Dossier:Drebbels Etches

From Cornelis Drebbel
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Collected information about the etches Drebbel made.

Drebbel was an engraver by profession when living in Holland at Haarlem and Alkmaar as a pupil of his brother-in-law, Hendrick Goltzius and, as was quite usual in those days, he published his engravings himself. These engravings, though rare and few in number, are excellent, especially a map of the city of Alkmaar engraved in 1597, which is a masterpiece. Click here for an enlarged view. The copper plate of this engraving is preserved to this day in the Municipal Archives of Alkmaar. Other engravings, too, which are still left to us all show clearly how expert Drebbel was in handling the burin or engraver's chisel. Those still extant are:

  • The Seven Liberal Arts (Septem Artes Liberales), after Hendrick Goltzius. The three most interesting of these are shown in our illustrations, namely: Grammar, Music and Astronomy. In the right hand lower corner of the representations of the two last named we see clearly Drebbel’s monograms, probably the same kind of monograms with which he later hall-marked his instruments.
  • 3 Etches by Drebbel (after Karel van Manderen): 
  • Juno, after Karel van der Mander, an artist known especially on account of his 'Book of Painters', in which he discussed many painters, ancient and modern (1604). Like Drebbel he was an anabaptist.
  • The Judgement of Solomon, after Karel van der Mander.
  • Esther and Ahasverus, after the same artist.

  • One of a series of five engravings, after H. Goltzius representing The five senses, which appeared in 1596. The four others, Sight, Hearing, Smell and Taste, were cut by Nic. Clock; only the last, Feeling, was done by Drebbel

For the sake of completeness, 3 etches by Hendrick Goltzius' stepson Jacob Goltzius / Matham.

1597 Alkmaar Map enlarge
1597 Alkmaar CD kaart.jpg
Map of Alkmaar detail.jpg
Note: Cornelis Drebbel, was born in
1572 at Verdronkenoord (yellow star)
in Alkmaar. Two men on the Mientbrug:
Adriaen Antoniszn, the surveyor and
Cornelis Drebbel the innovator ?