CONF May 7, 2013

Art, Knowledge and Commerce (Leuven / Brussels, 5-6 Jun 2013)

Leuven / Brussels, Jun 5–06, 2013

Annelies Vogels, Leuven


This colloquium is organized on the occasion of the exhibition Hieronymus Cock – The Renaissance in Print by Illuminare – Centre for the Study of Medieval Art (University of Leuven), Fondation Custodia – Collection Frits Lugt (Paris) and the Royal Library of Belgium (Brussels).

In 1550, Hieronymus Cock, a young painter and publisher from Antwerp published a monumental engraving after the School of Athens, the renowned fresco by Raphael in the Vatican. Not only was this a milestone in the dissemination of the Italian High Renaissance outside of Italy, it also marked the success of a relatively new form of organizing the production and distribution of prints. In response to the ever growing and rapidly internationalizing demand for printed images several European cities saw the emergence of publishing houses of various sizes throughout the 16th century.

Publishers would coordinate and finance the production of prints, from the preparatory drawings in the artist’s workshop, to the printing of the woodblock or copper plate at a specialized print shop. A business-minded publisher, coordinating the outsourcing and delegating of work thus became the prevailing standard. This naturally influenced the quality of the prints. Due to the fact that each craftsman involved in the process could dedicate himself entirely to his own specialty, the level of professionalism increased considerably. In addition, publishers had an extensive network of agents at their disposal to spread their product internationally. Quite regularly print publishers took the initiative to have specific prints, or print series designed, and they trusted the work to artists and engravers whose work was expected to be commercially successful. Often print publishers had the most decisive impact on what prints would come on the market and how they would look. It will come as no surprise then, that publishers were at the
forefront of the development of graphic art at the time.

Nevertheless, the actual study of these publishing houses, their organization and their production is a fairly recent phenomenon. Within the Romantic concept of the 'Peintre-Graveur' that exerted such a profound influence on collectors in the 19th and 20th century, the publisher – primarily a commercial actor – played no significant part.

In the past decades, much new research in this matter has been done. This has led to the wide acceptance of the idea that publishers were key figures in the artistic and commercial aspects of the society they lived in. This colloquium aims to focus on current research concerning print publishers in Early Modern Europe. Special attention
is given to commercial and organizational aspects of printing and publishing, the interaction with artists, engravers, printers and publishers, and the artistic and
commercial self-development of publishers.


5 June 2013 | M – Museum of Leuven

Leopold Van der Kelenstraat 28, 3000 Leuven

2:00 PM | Welcome by Joris Van Grieken followed by a scholarly visit to the exhibition Hieronymus Cock – The Renaissance in Print

6 June 2013 | Royal Library of Belgium, Brussels

Boulevard de l'Empereur 2, 1000 Brussels

9:30 AM | Registration with coffee
10:00 AM | Opening lecture by Ger Luijten

11:00 AM | Joris Van Grieken
No address mentioned. Hieronymus Cock’s ‘generic prints’

11:30 AM | Ed Wouk
Granvelle and Cock: new light on the aims of the Quatre Vents press

12:00 AM | Petra Maclot
The Four Winds: The House of the Antwerp Print Publisher Hieronymus Cock

12:30 AM | Virginie D’haene
Hieronymus’ Adumbrationes after Matthijs Cock: landscapes ‘in the new Italian or antique way’?

1:00 PM | Lunch break

2:00 PM | Huigen Leeflang
The Fischerman and the Cook. Hieronymus Cock, Claes Jansz. Visscher II and their Brand Names

2:30 PM | Peter Fuhring
Joannes Galle as an editor of Cock: supply and demand for sixteenth century prints in mid seventeenth century Antwerp

3:00 PM | Jan Van der Stock
The Antwerp Print Publisher Merten Peeters van Ghelle (Martinus Petri): in the Shadow of Aux Quatre Vents

3:30 PM | Coffee break

4:00 PM | Pieter Martens
City Views and Siege Maps: New Light on Hieronymus Cock’s Chorographic Prints

4:30 PM | Robrecht Janssen
‘Go on living through this painting, living through my verses’. Dominicus Lampsonius, Jan van Scorel & Anthonis Mor


Attendance to the colloquium is free however, registration is required. Register to attend the colloquium by sending an e-mail to

CONF: Art, Knowledge and Commerce (Leuven / Brussels, 5-6 Jun 2013). In:, May 7, 2013 (accessed Dec 6, 2023), <>.