Karen Lee Bowen
P.J. Brepols (ca. 1778-1845), the founder of the Brepols publishing house, which is still active today, succeeded in establishing himself as a printer-publisher by focusing on the production of popular literature and prints and continually building up his clientele in the Netherlands. One lesser-known, but nonetheless important component of this initial publishing strategy and success are his editions pertaining to the devotion of the Virgin of Scherpenheuvel. In this article, I will focus on the popular devotional texts the Manier om godtvruchtelyk, en met profyt der zielen, te lezen het Heylig Roosen-kransken van Maria ... and Het nieuw Scherpenheuvels Trompetjen, editions of which were regularly printed by both Brepols and his contemporaries. Drawing upon an examination of extant copies of these books, as well as records of Brepols's business operations from ca. 1811 to ca. 1820, I will document the extent to which Brepols dominated the market for devotional publications for Scherpenheuvel, discuss his sales of these publications, and provide a detailed description of Brepols's editions of these texts in the concluding appendix. Although primarily a study of Brepols's publications, his approach to the printing and sale of these works offers an instructive example of how other printers in this period may have organized their operations.
Karen Lee Bowen
Among the illustrations used for a 4to Missale Romanum published by Christopher Plantin in 1585 are five prints by Jan Wierix and four anonymous copies of his work, none of which are in Marie Mauquoy-Hendrickx's extensive catalogue, Les Estampes des Wierix (Brussels 1978-83). This new group of religious prints and an already known group of comparably scaled Wierix engravings appear formerly to have been part of a single series of images. A consideration of both the subjects represented and archival evidence suggests that the series had been commissioned for the illustration of books of hours and not the missals in which the engravings are seen today. Finally, a similar examination of the subjects represented in two other sets of Wierix plates catalogued by Mauquoy-Hendrickx (but not part of any known book) suggests that they may also have originally been intended for the illustration of books of hours.