Artist: After Cornelis Floris II (Netherlandish, Antwerp before 1514β1575 Antwerp)
Artist: Johannes van Doetecum the elder (Netherlandish, active 1554βca. 1600, died 1605)
Artist: Lucas van Doetecum (Netherlandish, active 1554β72, died before 1589)
Dimensions: Overall: 14 7/16 x 11 7/16 x 5/16 in. (36.6 x 29 x 0.8 cm)
Classifications: Albums, Prints, Ornament & Architecture
Credit Line: Purchase, Anne and Carl Stern Gift, 1959
Accession Number: 59.642.32
In his early career in Antwerp, the sculptor Cornelis Floris proved himself to be one of the most inventive designers of ornament. He took inspiration from Italian grotesque decorations and developed his own vocabulary of often exotic creatures that inhabit a world of strapwork. Invertebrates and sea creatures play a prominent role in the designs, which illustrates the contemporary tastes for the bizarre, but also might be linked to Antwerp's success in trade by sea. This particular type of grotesque became characteristic for Antwerp during the 1540s and 1550s, and is sometimes even specifically referred to as "Floris grotesque," although several hands can be distinguished in extant designs.