BOS, Cornelis
(b. ca. 1510, 's Hertogenbosch, d. ca. 1566, Groningen)


Cornelis Bos (also spelt Bosch, or Sylvius Bus), Flemish printmaker. In 1540 he was registered as a citizen of Antwerp and became a member of the city's Guild of St Luke, although it is possible he was in the city for some time before this date. His first known engraving is Prudence and Justice (1537) after Maarten van Heemskerck. There are several engravings based on Classical statues (e.g. Laokoon, 1548) and the work of Marcantonio Raimondi and Agostino Veneziano, suggesting that Bos may have gone to Rome some time before 1540. It is, however, possible that Bos copied the Italian originals from drawings or prints brought back from Italy by other artists.

Between 1540 and 1544 Bos worked in Antwerp as an engraver. Many of his engravings served as illustrations for books, including two treatises on architecture by Vitruvius and Serlio, which were published by Pieter Coecke van Aelst. Bos also provided woodcut designs for a book on anatomy produced by the printer and publisher Antoine de Goys and for a book on Moorish arabesque ornament (Livre de moresques, Paris, 1546), the title-page of the latter playing a crucial role in the development of grotesque scrollwork in Holland. It is generally agreed that this type of ornament was first introduced by Cornelis Floris but that it was Bos who made important contributions to its development, providing a source of inspiration to subsequent generations of craftsmen. Apart from architectural, anatomical and decorative designs, Bos also produced prints of biblical, mythological and allegorical subjects.

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