Tachtigjarige Oorlog (The Eighty Years' War)

Franz Hogenberg (1540?-1590?). Geertruidenberg durch die Geusen entsetzt, 28 August 1573. Engraving. On deposit from Bruce Willsie, class of 1986.

Franz Hogenberg was a painter, printmaker, and publisher during the late renaissance. By the time he settled in Cologne in the 1570s, he had already begun a chronicle of the Dutch Revolt, also known as the Eighty Years’ War, through a massive series of engravings. The events depicted in these prints pre-date the protestant revolt, beginning with scenes from the 1530s and continue well into the 1600s. Although Hogenberg died some time around 1590, his son Abraham took over the work and completed the project.

Father and son published their Geschichtsblätter (history papers) in various forms during their lifetime but happily, the entire work was reissued in a 1983 facsimile edition by Fritz Hellwig. [GARF Oversize D231 .H64 1983f] The series includes battle scenes on land and sea, portraits of the major figures, maps, ransacking of churches, hangings, elections, elegant parades, and brutal slaughters. When seen in chronological order, the prints take the viewer on an almost week-by-week journey through 16th- and 17th-century Dutch history.

Princeton University library is fortunate to have a large set of these engravings currently on deposit in the graphic arts collection. The set of 157 prints begins with the title plate of the Geschichtsblätter and ends with a scene in 1610. To search the prints, use the Visuals database at: http://libweb5.princeton.edu/RareBooks/database.asp