- Abraham Ortelius as intermediary for the Antwerp animal trailblazers
- Jahrbuch für Europäische Wissenschaftskultur
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR)
In this article the renowned cartographer and humanist Abraham Ortelius is presented - for the first time - as an intermediary between natural historian and Antwerp artists engaged in animal series. The humanist circles that he frequented in Antwerp must have brought him in contact with natural historians, as his extant correspondence and album amicorum indicate. As a businessman dealing in prints and drawings, among other things, and a collector himself, he had a large artistic network as well. Thus he was in the perfect position to act as a mediator between natural historians on one hand and artists on the other. However, to be able to understand more fully the central role Ortelius played, it does not suffice to forcus solely on his written correspondence and the contributions made by natural historians and artists in his album amicorum. For that reason, this article examines visual sources in depth and it addresses drawn, painted, and printed animal series by artists working in or around Antwerp. Almost all of these artists had direct contact with Ortelius and it is argued that it was Ortelius who brought the artists in contact with each others' work. By discussing the dissemination of certain animal motifs, it is possible to discern the importance of the intermediary role that Abraham Ortelius must have played.
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