Guide for Constructing the Letters h and i

Joris Hoefnagelabout 1591–1596

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

This guide to the construction of the lower-case letters h and i faces the page containing the letters f and g. A fanciful mask, whose drooping cheeks recall the frowning mouth of the similarly placed mask on the facing page, dominates the center of the page. A lush cornucopia arises from the top of the mask, and long-necked birds attack from both sides. A furry lap dog beneath an elaborate canopy occupies the lower border, serenely unaware of the scene above. The dog may have symbolic meaning as an embodiment of pure Christian faithfulness.


  • Title: Guide for Constructing the Letters h and i
  • 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.527.144
  • Culture: Flemish and Hungarian
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. 20, fol. 144
  • Creator Display Name: Joris Hoefnagel (Flemish / Hungarian, 1542 - 1600)
  • Classification: Manuscripts (Documents)

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