123. Paul Bril

Paul Bril engraving

Engraved by Hendrick Hondius (Orenstein 1996)
Signed ‘Hh fecit. Cum privil.’ by Hendrick Hondius
20.7 x 12.3 cm

Transcription of Inscription:


Castella et silvas, sata laeta, boúmque labores,
    Et montes pictor Brillius exhibuit.
Gratior iccirco sacro qui verticae. 2murice qui Tyrio. 

Translation of Inscription:

Paul Bril of Antwerp

Brill the painter showed fortresses and woods, joyous crops and the work of oxen, 3 and mountains.  Therefore he was the more pleasing to the one who is first on the holy summit (the Pontiff), and to the one who is illustrious 4  in Tyrian purple. 5

Hollstein 1994 no.113
 Karel Van Mander’s biography of Paul Bril 
 Grove Art Online biography 


  1. Return to note reference
  2. Presumably for “vertice”. primus, 
    Pontifici, et claris
    <1Sic Return to note reference
  3. “sata laeta boumque laborum” is from Virgil, Georgics 1.325.Return to note reference
  4. I am reading “clarus” for “claris”.Return to note reference
  5. Purple is Tyrian from Homer onward, because it was made in Phoenicia.  The reference is presumably to members of some royal family.   “et … Tyrio” is scarcely comprehensible, even after my emendation.Return to note reference