COORNHERT, Dirck Volkertszoon (1522-1590) - MACK, Georg the Elder (fl. 1556-1601) - HEEMSKERCK, Maarten Van (1498-1574). The Conquest of Tunis. Antwerp: Hieronymous Cock, 1556.

$ 60,000.00

Single sheet, mounted and framed (6 ¼ x 9 inches). FINE engraving and etching, with transparent wash and body color, highlighted with gold and silver.

Provenance: Signed "GM," most likely Georg Mack the Elder.

First edition. EXTREMELY FINE engraving by Coornhert after a drawing by Heemskerck, ILLUMINATED and SIGNED by Georg Mack the Elder. Exhibited in "Painted Prints: The Revelation of Color in Northern Renaissance & Baroque Engravings, Etchings & Woodcuts," 2002, no. 42, at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Number 7 in a series of 12 engravings entitled "The Victories of Emperor Charles V."

"In 1556 Hieronymus Cock published a series of 12 engravings, with a separate title page, on the theme of the victories of Emperor Charles V. The designs were by Maarten van Heemskerck, and the plates were cut by Dirck Volckertsz. Coornhert...'The victories of Charles V' exalts the mighty deeds of the emperor. The title page refers to the prints as 'images of paternal triumphs' ('paternarum victoriarum imagines'), and the dedication is to Charles's successor as Lord of the Netherlands, so the series may well have been intended to urge Philip to follow in his father's footsteps...

"Beneath the seventh print we are told that 'The emperor enters Tunis in triumph, victorious through his courage in the war; the African yields at once and is put to Flight.' 'The Africa' is the infamous pirate-admiral Barbarossa who terrorized the western Mediterranean, attacking the galleys of the Christians and transporting crew and passengers to serve as slaves. On the corsair's conquest of Tunis in 1534, in which King Muley Hassan, who declined towards Spain, was routed, the emperor decided to send an expedition against him. The print shows the army advancing through the city gates into Tunis. On the right, the emperor himself can be seen in full regalia. The knight beside him is probably Andrea Doria, his admiral, who is mentioned in the sources as always being at his side.

"Heemskerck can hardly be said to have depicted a north African city here, and the print was clearly not influenced by the realistic cartoons produced by Jan Vermeyen, who had accompanied the expeition to make a pictorial record of the war, and who had made sketches on the spot for a series of tapestries" (Rosier, "The victories of Charles V: a series of prints by Maarten van Heemskerck, 1555-56").

"The Nuremberg court records indicate that the Mack family - Hans, Georg the Elder, and Georg the Younger - were among the most active and important 'Briefmaler' and 'Illuministen' in the city in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries...The family's output of painted prints was prodigious, and many of the most sumptuously colored engravings known today were executed by them. Their painted prints must also have been admired during their day, because they identified their work with monograms. The family members painted in a refined style, imitative of miniature painting and manuscript illumination, employing a diverse palette of transparent and opaque colors" (Dackerman, "Painted Prints: The Revelation of Color" catalogue). New Hollstein 530.

72MMS248