Author

Karel van Mander

Karel van Mander (1548-1606) is known mainly as a poet and author, although in his own day he was also successful as a painter and a designer of prints and tapestries. He was born in Meulebeke in Flanders and spent several years in Rome before settling in Haarlem in 1583 and helping to found an academy of painting, where he taught for twenty years. His pupils included Frans Hals.

The Book of Painters

The Book of Painters

(Wereldbibliotheek, 1604, 200 pages)

Karel van Mander’s monumental The Book of Painters of 1604 was underpinned by literary scholarship as well as a familiarity with the practice of painting. It was a winning combination. In writing the book, Van Mander set out to educate young artists who had yet to learn the trade and become its worthy practitioners. Over the years The Book of Painters became an indispensable, entertaining source of knowledge, both of the painters of the Low Countries and of their work in the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Read more