71. Frans Pourbus

Frans Pourbus engraving

Engraved by Hendrick Hondius (Orenstein 1996)
Signed ‘Hh form. Cum privil.’ by Hendrick Hondius
19.8 x 12.2 cm

Transcription of Inscription:
Patre fuit pictore satus Pourbusius : arte
   Verum patre prior.  Sic monumenta docent.
Vivunt, quas pinxit pecudes pictaéque volucres :
     Pictoris lugent quae simul interitum.

Translation of Inscription:
Frans Pourbus of Bruges.
Pourbus was begotten by a painter father, but in skill he stood before his father.  His monuments teach this.  The flocks and coloured birds1 which he painted are alive, [and] they weep together for the painter’s death. 

Hollstein 1994 no.106

 Karel Van Mander’s biography of Frans Pourbus
 Grove Art Online biography 


  1. “pictaeque volucres” comes from Virgil, Aeneid 4.525. Virgil is writing about real birds, and is therefore using “pictae” to mean “coloured, variegated”. But here the term could also have its literal meaning, “painted”, “pinxit and “pictae” are two forms of the same verb (polyptoton).