Joris Hoefnagel: 8 works

A slideshow of artworks auto-selected from multiple collections

By Google Arts & Culture

Guide for Constructing the Letter E (about 1591–1596) by Joris HoefnagelThe J. Paul Getty Museum

'About thirty years after Georg Bocskay finished his Model Book of Calligraphy, Hoefnagel added his Guide to the Construction of Letters to the manuscript. Hoefnagel's Guide uses diagrams to demonstrate how geometric principles might be applied to typographical design.'

A Sloth (1561–1562; illumination added 1591–1596) by Joris HoefnagelThe J. Paul Getty Museum

'Hoefnagel also responded wittily to the black coloration of the page, interpreting it naturalistically as nighttime: the silvery tones of the animal's fur and the gold shimmer in the darkness.'

Guide for Constructing the Letter R (about 1591–1596) by Joris HoefnagelThe J. Paul Getty Museum

'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.'

Mira calligraphiae monumenta (Main View (.7))The J. Paul Getty Museum

'Hoefnagel¿s careful images of nature also influenced the development of Netherlandish still life painting. In addition to his fruit and flower illuminations, Hoefnagel added to the Model Book a section on constructing the letters of the alphabet in upper- and lowercase.'

Trompe l'Oeil Stem of a Maltese Cross (1561–1562; illumination added 1591–1596) by Joris HoefnagelThe J. Paul Getty Museum

'Through this defiant gesture, Joris Hoefnagel, the brilliantly inventive illuminator, continued his response to the work of master calligrapher Georg Bocskay from the previous page, dramatizing the ability of artists to create visual illusions.'

Maltese Cross, Mussel, and Ladybird (1561–1562; illumination added 1591–1596) by Joris HoefnagelThe J. Paul Getty Museum

'To preserve Bocskay's calligraphic flourish, Hoefnagel painted the flower so as to suggest that the stem pierced the page.'

Guide for Constructing the Letters f and g (about 1591–1596) by Joris HoefnagelThe J. Paul Getty Museum

'Hoefnagel modeled the fantastic mask in the center, with acorns and oak leaves twining around its horns, on a series of contemporary prints.'

Dragonfly, Pear, Carnation, and Insect (1561–1562; illumination added 1591–1596) by Joris HoefnagelThe J. Paul Getty Museum

'From the diaphanous quality of its intricately patterned wings to the textures of its hard, glossy body and delicate, feathery legs, he based the dragonfly's form on careful observation of nature.'

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