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The Life of Lambert Lombard (1565); and Effigies of Several Famous Painters from the Low Countries (1572)


Available November 2021

Dominicus Lampsonius
Edited and translated by Edward H. Wouk, with translation assistance by Helen E. B. Dalton and Julene Abad Del Vecchio

Among the earliest written texts on the history and theory of Netherlandish art, these two key writings are now available together in an English translation.

Dominicus Lampsonius’s The Life of Lambert Lombard (1565) is the earliest published biography of a Netherlandish artist. This neo-Latin account of the life of the painter, architect, and draftsman Lambert Lombard of Liège offers a theoretical exposition on the nature and ideal practice of Netherlandish art, emphasizing Lombard’s intellectual curiosity, interest in antiquity, attentive study of the human body, and exemplary generosity as a teacher.

This volume offers the first English edition of The Life of Lambert Lombard, complemented by a new translation of the inscriptions Lampsonius composed to accompany the Effigies of Several Famous Painters from the Low Countries (1572), a cycle of twenty-three engraved portraits of Netherlandish artists developed in collaboration with the print publisher Hieronymus Cock. 

Together, The Life of Lambert Lombardand the Effigies established frameworks for a distinctly Netherlandish history of art. Responding to a growing sense of Netherlandish cultural and political identity on the eve of the Dutch Revolt, these texts proposed a critical alternative to Giorgio Vasari’s Lives of the Artists and its Italian model of art historical development, celebrating local ingenuity and skill. They remain the starting point for any history of the northern Renaissance.

Dominicus Lampsonius (1532–1599) was a Flemish polymath humanist, poet, and painter, who worked as Latin secretary to a succession of Catholic bishops, including the embattled English Cardinal Reginald Pole. Edward H. Wouk is reader in art history and visual studies (1400–1800) at the University of Manchester and the author of Frans Floris (1519/20–1570): Imagining a Northern Renaissance (2018).

176 pages
7 x 10 inches
18 color and 64 b/w illustrations
ISBN 978-1-60606-740-6

Getty Publications
Imprint: Getty Research Institute
Series: Texts & Documents