Construction and Collapse on Paper: Clades Judacae Gentis of Maarten van Heemskerck, 1569 公开

Allitt, Frances Catherine (2012)

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Construction and Collapse on Paper: Clades Judacae Gentis of Maarten van Heemskerck,
By Frances C. E. Allitt
Maarten van Heemskerck was an artist who lived in the Low Countries in the Sixteenth
Century. He was one of the first Northern European artists to devote a large amount of time
to the production of prints using the new professionalized system. Like many of his
contemporaries he was influenced by the growing popularity of biblical illustrations
functioning as moral exempla, and near the end of his life produced a series of 22 prints titled
Clades Judacae Gentis, or The Vicissitudes of the Jewish People. This paper is an exegetical
study of the series, examining the works both individually and in a narrative context. It is
possible to understand the portion of the series that focuses on the Old Testament as divided
into groups of six, and further subdivided into pairs. The following two scenes are
illustrations of the New Testament and the first and last images stand alone. Through these
groupings, Van Heemskerck shows his viewers how God's relationship with the Israelites
worsens throughout their history and eventually disintegrates entirely. The artist uses the
visual tradition of the Northern and Italian Renaissance and portrays himself as a latter-day
ancient in his understanding and use of architecture.

Table of Contents


Introduction 1

I. The Self-Fashioning of Van Heemskerck and the Style of the

Print Series 6

II. The Prints 13

1. The Frontispiece 13

2. The First Three: Stories from Genesis 21

3. Joshua and Samson: Man and God in Dialogue 35

4. The Absence of God: The Final Old Testament Scenes 45

5. The New Testament: The Final Pair 56

6. The Destruction of the Temple by the Emperor Titus: The

Final Print 61

Conclusion 64

Images 66

Bibliography 71

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