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Karel van Mander (Meulbeke 1548-1606 Amsterdam)
Karel van Mander (Meulbeke 1548-1606 Amsterdam)

A proof impression of the engraved portrait of Pieter Hogerbeets by Jan Saenredam, with the design for part of the decorative surround at the right of the sheet

Details
Karel van Mander (Meulbeke 1548-1606 Amsterdam)
A proof impression of the engraved portrait of Pieter Hogerbeets by Jan Saenredam, with the design for part of the decorative surround at the right of the sheet
engraving, extensively reworked with black chalk, pen and brown ink and purple-brown wash, the drawn lines partially indented with the stylus, the corresponding side of the verso blackened for transfer
11¾ x 9 in. (29.6 x 22.8 cm.); and an impression of the finished state of the engraving by Jan Saenredam (1565-1607) (Fig. 1; Bartsch 114) (2)
Provenance
Nijland Collection (according to an inscription, verso).
Literature
I.Q. van Regteren Altena, 'Carel van Mander', Elsevier's geïllustreerd maandschrift, XLVII, March 1937, pl. XXXIII, fig. 14. W. T. Kloek, 'Northern Netherlandish Art 1580-1620: A Survey', in exhib. cat. Dawn of the Golden Age: Northern Netherlandish Art 1580-1620, 1993-4, p. 54, fig. 80, p. 55, and p. 109, note 103.
H. Miedema, Karel van Mander: The Lives of the Illustrious Netherlandish and German Painters, Doornspijk, 1995, II, p. 139, fig. D59.
M. Leesberg, Karel van Mander. The New Hollstein, Rotterdam, 1999, p. LI, fig. 18, LIII, and p. 183 under no. 160.
Exhibited
Amsterdam, Koninklijk Oudheidkundig Genootschap, Karel van Mander, 1936, number unknown.

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Benjamin Peronnet
Benjamin Peronnet

Lot Essay

This work offers a rare insight into the working method of Karel van Mander and in the ways artists collaborated to produce a print. On a sheet of paper on which an oval portrait is already printed van Mander sketched in black chalk at the right a decorative border which he then worked up in pen and ink. The corresponding side on the verso was then blackened in chalk. Having placed the sheet of paper a prepared copper plate the engraver Jan Saenredam (1565-1607) went over the outlines of the drawing with a stylus in order to transfer the composition.

Pieter Hogerbeets (1542-1599) was a poet and physician who belonged to a circle that included Amsterdam rhetoricians, Cornelis Ketel (1548-1616) and Jacques Razet (d. 1609), van Mander's close friends. Hogerbeets composed poetry for van Mander's ambitious Parable of the Prodigal Son, engraved and published by de Gheyn in 1596 (M. Leesberg, op. cit., no. 51) and two of his poems refer directly to van Mander's works. The engraving by Saenredam was published after Hogerbeets' death, as a commemorative portrait. It had probably been commissioned by Jacques Razet whose name appears prominently in the calligraphic inscription at the top. With the images of Aesculapius at the right and Apollo at the left the engraving alludes to Hogerbeets' two occupations, as well as to the transitoriness of life and to eternal fame. The inscription around the medallion reveals the identity of the sitter and his device 'Sapere aude' (Dare to be wise). The inscription at the bottom was composed by the young scholar Daniel Heinsius (1580-1665) who would become professor of poetry and Latin at Leiden University.

In his Lives van Mander confessed that he regarded portraiture as a 'byway of art' and indeed only one portrait by his hand is known (H. Miedema, op. cit., p. 105, no. P3). One wonders if the portrait of Hogerbeets engraved by Saenredam was actually executed by van Mander. Could the latter have reused a portrait made by another artist and just composed the sophisticated and elegant border ?

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