art market, England
EA van Henk
An imposing ornate (pronk) frame takes us to the south of the Netherlands, to Antwerp. It was made around 1570 to a design of the architect and sculptor Cornelis Floris II (1514–1575).
Cornelis Floris de Vriendt was an important, groundbreaking Flemish sculptor and architect. Together with his brother Frans Floris he played a pivotal role in the development of the Northern Renaissance. He created a new style in which he combined the traditional, Flemish formal language with the Italian Renaissance
Floris came from an artistic family. His father, Cornelis Floris de Vrientdt I, was a stone sculptor. Cornelis Floris II was probably an apprentice of his father’s. Cornelis Floris spent some time from 1538 until 1539 in Italy where he intensively studied contemporary Italian grotesque motifs. Cornelis was able to take a close look at the works of Antiquity while in Italy, too.
News of his father’s death terminated his trip to Italy. He returned to Italy and became Master of the Guild of Saint Luke there in 1539.
Cornelis Floris de Vriendt’s brilliant career spanned thirty-five years. He became especially famous as a designer and sculptor of magnificent tombs, including those of King Christian III of Denmark (reigned 1535–59) in Roskilde Cathedral (c. 1568–75), of the first and second wives, Dorothea and Anna-Maria, of Albert, Duke of Prussia (reigned 1525–58), as well as of the duke himself (1549–1569/73). His largest project – a gesamtkunstwerk, a ‘complete work of art’ in itself – is Antwerp city hall. Between 1561 and 1566 Floris worked in Antwerp as an architect, sculptor and designer. The imposing four-sided complex with its columns and triumphal arches was groundbreaking for the reception of works from Antiquity in northern European architecture.