Guide for Constructing the Letter R

Joris Hoefnagelabout 1591–1596

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

In this example of a letter Rfrom Joris Hoefnagel's constructed alphabet, the artist provides both a geometric template and a completed character on the square grids at the center of the page. The letter also introduces the phrase written in gold at the bottom of the page "Rex omnis terrae Deus psallite" (Sing praises to God, King of all the earth), which inspired the inclusion of a singing cherub at center and a pipe organ at bottom. The earth appears twice, presenting both of its hemispheres, with California visible at far left.


  • Title: Guide for Constructing the Letter R
  • Creator: Joris Hoefnagel
  • Date Created: about 1591–1596
  • Location Created: Vienna, Austria
  • Physical Dimensions: Leaf: 16.6 × 12.4 cm (6 9/16 × 4 7/8 in.)
  • Type: Folio
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Watercolors, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 86.MV.527.138
  • Culture: Flemish and Hungarian
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. 20, fol. 138
  • Creator Display Name: Joris Hoefnagel (Flemish / Hungarian, 1542 - 1600)
  • Classification: Manuscripts (Documents)

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