Dirck Volckertsz Coornhert - Twee zwaardvechters
Twee naakte zwaardvechters. De prent maakt deel uit van een serie over twee zwaardvechters in een tweekamp.
As a child Coornhert spent some years in Spain and Portugal. After learning Latin in 1552, Coornhert published Dutch translations from Cicero, Seneca and Boethius. His 1562 translation of the first twelve books of Homer's Odyssey is one of the first major works of Dutch Renaissance poetry. He was appointed secretary to the city of Haarlem (1562) and secretary to the burgomasters (1564). Imprisoned at the Hague in 1568, he escaped to Cleves, where he maintained himself by his art. In 1572, he was for a short time secretary of state in the Dutch Republic. Inspired by his time in jail, he wrote a book "Boeventucht" on the causes of crime with ideas for more humane methods of punishment and correction. Coornhert was famous as a politician, an engraver, and a theologian. He was both against Catholics and Reformers and strove in favor of tolerance, opposing capital punishment for heretics. Coornhert also wrote a preface to the Dutch grammar published, and a number of poems. By the time he died in 1590, his Dutch translation of the New Testament (following the Latin version of Erasmus) was left unfinished. His collected works, in prose and verse, were published in 1630 in 3 volumes. Isaac D'Israeli called him "one of the fathers of Dutch literature, and even of their arts."
Since the 16th century, Dutch artists used prints to promote their art and access a wider public than what was possible for a single painting. During the Dutch Golden Age, (17th century), Dutch artists perfected the techniques of etching and engraving. The rise of printmaking in the Netherlands is attributed to a connection between Italy and the Netherlands during the 1500s. Together with the large-scale production, it allowed the expanding reach of an artist’s work. Prints were popular as collecting items, so publishing houses commissioned artists to create a drawing or a painting, and then print the work for collectors - similar to what occurs at publishing houses today. Dutch printmaking evolved rapidly, so in 16th-century etching prevailed over the engraving. Major Dutch Printmaker Artists: Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Hendrick Goltzius, Rembrandt van Rijn, Anna Maria van Schurman, Adriaen Jansz van Ostade, Ferdinand Bol.