22_YOUR_ COMMENTS_2ndhalf_2011


In the second half of the 19th century railwaytracks started to cover a good part of Europe. With the railway came  architectural station-buildings. In that period buildings could represent several styles, called 'eclecticism'. The Dutch top-architect P.J.H.Cuypers planned the Dutch Central Station of Amsterdam in his pitoresque interpretation of Dutch Renaissance style. It was built between 1880 and 1900. The waitingrooms were heavily decorated and the images of the medaillons were designed rather more like decorations than full paintings on the wall. With Amsterdam still one of the main ports and trade centers of Europe, it is not surprising to find Europe sitting on her bull watching the traffic from all over Europe passing by.


This wall-decoration can be found on the top of the entrance of the waitingroom firstclass; nowadays occupied by 'Burgerking'.
The design is from the Austrian painter Georg Sturm,1855-1923, and its execution by J.Visser, Professor in design of the Amsterdam Art school. Below the decoration  four poetic lines by J.A. Alberdingk Thijm, belonging to the Dutch school of 'The Eighties'

"The world is dominated by desire for Peace and Order
But as a stroke of lightning Movement breaks through
Than follows fertility, from where new blosom comes forth
No bright life sprout just from Idleness (it rust)                      ( Is this Europe's Movement over sea?)

With thanks to the observation of Maarten van der Lubbe, while he was enjoying his 'Hamburger' at the Central Station

On his study trip to Greece he also noticed a miniature wooden Kylix (drinkvessel for wine when in a recumbent position) in one of the tourists shops of Athens.


It is made in the style of the brown-figures pottery of Athens of the 5-4th century B.C. It has a diameter of about 5 cm. Europe looks rather boyish.


Of course, Greece is often discussed nowadays. Their financial difficulties have also a bearing on the EU.
This comment appeared in the Dutch daily Dagblad De Pers, 20 Juni, 2011, cartoon Argus


On top: "Europe hostage to Greece" . Pointing to the painting from Europe by Titian; he says:
"This image is also an inset on the Greek 2€ coin . Under the painting "Abduction of Europe"

The 2nd man answers: "What a prophetic title"

July 4, Rotterdam              Maarten van der Lubbe   



Ovid's Metamorphoses have been and are issued often with beautiful illustrations in all European languages.
In 1698 an illustrated  Metamorphoses with Latin captions was issues and engraved by Christian Engelbrecht,
1672-1735, in Nurnberg. His engravings were based on drawings of Johan Jacob Sandrart, 1655-1698. Below
the illustration a summary is given of the Europe myth.



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Older known illustrated Metamorphoses are from Italy and France. For example there was the Anguillar's translation from Venice in 1584, with a limited number of illustrations and without an Europe design. Still  this translation was reissued in Florence in 1824 and 1832, but now with 32 illustrations from the than famous Dante illustrator Luigi Ademollo or Ademolli. His signature is on the left corner of the engraving (22_05)

Also from  the 16th century is the French translation from Clément Marot (I&II) and B. Anneau (III), Trois premiers livres de la Metamorphose d'Ovide, Lyon, 1556. Although it are only the first three books of normally fifteen, it contains more than 40 illustrations, amongst which two of Europe, from Pierre Eskrich, born in Paris round 1520-1580/90.

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Another puzzle with illustrations  of l'Abbé Banier Metamorphoses (see also Your Comments 21) is the occurence of designs of
Bernard Picard, 1673-1733. So far I have not found any of his engravings of Europe in  the originala French edition, nor in subsequent reeditions. Bernard Picard born in Paris became protestant and settled in Amsterdam. So probably, he was no longer a persona grata in French circles, although the French 1799 edition has illustrations by Picart, but not from Europe. However, an English translation of Banier's Metamorphoses - Ovid Illustrated: the Reception of Ovid's Metamorphoses in Images and Text  - published in Amsterdam in 1732 has drawings from Picart , Philips and others, of which two Europe-designs. Interesting enough a 1703 Dutch translation of the Metamorphoses in verse by the great Dutch poet, Joost van den Vondel, renders almost exactly the same Europe-images, but without any indication of the name of the designer/engraver. Minor differences are the hairdoes of the Ladies in 08 & 09, and the kneeling Lady in the front is dressed more properly in the English edition. In the Dutch edition is in the 2nd Europe design, Europe  dressed in a more rich and Eastern fashion with a feather in her hair. However the 1732 plates of Europe are not signed by Picart either but by I.C.Philips. So I wonder if there are Europe-illustrations from Picart at all.

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Perhaps the 1732 engraver rendered a more sober picture of Philips' design, more to the taste of an  English public. The second plate  shows far away on the right Europe on the bull a second time, but now standing in the water.

Antwerp, 1 august, 2011 Your webserver



 Flemish painter, Hendrik de Klerck, before 1570-1630, mostly used biblical and mythological subjects and painted in a  mannerist style. His Europe is accompanied by a large group of friends, while three Amors are hovering in the air. 
On the right, vaguely, Europe riding the bull towards the water. The oil is 52.7-75.5 cm. Modern artcopy houses offer his painting in all sizes. It belongs to a private collection








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The painting on the right is also considered to be from Hendrik de Klerck. The maiden in front on the left has an open book in her left hand. Here the ladies are all fully dressed, although de Klerck's mythical paintings show goddesses and women in the nude or partly dressed. COULD ANYBODY SHED MORE LIGHT ON THIS PAINTING?

Thanks to A.Herpels, Brussel


Limoge was famous for its enammel decorations. A jewelbox (19-12-19cm) shows mythical subjects painted with grisaille enamel. One side of the box shows Europe on the bull in the sea. On the other side, Actaeon discovers Artemis (Diana) bathing with her maiden in the nude. As a punishment she changes him into a stag.


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From the type of image, one would say, 16th century. Artist unknown.

Royal Museum of Art and History, Brussels (KMKG)


From the Dutch sculptor Evert den Hertog is a series of four Europes with her bull.
The statuettes are executed in a very stylized manner.  


He made more Europe bronzes in a more natural style.


A more popular contribution comes from Ellen Wolff, who assembled a photo from a known Europe-bronze on
a pair of cufflings.


The photo is from a bronze by Lilli Wislicenus-Finzelberg, around 1900


September 1, 2011, Haarlem, Netherlands



Books with emblems related to Christian morals and sometimes classical myths are popular in the Renaissance and Baroque period, and continued to be issued up to the 19th century. In 1882 publisher Martin Gerlach issued in Vienna Allegorien und Embleme with a preface by Dr. Albert Ilg, Director of the imperial art collections of Vienna. Several well-known German artists cooperated, such as G.Klimt, M.Klinger, E.Unger. A tryptich with the emblems of the three classical continents show Europe with her bull.


The print is from Franz Xavier Simm, 1853-1918. Europe on the left sitting on the lying bull with his head at her feet. The emblems of the two other continents have no historical background and just refer to ancient dresses of Asia and Africa


The court medallist of Louis XIV of France, Jérôme Roussel, 1663-1713, illustrated Ovid's Metamorphoses by engraving 60 medals, which were struck on the press of the Republic of Genève in 1711. They covered themes of the first three books. Europe is sitting on the bull surrounded by three of her friends.


In 1717 Jean Dassier of Geneva, famous family of medallists, reissued the Ovid medal series of Jérôme Roussel. He obtained the dies after his death and reworked a number of them, but not the one of Europe.


The Metamorphoses of Ovid remained in demand. Knowledge of its stories or myths proved you had a classical education. Although this knowledge could be rather superficial. In order to obtain without much effort a semblance of classical wisdom, the Metamorphoses became the first picture book.






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The title is revealing: "Carte pour conduire au intelligence de la Fable et servir de secours à la connaissance de l'histoire"
On the basis of similar 'cartes' it can be concluded that this map with 52 illustrations was made by cartographer Henri Abraham Chatelain, 1684-1743, and was issued in Amsterdam around 1720. Europe is the second print.


Brussels newspapers mentioned a change of address of the Polish delegation to the EU in Brussels. Its old address on the Tervurenlaan featured an enormous painting of Europe & Zeus by the Polish artist Franciszek Starowieyski. His painting is called Divina Polonia. A first sketch is somewhat different from the final painting.

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Europe with a lot of wings seems to descend from heaven and to give her blessing to Divina Polonia. The bull looks rather artificial. The painting because of its size was painted inside the mentioned building and is too enormous to be moved  (4 x 3,5 m). So it was left behind by the Polish delegation.


October 1,         Brussels  European Voice, 26 May 2011


In 1955 Émile Henriot issued his Mythologie, with a special luxury cover of plexiglass. Its classical stories were beautifully illustrated by one of the foremost engraver, aquarellist. and illustrator the Parisien, Albert Decaris, 1907-1988. He designed about 50 stamps for the French Post-office and was the best known French engraver of the 20th century. It will not be a surprise, but the Europe myth was included and illustrated by him.


His strong contrasting design gives a very personal touch to his figurative style. The print is in quarto, 31-24 cm.


The Princes of Lichtenstein auctioned some time ago part of their extensive art possessions. Recently, a table cabinet from German origin, dated 18-19th century, in Renaissance style, cropped up again on the antique market. The wooden cabinet black coloured with six drawers all mounted with silver medaillions chased with mythological scènes. One of them with the Europe story.

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The Europe scène is on the left top of the four middle drawers. Silver marks are from Augsburg and Austrian-Hungarian origin. The cabinet is 41,5 -60-33 cm.

Antwerp, 1 November 2011        your webmaster


The Europe scène is found often in public parks and streets. Below two further examples. In the east of the Netherlands, on the river de IJssel, branche of the Rhine, is located the old Hanzetown Deventer. In its Rijsterborgherpark we find an attractive Europe sitting relaxed on bull Zeus. The figurative is the Dutch sculptor Pieter dHont, 1917-1997. He also sculpted Anne Franks statue.

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The more abstract statue of the Europa scène is in a public garden of a small town Cuyck in Dutch Limbourg  sculpted by
Gerard Bruning, 1930-1987. He studied monumental art at the Art Academy of Arnhem. His work is found  in many Dutch towns.

These two statues are mentioned in an article "Sculptures  d'Europe et de l'Europe:Figures Monumentales Publiques de l'Epoque Contemporaine (XXe-XXIe S.) by Françoise Lecocq, Université de Caen, in D'Europe à l'Europe - V, Bruxelles

December 1, 2011