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Hendrik Gijsmans

circa 1544 Mechelen – circa 1611/12 Frankenthal

Hendrik Gijsmans was a travelling artist from the Netherlands who has hitherto been listed under the notname “Anonymus Fabriczy”. This designation goes back to Cornelius von Fabriczy (1839–1910), who published the first definitive essay on the anonymous artist in 1893. Stijn Alsteens deserves credit for having finally clarified the identity of the artist. Some fifty drawings by Gijsmans are kept in the so-called “Large Anthology” at the Kupferstichkabinett of the Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart. These are landscapes and topographically precise views of towns, all of which have been executed in pen and brown ink. The works, which document the successive stages of the journey undertaken by the master on his travels from the Netherlands to Italy, represent a major step forward in the development of landscape art after Pieter Bruegel the Elder.