IV. Cartouches from the Maps of Joan Blaeu

From the Image Archive

Todd van Hulzen shares his scans and files from historic archives on the subjects of architecture and the arts

Joan Willemsz. Blaeu (1596 – 1673) was one of the most prolific mapmakers of his time. He was also an innovator in the field of the decorative motif. Dutch mapmakers were of the first to take the classical elements used in traditional cartouches from early-baroque Italy, and transform them into whimsical —sometimes even macabre and fleshy— romantic tableaux. Compare the work of Joan Blaeu with that of his father Willem from a generation earlier, and this becomes evident. I would like to know what the relationship was between mapmakers such as Blaeu, who could always afford to let the imagination run wild, and the great silversmiths Johannes Lutma and Adrian van Vianen, who were creating
revolutionary new forms within a far more conservative medium. These two genres show remarkable resemblances. The question is, who influence who?

Image Archive

Title: Cartouches from the Atlas Maior
Author: Joan Blaeu (1596 – 1673)
Subject: illustrated frames and details
Year: 1662
Source: Various

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