detail of engraving skeleton holding an arrow

Courtauld Books Online is a series of online scholarly books published by The Courtauld Institute of Art. The online book, Picturing the Netherlandish Canon, includes two essays by Stephanie Porras and Joanna Woodall which offer critical commentary on Hondius’s Effigies, utilizing the translations, search and ordering functionality of this website to reconsider the series and its role in the creation of a distinctly Netherlandish art history.

Stephanie Porras’s contribution focuses on the material history of the prints, of diverse authorship and variable quality. Porras situates the 1610 Effigies within the widespread practice of reprinting older Flemish prints and the emergence of a market for “Netherlandish” subjects. Joanna Woodall’s essay looks beyond “likeness to the life” to study the distinctive yet related ways in which Cock’s and Hondius’s series of prints produce subjectivity through the category of the Netherlandish artist. She argues that death is in fact fundamental to both series.