Auricular Cartouche with Figures within a Strapwork Frame from Veederley Veranderinghe van grotissen ende Compertimenten. Libro Primo

Artist: After Cornelis Floris II (Netherlandish, Antwerp before 1514–1575 Antwerp)

Artist: Johannes van Doetecum the elder (Netherlandish, active 1554–ca. 1600, died 1605)

Artist: Lucas van Doetecum (Netherlandish, active 1554–72, died before 1589)

Date: 1556

Medium: Etching

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 very own vocabulary of, often exotic, creatures which inhabit a world of strapwork. Invertebrates and sea creatures play a prominent role in the designs, which illustrates the contemporary taste for the bizarre, but may also have be connected with Antwerp’s success in trade by sea. This particular type of grotesques became characteristic for Antwerp during the 1540s and 1550s, and is sometimes even specifically referred to as Floris grotesques, although several hands can be distinguished in extant designs.