Crispijn van den Broeck - New Hollstein DutchAfter our publication on Frans Floris we now present an oeuvre catalogue on Crispijn van den Broeck. The works of the two artists who were near contemporaries have often been confused in the past and also in the sixteenth century people felt that their art looked alike. That is why Crispijn van den Broeck was asked to complete some paintings which were found unfinished in the workshop of Floris when the latter died in 1570. The new research has been very fruitful and we are extremely glad that these two publications see the light of day in the same year.
As in the case of the two volumes on Frans Floris also here many prints are being published for the first time. It has been rewarding yet again to visit collections like Wolfegg and Paris, apart from the print rooms in Amsterdam, Antwerp and Brussels where one always expects to find vast holdings of works on paper from Antwerp artists. The basis of the work of the compiler have been the notes of her late husband Hans Mielke. Together they studied the prints and drawings by Antwerp artists from the sixteenth century during a stay in Antwerp in the late 1960’s. Hans Mielke devoted his dissertation to Hans and Paul Vredeman de Vries with an appendix on Gerard van Groeningen (1967) and he wrote a fundamental long article on the draughtsmen and engravers who worked for Gerard de Jode’s 1579 Thesaurus (in Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 1975).
Crucial to the approach was the constant close comparison of drawings and prints of which often the inventor was not indicated. The thousands of notes gathered at the time in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Brussels, El Escorial, Paris, Rotterdam and Vienna have proven to be very rich, original and important to reconstruct the oeuvres of many artists from the period. With these notes, close study of the literature and many visits to print rooms Ursula Mielke has continued and enhanced the research she once began with her husband. It resulted in New Hollstein volumes on Gerard van Groeningen (by Christiaan Schuckman), the vast corpus of prints after Peeter van der Borcht, of Frans and Remigius Hogenberg, and now Crispijn van den Broeck.
A study of the prints by Hans Bol and the ones after the drawings by this prolific artist in The New Hollstein series is to follow. These two volumes contain references to all the preparatory drawings the compiler came across during her research, published and - " many - " unpublished. As there is no full catalogue of Van den Broeck’s drawings, apart from Christine van Mulders’ excellent unpublished master thesis of 1990, these references are crucial for further research. Some 21 drawings are here listed for the first time. The last additions were found in a lot of two bible scenes as ‘Flemish school’ in a catalogue of a sale in Berlin in May of this year. The drawings were recognized as being preparatory for engravings and included here. The author also found three drawings, indented for transfer, but was unable to trace the prints after them. They are listed and numbered at the end of the catalogue, after the book illustrations. We are convinced that this detailed, rich and fully illustrated catalogue of prints will lead to more identifications of drawings. The style of Crispijn van den Broeck is now certainly easier to identify than ever before. In volume III of the old Hollstein series the artist received four pages and eight illustrations in quite a confusing presentation. Four of the illustrated prints do not appear to be after designs of Van den Broeck after all. We hope that these two volumes will serve to do justice to the artist and will help scholars, students, dealers and art lovers alike to familiarize with his art.