Extremely captivating work, almost 500 years old.
These most fabulous grotesque masks come from a suite of about twenty-two prints designed by Cornelis Floris, engraved by Frans Huys and published in Antwerp in 1555 by Hans Liefrinck.
The late Baroque / early Mannerist designs incorporate an abstracted zoological motif, in most cases relating to the ocean, within an auricular ornamental style.
The print collection is called ‘Pourtraicture ingenieuse de plusieurs façon de Masques. Fort utile aulx painctres, orseures, Taillieurs de pierres, voirriers et Taillieurs d’images’. It’s either old or mangled French, essentially meaning: ‘Ingenious portrayal of several types of mask. Useful for painters, stoneworkers [and other trades]‘.