Colosseum 3 - 1550Colosseum 3 - 1550
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  • Colosseum 3 - 1550
  • Colosseum 3 - 1550
  • Colosseum 3 - 1550
  • Colosseum 3 - 1550

Colosseum 3 - 1550

Item Code: 1470a

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Colosseum 3, Cock 1551


Roman Antiquities

One from a series of 24 numbered and lettered etchings +title engraved and published by Hieronymus Cock:

Praecipua aliquot Romanae antiquitatis ruinarum monimenta, vivis prospectibus, ad veri imitationem affabre designata
In florentiss.[ima] Antuerpia per Hiro.[nymus] Coc[k]. Mense Maio, Anno M.D.LI.
Cum caesa privilegio ad VIII an

Colossaei Ro.[mani] prospectus 3
(Colosseum prospect 3

 This etching shows a section of the Colosseum.  At the time as he was publishing his first series of ruins in Antwerp, Cock was also publishing maps. The inscription "PROSPECTUS" alerts beholders that the image is a view, rather than a plan.

Cock journeyed to Rome between 1546-8 intending to study antique sculpture, but became fascinated with the Palatine monuments, mounting expeditions to the Colosseum and the Baths of Diocletian. The drawings for several prints, survives a.o. now in Edinburgh, and were likely executed by Cock on the spot.

 As the other etchings from this early series, it was etched by Cock himself in the first years after his return from Rome in 1548. As a publisher, Cock would have been well aware of the potential for ruins to appeal to collectors of art as well as those interested in Rome. The series were important and came to exert a lasting influence on landscape painting from mid-century, informing the work of Pieter Bruegel the Elder and Veronese.
(description credit to: Christopher P. Heuer, Assistant Professor, History of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University)

Early impression on Gotic P watermarked paper





Additional Information

SKU 1470a
Picture Size 24,60 cm x 34 cm
Specification Print
technic Etching
Artist Hieronymus Cock
period 16th Century
School Flemish
subject Landscape
rating *****

Hieronymus Cock (1510 - 1570)

hieronymus CockBorn in Antwerp about 1520, Cock was painter, printmaker and art dealer as well as a print publisher. Son of Jan Wellens de Cock, brother of Matthijs. 1545 in St Luke Guild in Antwerp. He visited Rome in the late 1540s, which provided the impetus to start up his own publishing firm in Antwerp in 1548, 'Aux Quatre Vents'. He made a few of the plates himself, but most were commissioned from designers and engravers, orchestrated by Cock. It was to become the most important print publishing firm from outside Italy before his death in 1570. The firm was continued by his widow (Volcxken Diercx) until her death in 1600 (the inventory of her estate survives with a list of her plates). Many of the plates were later taken over by Philips Galle, a family friend and her executor.

Together with his wife Volcxken Diericx he was one of the first in Northern Europe to establish a publishing company for prints. From 1548 onwards their Aux Quatre Vents (At the Sign of the Four Winds) print-publishing house issued hundreds of important etchings and engravings. Prints after frescoes and paintings by Raphael and Bronzino, the first series of classical ruins and antique sculpture, as well as designs by Northern artists such as Maarten van Heemskerck, Frans Floris and Hans Vredeman de Vries were disseminated in large numbers all over Europe, helping to spread Renaissance ideals of beauty. It was Cock who had an eye for the talent of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, who was to supply him with over sixty designs for prints. Cock also took the initiative to produce engravings of some of Hieronymus Bosch's monumental imaginative compositions.

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