Picturing the Netherlandish Canon, The Courtauld Institute of Art

Jan van Amstel

View this print in greater detail

View next to the 1572 print

Next print
Overview of prints

29. Jan van Amstel

Signed 'Hh ex.' by Hendrick Hondius
Copy in reverse direction as Cock 1572 engraved Pictorum

20.1 x 12.3 cm

Transcription of Inscription [Lampsonius]:

Propria Belgarum laus est bene pingere rura :
     Ausoniorum, homines pingere, sine1 deos.
Nec mirum in capite Ausonius, sed Belga cerebrum
     Non temere in guava2 fertur habere manu.
Maluit ergo manus Jani bene pingere rura
     Quam caput, aut homines, aut male scire deos.

Translation of Inscription [Lampsonius]:

To Jan van Amstel, painter of Antwerp3
The proper praise of Belgians is to paint fields well; that of Italians to paint men or gods.  Nor is it surprising: not without reason is the Italian said to have his brain in his head, [while] the Belgian [has his] in his active hand. Jan’s hand, then, preferred to paint fields well, than for his head to know poorly either men or gods.

Hollstein 1994 no.92

Karel Van Mander's biography of Jan van Amstel
Grove Art Online biography

1.      sic. Lampsonius' text in Pictorum aliquot celebrium Germaniae inferioris effigies reads "sive Deos".

2.      sic. Lamponius' text, cited above, reads 'in gnava'.

3.      I am reading “sive” for “sine” in line 2, and “gnava” for “guava” in line 4.  Both corrections are from Lampsonius.