The Paintings of Maerten van Heemskerck: A Catalogue Raisonée

Harrison, Jefferson C., Department of Art, University of Virginia
Barolsky, Paul, Department of Art, University of Virginia
Midelfort, H C E, Department of History, University of Virginia

This dissertation offers a full, critical catalogue of the paintings of the sixteenth-century North Netherlandish artist, Maerten van Heemskerck (Heemskerck, 1498-- Haarlem, 1474). The catalogue is divided into two parts. The first presents in chronological order all extant paintings by Heemskerck known to the present writer. It also contains those paintings produced by Heemskerck with the assistance of his Haarlem atelier or by helpers working under his guidance. The second part of the catalogue includes paintings by Heemskerck that are lost, but whose compositions survive in later, non-atelier copies. Issues of style, dating, iconography, patronage, documentation, and literary and pictorial sources are addressed in depth in the catalogue, and eight paintings are newly attributed there to Heemskerck, six of them important early works traditionally ascribed to Heemskerck's teacher, Jan van Scorel.

The catalogue is preceded by an introductory essay that traces broadly the course of Heemskerck's life and development as an artist. Heemskerck·'s early years (1498-1527) and initial training under Cornelis Willemsz. of Haarlem and Jan Lucasz. of Delft are discussed, as are Heemskerck's period of activity (ca. 1527-30) in Scorel's Haarlem atelier and his brief work as an independent Haarlem master before his departure for Rome in 1532. The nature of Heemskerck's early Haarlem painting style --a decidedly Scorelesque, but more robust and energetic manner--is distinguished from that of Scorel's contemporary style, thereby laying the groundwork for the six reattributions discussed fully in the catalogue.

In the section devoted to his Roman sojourn (1532- ca. 1537), Heemskerck's position within the Roman art world of the 1530s is discussed, as are his probable relationship with the Netherlandish cardinal, Willem van Enckenvoirt, and his endorsement of Roman Maniera style, which reached full flower in his St. Lawrence altarpiece of 1539-43. The final two sections of the introduction deal with Heemskerck's first post-Roman style of ca. 1537- 50--a virtuoso Maniera mode--and the subsequent quieting of Maniera after 1550, a change brought on in part by the compositional challenges imposed by his own growing corpus of print designs, particularly those devoted to Old Testament stories and the moralizing philosophy of Dirck Volckertsz. Coornhert.

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PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Heemskerk, Martin van -- 1498-1574

Volume I: Introduction The Life and Art of Maerten Van Heemskerck

Volume II: Catalogue Raisonne: numbers 45-104; A/1-A/11 selected bibliography

Volume III: Illustrations, Heemskerck's Paintings: figures 1-126

Volume IV: Illustrations, Comparative Works: figures 127-292

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