Picturing the Netherlandish Canon, The Courtauld Institute of Art




Gillis Mostaert





91. Gillis Mostaert

Etching and engraving
Signed 'Hh excud.' by Hendrick Hondius, attributed to Simon Frisius

20.3 x 12.5 cm

Transcription of Inscription:

ÆGIDIUS MOSTART, FLANDER. PICTOR.
Nomine Mostarti duo sunt, fratrésque gemelli,
     Arte pares, vultu, moribus, ingenio.
Gilius inventor felix, laetúsque color1 :
     Sic color in verbis, et sine felle sales.

Translation of Inscription:

Gillis Mostaert of Flanders, painter
There are two twin brothers by the name of Mostaert.  They are equal in skill, appearance, morals and genius.2  Gillis is a lucky inventor,3 rejoicing in colour.  Thus there is colour4 in his words, and wit without bile.


Orenstein 1996, Frisius no. 152; Hollstein 2008 no.172
Karel Van Mander's biography of Gillis Mostaert
Grove Art Online biography


1.     Sic.  The 'e' of "colore" is written in pencil only. I translate "colore".

2.      “moribus ingenio” – the same combination at 121. Otto van Veen and in patristic and medieval Latin.  Like this poem, van Veen's text adds “arte” to the combination.

3.      “inventor felix” - the same phrase in the text for 127. Jacques de Gheyn.

4.      Latin speaks of “colour” in someone’s speech, meaning inventiveness and liveliness.  The term can be either laudatory or derogatory.



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