.
Ch. 2. Brabant. The brave achievements of the provinces, in part by victory and in part by
triumph.
Ch. 3. The Aduatici and Ambiuariti; some part of whose province was Antwerp.

  110  
Ch. 4. Antwerp. Its age related back to the expedition of the Normands. Who the Normands
were, and the things they brought to the vast emptiness. They were at last victorious by a heavy
battle.
Ch. 5. The name Antwerp. Rejected ideas and fables of giants.
Ch. 6. The marquess at Antwerp.
Ch. 7. The citadel or castle that was seen through antiquity. The increase of towns.
Ch. 8. The density. The great number of people. The enormous trade.
Ch. 9. The enemies of the city.
Ch. 10. The church of the Virgin and the relics and the parishes of the city.
Ch. 11. The cloisters of men, or the religious places.
Ch. 12. The cloisters of women, or sacred places.
Ch. 13. Guest houses. Places of refuge for the poor.
Ch. 14. Various things in city spaces, which are worthy of fame.
Ch. 15. The senate and people of Antwerp.
Ch. 16. The military bodies established by the citizens that persist today.

  111  
Images

Cover. Abraham Ortelius, Belgium Vetus (Detail), Antwerp 1584, University of Amsterdam
Special Collections, Amsterdam. Photo: Junius 2011, p. 34.

Figure 1. Petrus Apianus, Illustration of Ptolemy’s definition of chorography in the


Cosmographia, Antwerp 1540. Photo: Strauss 1959, p. 55.

Figure 2. Hadrianus Junius, Illustrations in the chapter on the Brittenburg in Batavia, Leiden
1588. Photo: Junius 2011, p. 181.

Figure 3. Andrea Sansovino, Tomb of Girolamo Basso della Rovere (Detail), ca. 1505, S. Maria
del Popolo, Rome. Photo: http://www.courtauldprints.com/image/181880/sansovino-andrea-
santa-maria-del-popolo-tomb-of-girolamo-basso-della-rovere.

Figure 4. Antonio Tempesta and Otto van Veen, Roma and Batavia (Series: The War of the
Romans against the Batavians), 1612, 146 x 209 cm, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New
York. Photo: S. Buffa (ed.), The Illustrated Bartsch: Antonio Tempesta (Italian Masters of the
Sixteenth Century), volume 37, New York 1984, p. 289 (560).

Figure 5. Quinten Massys, St. John Altarpiece, 1508/1509-1511, 273 x 260 (middle panel) and
120 x 260 (side panels) cm, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp. Photo:
http://www.wga.hu/html_m/m/massys/quentin/1/st_john1.html.

Figure 6. Artist unknown Hadrianus Junius, 1590, University of Amsterdam Special Collections.
Image: Junius 2011, p. 36.

Figure 7. Giorgio Vasari, Apelles and the Cobbler (Detail), ca. 1569-1570, Casa del Vasari,
Florence. Photo: Blake Mcham 2013, p. 225.

Figure 8. Pieter Aertsen, Kitchen maid, 1559, 127.5 x 82 cm, Royaux Musée des Beaux-Arts de
Belgique, Brussels. Photo:
http://www.rkd.nl/en/explore/images/record?query=Pieter+Aertsen&start=107.

Figure 9. Antonis Mor, Don Fernando Álvarez de Toledo y Pimentel, 3rd Duke of Alva, 1549,
108 x 84 cm, The Hispanic Society of America, New York. Photo: Joanna Woodall, Anthonis
Mor: Art and Authority, Zwolle 2007, p. 175.

Figure 10. Pieter Aertsen, Pancake eaters, 1560, 87 x 169.3 cm, Museum Boijmans Van
Beuningen, Rotterdam. Photo: http://collectie2008.boijmans.nl/en/work/1006%20(OK).

Figure 11. Frans Floris, Portrait of the Van Berchem Family, 1561, 130 x 225 cm, Museum
Wuyts-Van Campen en Baron Caroly, Lier. Photo:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Frans_Floris_002.jpg.

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Figure 12. Arnoldus Buchelius, Sketch of the Erasmus Statue in the Commentarius, Utrecht
1596. Photo: Becker 1993, p. 41.

Figure 13. Artist unknown, Portrait of Petrus Opmerus following the dedication of the Opus
Chronographicum, Antwerp 1611. Photo: Opmerus 1611, ‘Serenissimis…’

Figure 14. Quinten Massys, Desiderus Erasmus, 1517, 50.5 x 45.2 cm, HM Queen Elizabeth II.
Photo: http://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/405759/desiderius-erasmus-1466-1536.

Figure 15. Quinten Massys, Pieter Gillis, 1517, 73.75 x 55.25 cm, Collection of the Earl of
Radnor, Longford Castle. Photo: J. Trapp (ed.), ‘The King’s Good Servant’: Sir Thomas More
1477/9-1533, ex. cat. London (National Portrait Gallery) 1997, cat. 54.

Figure 16. Raphael, Paul Preaching at Athens, 1515-1516, 343 x 442 cm, Victoria and Albert
Museum (on loan from HM Queen Elizabeth II), London. Photo:
http://www.vam.ac.uk/users/node/7928.

Figure 17. Paulus Moreelse, Portrait van Aernout van Buchel, 1610, 85 x 48.7 cm, Centraal
Museum, Utrecht. Photo: http://centraalmuseum.nl/ontdekken/object/?img_only=1#o:8759.

Figure 18. Anthonie van Blocklandt, The Adoration of the Shepherds, 1583, 72 x 96 cm,
Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest. Photo:
http://www.szepmuveszeti.hu/adatlap_eng/the_adoration_of_the_shepherds_10267.

Figure 19. Hendrik Golzius after Anthonie van Blocklandt, Lot and His Daughters Leaving
Sodom, 1582, 34 x 39.5 cm, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. Photo:
https://artsy.net/artist/hendrik-goltzius-after-anthonie-van-blocklandt.

Figure 20. Philips Galle after Anthonie van Blocklandt, Venus and Adonis (Series: The Story of
Adonis), ca. 1579, 22 x 31.2 cm, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Photo:
http://www2.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-
online/search/386635?pos=2&rpp=20&pg=1&rndkey=20121024&ft=*&where=Netherlands&w
ho=Philips+Galle%7CAnthonie+Blocklandt.

Figure 21. Arnoldus Buchelius, Detail on Batavia in the Res pictoriae, fol. 4v. Photo: Victor
Schmidt, 19 March 2014.

Figure 22. Anthony van Dyck, Portrait of Carolus Scribanius S.J., ca. 1629, 117.5 x 104 cm,
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. Photo: C. Baiser (ed.), Antoon Van Dyck anders bekeken:
over ‘registers en contrefeytsels, tronies en copyen’, ex. cat. Antwerp (Cathedral of Our Lady)
1999, cat. 22.

Figure 23. Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Massacre of the Innocents, ca. 1565-1567, 109.2 x 158.1 cm,
HM Queen Elizabeth II. Photo: http://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/405787/massacre-
of-the-innocents.

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Figure 24. Jan Sanders van Hemessen, Parable of the Prodigal Son, 1536, 140 x 198 cm,
Royaux Musée des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels. Photo: http://www.the-
athenaeum.org/art/detail.php?ID=121507.

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