Jan van Amstel (The 1572 Pictorum)

Jan van Amstel engraving

Engraving
Inscribed IH.W., attributed to Johannes Wierix, 1572. 

Transcription of Inscription [Lampsonius]:

DE JOANNE HOLLANDO, ANVERPIANO PICT :
Propria Belgarum laus est bene pingere rura :
     Ausoniorum, homines pingere, sive1 deos.
Nec mirum in capite Ausonius, sed Belga cerebrum
     Non temere in gnava2 fertur habere manu.
Maluit ergo manus Jani bene pingere rura
     Quam caput, aut homines, aut male scire deos.

Translation of Inscription [Lampsonius]:

To Jan van Amstel, painter of Antwerp 3
The proper praise of Belgians is to paint fields well; that of Italians to paint men or gods.  Nor is it surprising: not without reason is the Italian said to have his brain in his head, [while] the Belgian [has his] in his active hand. Jan’s hand, then, preferred to paint fields well, than for his head to know poorly either men or gods.

Footnotes:

  1. sic. Lampsonius’ text in Pictorum aliquot celebrium Germaniae inferioris effigies reads “sive Deos”.Return to note reference
  2. In the 1610 Pictorum, “guava” reads “in gnava”.See Jan van Amstel’s 1610 portrait.Return to note reference
  3. In the 1610 Pictorum, I am reading “sive” for “sine” in line 2, and “gnava” for “guava” in line 4.See Jan van Amstel’s 1610 portrait.Return to note reference