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 Joris Hoefnagel  (1542 - 1601)

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Lived/Active: Netherlands/Austria/Belgium      Known for: manuscript illuminations, still life painting

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Ad Code: 2
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
A village festival with elegantly dressed figures in procession, a river and tower beyond
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

A self-taught artist, Joris Hoefnagel was significant to Dutch art in several ways.  He was the last significant manuscript illuminator and was one of the first to use still life as a subject for oil paintings.   Described as a "true Renaissance man", (Getty) he also was a poet, musician, topographer, engraver, prolific miniature painter and mapmaker.

His parents were wealthy as his father was a successful diamond merchant, which allowed him much travel as a youth.  Going to England, France and Spain, he did topographical drawings of places he visited, and these were later used in a six-volume atlas set.  In 1577, after the invasion of Antwerp by Spain, Hoefnagel traveled south with Abraham Ortelius, a cartographer.  On this trip, he agreed to become court artist in Munich to the Duke of Bavaria, Albert V.  Then in 1591 in Prague, he was appointed court artist to Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor, who had an extensive art collection and a 'cabinet of curiousities'.  en

During the time he was working for the Duke of Bavaria, Hoefnagel finished a series of natural history miniatures that were published in several volumes in book form.  Then when he was with Rudolf II, he added illuminations to a 30 year old manuscript by the scribe Georg Bocskay.  Included in his illuminations were animals and plants illustrating natural history.  He also did engravings for Abraham Ortellius, who did what is regarded as the first modern atlas.

Joris Hoefnagel died in Vienna in 1601.

Sources include:
Encyclopaedia Britannica,

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