Nicolaas Hogenberg (Biographical details)

Nicolaas Hogenberg (printmaker; painter/draughtsman; German; Flemish; Male; c.1500 - 1539)

Also known as

Hogenberg, Nicolaus; Hogenberg, Nicolaas; Hogenberg, Nicolaes


Painter, engraver and etcher. Evidently he was born at Munich, as he referred to himself as 'Monachensis' on one of the series of 40 etchings, 'The entry of Charles V and Pope Clement VII into Bologna', although his family most probably came originally from Malines, where a number of artists of this name worked. The above series, illustrating the journey of Charles to Bologna to be crowned Emperor and accompanied by Pope Clement VII, is his best known work and was almost certainly commissioned by the archduchess, Margaret of Austria. The work appeared only after her death (1530), and was probably first printed in The Hague in 1532.

Hogenberg came to Mechelen in the Malines around 1517 / 1528, where he was certainly settled by the latter date. The Burgundian city Mechelen was the city of residence of Margaret of Austria, after she was appointed governor of the Netherlands in 1509 by her father, the Emperor Maximilian. In 1509 she was made governess of his grandchildren: Charles, the future Emperor Charles V, and his sisters Eleonore and Isabella. In Mechelen Nicolaus made contact with local artists, particularly Frans Crabbe. Here he worked under the patronage of the Regent of the Netherlands, Margaret of Austria. Nicolaus died young in 1539, leaving a wife, Jeanne Verstraeten, and a number of children, including Remigius (born c. 1535) and Frans (possibly born before his father's death in 1539 or 1540).

If Friedländer is right in thinking that Hogenberg is to be identified with the Monogrammist N H from Munich, then he could have left Bavaria after producing his wood-cuts of 1522, 'Battle between the wild men and peasants', and 'The departure of the Apostles', both signed with his monogram; the former was certainly cut by Hans Lützelburger (d. 1526). The Monogrammist N H also provided woodcut illustrations for books printed at Augsburg, the last of which, 'Ain schön Lieblich gedichte von ainem gulden Esel' only appeared in 1538. Nicolaus produced a succession of distinctive prints, which were a marked development from those signed N H, which has caused some scepticism about their being the work of the same artist. A group of paintings, of which the key work is the Apostles altarpiece in Düsseldorf (see SL,5218.17), has been attributed to Nicolaus by modern scholars.


Catalogued twice in Hollstein, 'German Engravings...', vol.15, p.279 ff. and 'Dutch and Flemish Etchings...', vol.9, p.57 ff.
See also Van Mander, p. 257; Bartsch, vii, pp. 547ff.; Passavant, iii, pp. 46, 443ff.; Dodgson, ii, pp. 195ff.; Thieme-Becker, xvii, p. 306; T. Musper, Prussian Jahrbuch, 1942, pp. 171ff.; Hollstein, ix, pp. 57ff.; Boon, Collection Lugt, pp. 134-5; Andersson, Detroit, p. 318.