Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Hieronymus Wierix’s engraving, “Portrait of Jan Cornelisz. Vermeyen”, c1572


Hieronymus Wierix (1553-1619) or Jan Wierix (aka Johannes Wierix) (1549–c1620)

“Portrait of Jan Cornelisz. Vermeyen”, c1572, plate 15 in the series of 23 engraved plates in “Pictorum aliquot celebrium Germaniae inferioris Effigies”, published by Theodoor Galle (1571–1633), 1572, in Antwerp. This impression is from the 1694 fourth edition published by D and T Browne (fl.1694) in London as illustrations to Sebastiano Resta's "The True Effigies Of The Most Eminent Painters And Other Famous Artists"

Engraving on fine laid paper with margins.
Size: (sheet) 27.5 x 18.6 cm; (plate) 20.4 x 12 cm
Lettered at top: "Obijt Bruxellis 1559. ætat 59. ad D. Gaugerici conditus. / 15.". Lettered with title in lower margin, followed by ten lines of Latin verse: "Quos homines, quæ ... / ... / ... ad vsque pedes.". Lettered with monogram within image in lower right corner: "IHW". Lettered with publisher's address in the lower left corner: "Th. Galle excud.". Numbered in pen and ink before title: "15".
State iv (of iv)

Mauquoy-Hendrickx 1979 1743; Hollstein 2027.IV (Wierix); Alvin 1866 2047; Riggs 1977 269; van Someren 1888 5774d

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Plate 15: Portrait of Jan Cornelisz. Vermeyen, three-quarter length, turned to the left, head turned to face the viewer; with moustache and very long beard, seated and holding a book in his right hand while writing in it with his left hand, an exotic landscape seen behind him with a group of figures to right, a man menacing another figure with a sword; fourth state with an extra numbering of '15' before name; from the fourth edition of the series used as illustrations to Sebastiano Resta's 'The True Effigies Of The Most Eminent Painters And Other Famous Artists' (D. and T. Browne: London, 1694). c.1572"

Condition: crisp and near faultless, well-printed impression with wide margins in excellent condition for the age of the print (i.e. there are no tears, abrasions, holes, folds, significant stains—but there is a dot stain on the upper left and light handling marks on the right—or foxing). This print is in an extraordinary state of preservation.

I am selling this visually riveting portrait of an artist drawing in an exotic landscape with a murder occurring beyond his left shoulder for AU$183 (currently US$140.59/EUR120.85/GBP105.96 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this psychologically engaging portrait from the Baroque age, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold


To be honest, when I first saw this portrait of Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen (aka Jan Mayo; Barbalonga) (c1500–1559), I knew nothing about the "sitter" other than that he must be Dutch based solely on his name.  I was curious to find out why he is shown he seated drawing with his sketch book resting on his knee in what is clearly not a Dutch countryside. Well, I now know … or I think that I have found an explanation for the exotic palm tree and sand dune setting: he was a companion of Emperor Charles V at the Conquest of Tunis. This also helps to explain the somewhat gruesome scene of murder/battle featured beyond the artist’s left shoulder. I guess wars are always horrible and so long as the grim details are behind your left shoulder all is well in the world when drawing out-of-doors.







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