Four Drawings by Hans Vredeman de Vries for the Fries Museum


21/12/12 - Acquisitions - Leeuwarden, Fries Museum - The four seasons drawn by Hans Vredeman de Vries (ill.) were purchased by the Ottema-Kingma Foundation which deposited them at the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden (Netherlands) as pointed out on the Codart website. Summer is incarnated by a figure which might very well be Ceres and Spring by a woman who looks like Flora and is shown in a very architectural garden, with a fountain and a portico providing a beautiful perspective effect. Autumn is of course represented by the grape harvest : the men are carrying baskets filled with the fruit in the forefront, further back others are busy crushing them down in a wine press. In Winter, the water has frozen over as alluded to by the figure putting on ice skates.


1. Hans Vredeman de Vries (c. 1526-1609)
Spring, 1589
Pen and Brown Ink - D. 11.8 cm
Leeuwarden, Fries Museum
Photo : Fries Museum

2. Hans Vredeman de Vries (c. 1526-1609)
Autumn, 1589
Pen and Brown Ink - D. 11.8 cm
Leeuwarden, Fries Museum
Photo : Fries Museum


These drawings were produced in 1589 in Wolfenbuttel and their circular shape as well as their size seem to indicate that these could be studies for stained glass. They will round out an ensemble which includes a painting and a series of engravings by the artist already held at the museum.


3. Hans Vredeman de Vries (c. 1526-1609)
Summer, 1589
Pen and Brown Ink - D. 11.8 cm
Leeuwarden, Fries Museum
Photo : Ottema-Kingma Stichting

4. Hans Vredeman de Vries (c. 1526-1609)
Winter, 1589
Pen and Brown Ink - D. 11.8 cm
Leeuwarden, Fries Museum
Photo : Ottema-Kingma Stichting


A painter, architect and ornamentalist, Hans Vredeman de Vries was a master in the art of perspective ; the architectural treatises by Serlio and Vitruvius, thanks to the translations of Pieter Coecke van Aelst, were a revelation to him. He in turn published a series, notably Perspective, which helped to popularize his architectural models. His work thus exerted a lasting influence on the Northern European schools and fostered the pursuit of an independent genre of architectural painting.
He worked extensively in Antwerp, participating in the elaboration of the decors for the triumphant entrance of Charles V and the future Philip II in 1549, then was in charge of organizing the "joyeuse entrée" of the Duke of Anjou in 1582 before being called by the Duke Jules de Brunswick-Lunebourg to Wolfenbuttel. Hans Vredeman de Vries thus traveled to several European cities : Frankfurt, Prague - where he was appointed painter to the court of Emperor Rudolph II -, Amsterdam, Hamburg...
He will be one of the great figures which the Fries Museum will highlight in an exhibition planned for September 2013 on the Golden Age in the province of Frise.

Version Française


Bénédicte Bonnet Saint-Georges, jeudi 3 janvier 2013



imprimer Print this article

Previous article in News Items : Seventeenth century Parisian Church Paintings in Nantes

Next article in News Items : Numerous Donations for the Musée de la Vie Romantique