Dr Iain Buchanan




University of Auckland, New Zealand



The Four Winds: The House of the Antwerp Print Publisher Hieronymus Cock


The painter and etcher Hieronymus Cock (1518-1570) was also the most important print publisher in sixteenth century Antwerp. From 1548 onwards he issued a large number of prints which were distributed all over Europe from his house Die Vier Winden (The Four Winds). Cock only made a small number of prints himself and instead employed professional engravers, such as Peter van den Heyden and Frans Huys, who cut the designs supplied to Cock by some of the most important artists of the period, among them Pieter Bruegel, Frans Floris and Maarten van Heemskerck.
The first location of Die Vier Winden was close to the New Bourse at the corner of the Katelijnevest and Korte-Lange Nieuwstraat. However, on 17 November 1563, Cock purchased a new house from the Antwerp City painter Jan Leys in the Arenbergstraat, which he renamed Die Vier Winden. As the name indicates, both of these houses were located at cross streets. The Arenbergstraat was part of a new development, close to the new Tapestry Pand, which had been subdivided by the developer Gilbert van Schoonbeke in the 1550s. Hieronymus Cock died in 1570 but his widow Volcxken Diercx remarried Lambert Bottin and carried on the business until her death on 23 December 1600, when it was wound up and sold.
Neither of Cock’s two houses exists today but in the Antwerp City Archive is a ground plan of his house in the Arebergstraat, drawn up on 30 March 1574 (NS) by two surveyors, Hendrick van Passchen and Adriaen Bosch, which names the various rooms and gives their dimensions. This plan can be supplemented by the detailed inventory of the house which was made in 1601 on the death of Volcxken Diercx. On this basis it is possible to reconstruct the appearance of the house in the sixteenth century along with its furniture and paintings.
This paper will reconstruct the arrangement and contents of Cock’s house in 1601, which included a large number of his prints, his copper plates, his furniture and the paintings he owned. The house will also be considered in relation to the contemporary paintings of Kitchen Scenes by the Antwerp artists Peter Aertsen and Joachim Beuckelaer, and to the paintings of imaginary house interiors by Hans Vredeman de Vries.


Wednesday 28 September


11:00am - 12.30pm






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