K. van Mander

The painter, poet and writer of the famous Schilder-boeck, Karel van Mander (Meulebeke 1548 - 1606 Haarlem) was one of the major designers of prints in Holland between 1587 and 1606. He produced about 170 designs. The range of subjects, however is more varied than that found in Goltzius oeuvre. It contains mainly biblical subjects, mythological themes and allegories and secular subjects such as proverbs and peasant scenes, blazons and book-titles. In addition there is one portrait which falls into a subject category denigrated by Van Mander as a sideline of the art.The engravers of Karel van Mander's designs all came from or were in some way connected to the Goltzius workshop of the late 1580s. Goltzius stepson Jacob Matham, Jacques de Gheyn, and Jan Saenredam were his pupils. Jan Muller frequented the workshop during that period. Goltzius also apprenticed the more obscure engravers Nicolaes Clock, Gillis van Breen, Nicolaes Braeu and Cornelis Drebbel. Although most of them continued to work for Goltzius during the 1590s, their engravings after Karel van Mander seem to have been produced independently.

The fine engraving technique of Jacques de Gheyn and his pupil Zacharias Dolendo proved to be most suited to Karel van Manders designs. It was in fact Jacques de Gheyn who produced the largest part of Karel van Manders printed oeuvre, after he had set up on his own in 1588.

It is notable that not a single print after Karel van Mander bears the name of his friend and colleague Goltzius as its engraver or publisher. The first engravings after Karel van Manders work were published in Amsterdam by Harmen Muller, Joos de Bosscher and Jan Pitten and from 1592 mostly by Jacques de Gheyn. When Jacques de Gheyn like Goltzius turned to painting around 1600, Jacob Matham, who had taken over his stepfathers workshop, continued to engrave and publish Karel van Manders designs, together with Gillis van Breen, who must have been connected to Matham.

Prints after Karel van Mander were popular until well into the seventeenth century. The number of states of the prints attest to this. Engravings after his designs were used or copied for illustrated bibles and emblem books, and even adapted as political satires. Several anonymous seventeenth century paintings after Karel van Manders prints are known.

The introduction discusses Karel van Manders association with publishers and engravers, his preparatory drawings for the prints, the authors of the texts on the prints (which is included in the original and in English translation in an appendix), later editions and the historiography of the artists oeuvre.

Published in 1999
Compiler: Marjolein Leesberg
Editors: Huigen Leeflang and Christiaan Schuckman
ISBN: 978-90-75607-35-2
330 pp.

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