CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

From the Library: The Book Illustrations by Romeyn de Hooghe

Exhibition: 20 September 2014 - 25 January 2015

Information from the museum, December 2014

Artistically gifted and socially well connected, Romeyn de Hooghe (1645–1708) can help us to unravel the complexities of the late Dutch Golden Age, particularly through his vast and varied oeuvre of book illustrations. At a time when the Dutch Republic enjoyed great wealth and colonial expansion while also becoming embroiled in often tense interactions with its European neighbors, de Hooghe was commissioned for all manner of book projects. He provided etchings and decorative frontispieces for scholarly works, such as emblem books, histories, and works of literature, many of which he also authored; he illustrated works of piety, cartography, and festival books; and he published, sometimes anonymously, political satire and commentary. De Hooghe was involved in all aspects of late seventeenth-century life. Though we do not know where he studied, this prolific artist was certainly influenced by the work of Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640), and in turn he influenced many printmakers and illustrators of the early eighteenth century. Yet despite this influence and his powerful connections with the House of Orange, de Hooghe was largely forgotten until the late nineteenth century, and only in recent generations have scholars fully delved into the large body of his surviving work. This exhibition presents examples of the many genres to which de Hooghe contributed to give an account of his personal artistry and knowledge as well as of the world in which he worked.