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Jacob Hoefnagel
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The Netherlands
Jacob Hoefnagel followed in the footsteps of his father Joris (1542-1600) as an engraver, painter of miniatures and portraits, and Court Painter to Rudolf II (1552-1612), the Holy Roman Emperor. Hoefnagel is particularly noted for his illustrations of natural history subjects. Born in Antwerp, he was probably trained by his father, but was also a pupil of Abraham Liesaert (ca. 1555-1594). At the age of seventeen he engraved a collection of insects and flowers after drawings by his father, published as “Archetypa studiaque patris Georgii Hoefnagelii” in Frankfurt am Main in 1592, a copy of which is in the Museums’ collection. He became a Court Painter for Rudolf II in Vienna in 1602. Documents show that he was paid in 1610 for works depicting the Emperor’s rare birds. Hoefnagel provided topographical views for the atlas Civitates orbis tererarum (Cologne, 1572-1618) by Georg Braun (1542-1622) and Franz Hogenberg (ca. 1540-ca. 1590), as did his father. He became a citizen of Prague in 1614, but after accusations of either financial irregularities or seditious political actions, he left Prague and apparently had returned to The Netherlands by 1621. Late in his life, Hoefnagel created the engravings for a book depicting over 300 insects, “Diversae Insectarum Volatium …”, published by Claaes Jansz. Visscher (1587-1652) in Amsterdam in 1630, the probable year of his death. (TNB 1/2013). Selected bibliography: Wilenski, Reginald Howard. Flemish Painters, 1430-1830. 2 vols. New York: Viking Press, 1960.