Maarten van Heemskerck’s Rome

Antiquity, Memory, and the Cult of Ruins


This book presents the first sustained study of the stunning drawings of Roman ruins by Haarlem artist Maarten van Heemskerck (1498–1574; in Rome, 1532–ca. 1537). In three parts, Arthur J. DiFuria describes Van Heemskerck’s pre-Roman training, his time in Rome, and his use his ruinscapes for the art he made during his forty-year post-Roman phase.
Building on the methods of his predecessors, Van Heemskerck mastered a dazzling array of methods to portray Rome in compelling fashion. Upon his return home, his Roman drawings sustained him for the duration of his prolific career. Maarten van Heemskerck’s Rome concludes with the first ever catalog to bring together all of Van Heemskerck’s ruin drawings in state-of-the-art digital photography.

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Arthur J. DiFuria, Ph.D. (2008, Delaware), is Savannah College of Art and Design’s Chair of Art History. He has published books and articles on early modern Netherlandish art, including Genre Imagery in Early Modern Northern Europe: New Perspectives (Ashgate / Routledge, 2016).
“Until now, Maarten van Heemskerck's hundreds of Roman drawings have been used chiefly by archaeologists and architectural historians to discern the critical early stages of building St Peter's and excavating ancient imperial ruins. To the rescue, Arthur Di Furia examines this entire corpus of drawings for what they contributed to van Heemskerck's later creations and to an emerging Netherlandish vision of antiquity in the sixteenth century. As the first study dedicated to a comprehensive cultural interpretation of both van Heemskerck and Rome, this fine tome uncovers a critical turning-point in both histories.”
Larry Silver, Farquhar Professor of Art History, emeritus, University of Pennsylvania

“The book is filled with excellent reproductions of paintings, prints, and drawings. In the case of the drawings, they allow readers to see Heemskerck’s remarkable skill and range. Arthur DiFuria has written an important study of Heemskerck and the way he understood the potent symbolism of Roman ruins: in providing a view of the partial destruction of Rome’s glorious past, the author allows us to witness what remains and to reinvent Rome through memory, just as Heemskerck himself did in the many works of art that this book documents and contextualizes.”
Sharon Gregory, St. Francis Xavier University. In: CAA Reviews (June 7, 2021).

“This fine monograph […] has been edited impeccably, with meticulous reproductions of Van Heemskerck's drawings and many of his paintings. A great help to the reader are the cuts from the drawings reproduced in the margins of the main text.”
Eric M. Moormann, Radboud University. In: Babesch, vol. 95 (2020), pp. 275–277.

“This book constitutes a major contribution to our understanding of Van Heemskerck's depiction of ancient Roman ruins.”
Guido Rebecchini, Courtauld Institute of Art. In: Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 2 (Summer 2021), pp. 583–585.

“No aspect of van Heemskerck's life and work stays in the dark. Apart from being an exhaustively documented study where no nuance is lost, the publication is also outstanding for its narrative qualities; the text is not only erudite but also elegant.”
Natalia Agapiou, in: Roma nel Rinascimento (2019), pp. 28–29.

Preface and Acknowledgments
List of Illustrations

 Maarten van Heemskerck’s Rome
 Drawings in Berlin and Scattered to the Four Winds
 The Historicized Van Heemskerck and Karel Van Mander’s Schilder-Boeck
 Van Heemskerck’s Drawings and Memory
 Van Heemskerck and the Cult of Ruins

Part 1: Imagining the Eternal: Maarten van Heemskerck Before Rome


1 The Possibility of a pre-Roman Maarten van Heemskerck
 Collection, Invention, and Netherlandish Antiquity c. 1510–25
 The Status of the Ruin in Netherlandish Visual Culture c. 1510–25
 The Roman Journey’s Status in the Netherlands and Van Heemskerck’s Road to the Eternal City

2 The Ruin Landscape in Jan van Scorel’s Workshop
 Prototype, Imitation, Emulation, Invention
 Van Scorel, Van Heemskerck, and the Ruin
 Leaving Van Scorel’s Workshop: Landscape and the Wanderjahr Drawing

Part 2: Drawing the Eternal: Van Heemskerck in Rome


3 Drawing Ruins in Post-Sack Rome
 Rome’s Post-Sack Milieu
 Drawing, Collecting, and the ‘Chaos of Memory’
 Ruins in Post-Sack Rome
 Raphael and Van Heemskerck’s Ruinscapes
 Charles V’s Triumphal Procession

4 Memory and Maarten van Heemskerck’s Eternal Eye
 Discovering the Vestiges of Ancient Rome in the Frame
 The Compelling Space and the Epochal Time of Van Heemskerck’s Ruinscapes
 Artistry and Roman Topography as Memory

5 The Copious Hand
 An Abundant Technique
 Van Heemskerck’s Pre-Roman Technical Inheritance: Pen and Ink Hatching, Netherlandish Realism
 Towards Finish: The Flexibility of Van Heemskerck’s Pen and Ink Process
 Ink Washes, Chalk, Texture: Performance
 Mimesis, Performance, and Function

Part 3: Remembering the Eternal: Van Heemskerck After Rome


6 Invention, Collecting, Antiquarianism
 Reinventing Rome: Panorama with the Abduction of Helen Amidst the Wonders of the World
 Memory and Invention After Rome: Van Heemskerck’s Drawings in the Netherlands
 Van Heemskerck’s Inventions After the Antique: Means and Modes
 In Reminiscor: Reading the Ruins

7 Antiquity in 1553: Ruins and Self-Fashioning
 A Summa of the Self
 Coming of Age: The Signature Ruin and Netherlandish Antiquarianism
 Van Heemskerck’s Drawings and Hieronymus Cock’s Præcipua aliquot Romanae Antiquitatis Ruinarum
 Self-Portrait before the Colosseum’s Antiquarian Audience

8 Regnum, Reform, and Ruin
 Van Heemskerck and the Destruction of Art in the ‘Age of Art’
 Before the Beeldenstorm, After the Antique
 1569: The Rhetoric of Ruination

 After Van Heemskerck, After the Antique: A Continuum of Pictorial Memory

Part 4: A Catalog of Maarten van Heemskerck’s Roman Ruin Drawings

A Note on the Catalog

In and Around the Forum
 Forum Romanum
 Capitoline Hill
 Palatine Hill
 Arch of Titus
 Arch of Constantine
 Forum Nervae

On the Quirinal Hill
 Frontespizio di Nerone
 Baths of Diocletian
 Trofei di Mario
 San Lorenzo Fuori le Mure

On the Tiber’s East Bank and On the Interior
 Porticus Octaviae
 Forum Boarium
 Piazza del Popolo

In and Around the Vatican
 Banchi and Borgo
 St. Peter’s

Near the South Wall
 Baths of Caracalla
 San Giovanni in Laterano
 Temple of Minerva Medica
 Porta Maggiore
 Pyramid of Cestius

Further Afield: Otium
 Villa Madama

Panorama, Collection, Fragment, Fantasia
 Broad-View Panoramas
 Sculpture Collections, Gardens, and Cortile
 Architectural Fragments
 Single Sheets with Multiple Copies after Maarten van Heemskerck: The so-called De Vos Sketchbook

 Deattributions from Maarten Van Heemskerck
 A Deattributed Group of Drawings in Berlin: ‘Anonymous C’
 A Brief Explanation and List of Previous Deattributions
Those interested in early modern European visual culture in northern Europe and Italy, especially specialists in drawings, prints, antiquarianism, the image debate, and the reign of Charles V.
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