BOOKS ON ARCHITECTURE
|| Grapheus (De Schrijvers), Cornelius (Cornelis)
Coecke van Aelst, Pieter
|| Le triumphe d’Anvers, faict en la susception du Prince
Philips... Anno 1549...
|| Antwerp, G. Coopens van Diest, 1550
|| Paris, Binha, 4 Res 1404
end of the 1540s, Charles V made a trip to the Northern Provinces, accompanied
by his son Philip. The "Joyous Entries" into the cities of
Flanders and Brabant served almost as enthronements; from the viewpoint
of a succession, perhaps not far off, the Emperor was anxious to have
the Spanish Infante recognized as the future sovereign of the Seventeen
Provinces through organizing sumptuous festivities. At the same time,
these prestigious events were an echo of those which celebrated Henri
II's accession in France with well-known splendour. Thus, at almost
the same time in 1549, the king of France made his entry into Paris
and Philip of Spain into Ghent and Antwerp. Only five engravings remain
from the entry into Ghent, at the University Library of Ghent; the entry
into Antwerp however is well known thanks to superb registers published
as early as 1550 in Latin (Spectaculorum susceptione Philippi Hisp.
Prin. Divi Caroli V. Caes. F. An. MDXLIX...), in Dutch (De seer wonderlijcke schoone triumphelijcke Incompst) and in French.
of these works is a secretary of the city, Cornelis de Schrijvers, also
known as Grapheus. Very honestly, he takes care to warn the reader that
he will not see in the book what really happened : "Premièrement,
que a l’heure de lentree du Prince, commencea moult fort a plouvoir
sans cesser, de sorte de a son entrée (au moyen d’icelle
grosse & continuelle pluye) ne a pas bien este possible veoir au
vif moult de choses, ny ne ont este assez amplement demonstrees selon
l’intention que l’on avoit entreprins. Secondement, que
sa venue a este plus briefve que lon esperoit estre, au moien de laquelle
celerite, a eu moult de chose de grandt consequence non du tout accomplie,
lesquelles touteffois sont ici de nous applicquees, comme sy touttes
avoient este achevees". Thus Grapheus propose an ideal restitution
of the ceremony rather than a faithful report. In addition, he specifies
that the representations of the arches and the "échafauds"
are due to "Pierre de Allos painctre de la Majesté Impériale",
otherwise known as Pieter Coecke d'Alost, well known to historians of
architecture for having written the first treatise in Dutch, Die Inventie der colommen, in 1539
and done the Dutch, German and French translations of Sebastiano Serlio;
painter and architect, he was also a publisher. According to the colophon,
the book was printed "pour Pierre Coeck d'Allost, libraire juré…par
Gillis van Diest".
takes on a particular importance. Certainly, Pieter Coecke did not create
all of the arches that the prince saw (or should have seen) during his
entry. We know in particular that the arch of the Genoise was built
by an Italian architect. But he is the one who engraved them and reduced
them to the same scale. And his drawings, whether they are faithful
copies or personal restitutions, testify clearly to a new architectural
culture in the Provinces of the North. In fact Serlio inspired many
of his compositions. The "théâtre" near the "césarienne"
entrance (f. D 3), as well as the entry to the "Galerie des
Florentins" (f. H 4) greatly resemble the arch of Verona as the
Terzo libro represents it. One can find there the very unusual
movement of the entablature protrusions, occasional on the sides and
continuous above the central opening crowned with a pediment, like the
niches between the columns of the lateral parts. The placing of the
"trygliph-consoles" above the columns of the scaffold of the
Pont du Lait (f. K 2) clearly evoke a Doric door in the Quarto
libro. The arch mounted in the Hoochstraat (f. L 4) goes back
to the model of the arch of Pola: the fluted Corinthian columns are
paired and placed on square stylobates; the entablature protrudes above
the capitals. Lastly, more spectacular, the arch "de la nation
d'Espagne", in folios E 2v° and E 3, is a small temple with
a centered plan decorated with four corner obelisks erected on a Doric
platform, an obvious variation on the model of folio 58 of the Quarto
libro. It was enough to raise the base of the rusticated ground
storey to make an arch allowing one to pass through, and to transform
the engaged columns of the Serlian monument into free-standing columns
in order to give a false air of Bramantesque tempietto to the
upper part. If in some cases a few stylistic details betray a Spanish
influence (in particular the presence of friezes under the cornice of
the pedestals, perhaps inspired by Sagredo's treatise), if the spirit
of the decoration, strongly marked by the taste for grotesques and leatherwork
in the Fontainebleau style, is very northern, the invention is undeniably
Serlian, and the register of the entry no doubt contributed greatly
to the diffusion of modern forms in northern Europe.
Yves Pauwels (Centre d'études supérieures
de la Renaissance, Tours) – 2009
A. Corbet, Pieter Coecke van Aelst, Antwerp, De Stikkel, coll.
Maederlandtbibliotheek 21, 1950.
K. De Jonge, "Le livret de l’Entrée du prince Philippe
à Anvers par Cornelis Grapheus et Pieter Coecke, à Anvers
en 1550", S. Deswarte-Rosa (ed.), Sebastiano Serlio à
Lyon. Architecture et imprimerie, Lyon, Mémoire active,
2004, pp. 482-483.
W. Eisler, "Celestial Harmonies ans Hapsburg Rule : Levels of
Meaning in a Triumphal Arch for Philip II in Antwerp, 1549", B. Wisch & S. Scott Munshower (ed.), "All
the World’s a stage...", Art and Pageantry in the Renaissance
and Baroque. I, Triumphal Celebrations and the Rituals of Statecraft,
Papers in Art History from Pennsylvania State University, 6, University
Park, Pennsylvania State University, 1990, pp. 332-356.
W. Kuyper, The Triumphant Entry of Renaissance Architecture into
the Netherlands. The Joyeuse Entrée of Philip of Spain into Antwerp
in 1549, Renaissance and Manierism Architecture in the Low Countries
from 1530 to 1630, Alphen aan den Rijn, Canaletto, 1994.
J. Landwehr, Splendid Ceremonies State Entries and Royal Funerals
in the Low Countries 1515-1791. A Bibliography, Nieuwkoop/Leiden,
de Graaf/Sijthoff, 1971.
Y. Pauwels, "Propagande architecturale et rhétorique
du Sublime : Serlio et les Joyeuses Entrées de 1549",
Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 137, May-June 2001, pp. 221-236.
Y. Pauwels, "Fête, propagande et image imprimée :
les “Joyeuses entrées” de Gand et d’Anvers
(1559)", R. Crescenzo (ed.), Espaces de l’image,
Nancy, Université de Nancy II, 2002, pp. 167-188.
F. Prims, "Het eigen werk van Cornelis Grapheus (1482-1558)",
Antwerpiensa. Losse Bijdragen tot de Antwepsche Geschiedenis,
Antwerp, De Vlijt, 1938, pp. 172-190.
E. J. Roobaert, "De Seer Wondelycke Schoone Triumphelycke Incompst
van den Hooghmogenden Prince Philips… in de Stadt Antwerpen, Anno
1549", Bulletin van de Koninklijke Musea voor Schone Kunsten
van België, 9, 1960, 1-2, pp. 37-74.
S. Schele, "Pieter Coecke and Cornelis Bos", Oud Holland,
77, 1962, pp. 235-240.
S. Schele, Cornelis Bos. A Study of the Origins of the Netherland
Grotesque, Stockholm, Almquvist & Wiksell, 1965.