Johannes van Doetecum the Elder (Netherlandish, active 1554–ca. 1600, died 1605) and Lucas van Doetecum (Netherlandish, active 1554–72, died before 1589), after Cornelis Floris II (Netherlandish, before 1514–1575)
14 7/16 x 11 7/16 x 5/16 in. (36.6 x 29 x 0.8 cm)
Purchase, Anne and Carl Stern Gift, 1959 (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.