33. Jan Vermeyen

Jan Vermeyen engraving

Attributed to Hendrick Hondius
Copy in reverse direction to Cock 1572 engraved Pictorum
20.6 x 11.8 cm

Transcription of Inscription [Lampsonius]:

Quos homines, quae non Maius loca pinxit, et urbis1
     Visendum late quicquid et Orbis habet ;
Dum terra sequiturque mari te Carole Caesar
     Pingeret ut dextrae fortia facta tuae ;
Quae mox Attalicis fulgerent aurea textis,
     Materiem artifici sed superante manu.
Nec minus ille sua spectacula praebuit arte
     Celso conspicuus vertice grata tibi,
Iussus prolixae detecta volumina barbae
     Ostentare suos pendula ad usque pedes.

Translation of Inscription [Lampsonius]:

About Jan Vermeyen, painter.

What men, what places and what cities2 has Vermeyen not painted? –– and whatever the world, far and wide, has worth seeing –  while he followed you on land and sea, Emperor3 Charles, to paint the mighty deeds of your hand.  These soon shone in gold with Attalian4 embroidery, although the artist’s hand was greater than the material.5 Nor did he provide a sight less pleasing to you than his art – [he was] remarkable for his high forehead, [and] was ordered to show off the unhidden folds of his rich beard, hanging down to his feet.

Hollstein 1994 no.94

 Karel Van Mander’s biography of Jan Vermeyen
 Grove Art Online biography

View the 1572 print
View both prints side by side



  1. sic.  see note 2.
  2. Reading Lampsonius’ “urbes” for Hondius’s impossible “urbis”.
  3. Can be translated as “Caesar”  Cf. note on “Emperor” on the text for Albrecht DürerAnthony Mor and others
  4. See note on the text for Bernaert van Orley.
  5. This seems to mean that  Vermeyen showed more skill in painting drapery than was involved in making the drapery itself.