Picturing the Netherlandish Canon, The Courtauld Institute of Art




Bartholomew Spranger


109. Bartholomew Spranger

Engraved by Hendrick Hondius (Orenstein 1996)
Signed by 'Hh exc.' by Hendrick Hondius

20.3 x 11.9 cm

Transcription of Inscription:

BARTHOLOMÆUS SPRANGERUS, PICT. ANTWERPIANUS.
Hic ille est vivos qui ducit imagine vultus.
     Fama viri hinc vivit, gloria parta viget.
Arte placet magnus. Magnum quid, posse placere
     Sacrorum Regi Caesaribusque simul.

Translation of Inscription:

Bartholomew Spranger, painter of Antwerp
This is the one who traces living faces1 in his pictures.  Because of this, the man’s fame lives on, the glory he gained thrives.  By his skill the great man pleased.  It is a great thing to be able to please at once the king of the holy rites,2 and the emperors.3



Hollstein 1994 no.112
Karel Van Mander's biography of Bartholomew Spranger
Grove Art Online biography


1.      Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 6.848, “vivos ducent de marmore vultus”.

2.      “Rex sacrorum” (like “pontifex maximus”) is a title from ancient Roman religion.  The reference here is presumably to Pope Pius V.

3.      Or “Caesars”.  Cf. note on “Emperor” on the text for 33. Jan Vermeyen.



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