WIERIX, Jan
(b. 1549, Antwerpen, d. ca. 1618, Bruxelles)

The Painter Jan Mabuse

1572
Engraving, height 320 mm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

This engraving is from "Pictorum aliquot celebrium Germaniae inferioris effigies (Portraits of some Celebrated Artists of the Low Countries)" by Dominicus Lampsonius (1532–1599), a Flemish humanist, poet, and artist. This publication contains a series of twenty-three engraved portraits of artists from the Low Countries. Lampsonius provided poems in Latin to accompany the individual portraits. He identified Mabuse (Jan Gossart) as the one who taught his century how to paint with a meticulously fine finish reminiscent of Apelles and who displayed a mastery unequaled in his own time.

The engraving represents Gossart extravagantly dressed, having short, curly hair, a beard and mustache, and a long flat nose ending in wide nostrils. This likeness was probably based on the only known portrait of the artist in his lifetime, an early sixteenth-century medal by Hans Schwarz.