Picturing the Netherlandish Canon, The Courtauld Institute of Art

Willem Key

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47. Willem Key

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

19.8 x 12.0 cm

Transcription of Inscription [Lampsonius]:

Quas hominum facies, ut eos te cernere credas
     Expressit Caii pingere docta manus,
(Si tamen excipias unum, me iudice, Morum)
     Culpari Belgae nullius arte timent.

Translation of Inscription [Lampsonius]:

About Willem Key of Breda, painter.
What faces of people the hand of Key, learned in painting, expressed, so that you could believe you were looking at them!1 – if however, you except one, Mor,2 in my opinion the Belgians do not fear to be found wanting because of anyone’s skill.

Hollstein 1994 no.101

Karel Van Mander's biography of William Key
Grove Art Online biography

1.      In the Latin, “eos” can only refer to “homines”, not “facies”.  English cannot do this, so one would have to translate “looking at the people themselves”, vel sim. to avoid ambiguity.

2.     The renowned portraitist Anthonis Mor (c.1517/20 – c.1576), who was a friend of Lampsonius.