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HOGENBERGISCHE GESCHICHTSBLÄTTER: Als der Prins war gebracht zur todt…. Anno Dni. 1584. Julij

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Copper engraving and etching: sheet: 27 x 36 cm (10.63x 14.2 inches), plate: 20 x 27 cm (7.9 x 10.63 inches), (tears and holes in white margins, otherwise in a good condition).

 

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The broadside shows the brutal assassination of Balthasar Gérard (1557-1584), the murderer of William the Silent (1533 – 1584), also known as William of Orange, in Delft on July 14th, 1584.

The scene shows the murderer’s right hand being burned off with a red-hot iron and his heart torn out. The flesh of his body was also pinched off, before he was quartered and disemboweled alive and finally decapitated.

 

„Hogenbergische Geschichtsblätter“

The Hogenbergische Geschichtsblätter or Hogenberg’s History Sheets was a series of broadsides, printed in fine etching and / or copper engraving and representing events between circa 1530 until 1627, political scenes and portraits.

The series was started in 1580 by the famous engraver Frans Hogenberg (1535-1590), possibly as a lucrative commercial move, which brought more money than elaborate and expensive atlases, and was continued after Frans’s death by his workshop under the direction of his widow Agnes Hogenberg-Lomar and later his son Abraham Hogenberg (ca. 1578-1653) until the first decades of the 17th century.

Almost 400 sheets are known today from the series, most of them being exceedingly rare, as they were at the time sold in a form, which could be closely compared to today’s newspapers. After the news went out of date, these broadsides were often thrown away. The series were also sold as collections, bound in books.

Today Hogenbergische Geschichtsblätter offer a valuable insight on the events of the 16th and early 17th century, combined with the prime craftmanship of the time.

 

Frans Hogenberg

Frans Hogenberg (1535-1590), a Fleming was one of the era’s greatest engravers, who is mostly known by his cooperation with Georg Braun (1541-1622) on one of the greatest geographical works of the late 16th century Civitates Orbis Terrarum, the first great ‘town book’, featuring bird’s eye views of cities in Europe. Inspired by Abraham Ortelius’ groundbreaking atlas, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Antwerp, 1570), which featured all of the world’s known regions in detail (of which many of the maps were engraved by Hogenberg), Braun and Hogenberg aimed to depict all of the World’s major cities.  Braun was largely responsible for writing and editing the highly entertaining text, while Hogenberg and the esteemed Antwerp artist Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1600) engraved most of the magnificent views. During the latter years of the project, the engraving of the views was ably taken up by Hogenberg and Hoefnagel’s sons, Abraham Hogenberg and Jacob Hoefnagel.

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