Johannes Stradanus (Jan van der Straet, Giovanni Stradano) is one of the most well-known unknown artists in history. Even though the Bruges-born painter (1523-1605) had a more than successful career in the highly competitive city of Florence in the second half of the 16th century, his name long remained a well-hidden secret for specialists only. Many of his works, though, are very well known. Around 1570, Stradanus – who began as designer of tapestries and fresco painter in service of the Medici – started a second career as draughtsman and designer of hundreds of prints. These were engraved, published and distributed all over the then-known world by Antwerp publishers in huge numbers. It are these works – widely collected, copied and used – which secured Stradanus’s place in art history as an inventive and influential artist. Based on the first ever monographic exhibition on Stradanus in the Groeningemuseum in Bruges (2008-2009), this study aims to reassess the importance and versatility of the artist’s oeuvre.
"In this pioneering and long-awaited monograph on Johannes Stradanus (Jan van der Straet, Giovanni Stradano), the Bruges-born painter finally reclaims his status as one of the leading and most versatile artists of the late Renaissance. (Bjorn Okholm Skaarup, in: Sixteenth Century Journal, XLIV/3, Fall 2013, p. 821-822)
"The depth of challenges in Stradanus’s oeuvre provides fertile soil for a vital discourse. As we will continue to consult this book for some time to come, we will also remain indebted to Baroni, Sellink, et al. for enriching the field with grace and insight." (Arthur J. DiFuria, in: HNA Review of Books 2013)
"Er macht in vorzüglicher Weise einen Künstler zugänglich, der offentsichlich zu den bedeutendsten in der zweiten Hälfte des 16. Jahrhunderts gehörte." (Guntram Koch, in: Das Historisch-Politische Buch, 61, 2013/4, p. 380-381)