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Vaernewyck, Marc van

    Full Name: Vaernewyck, Marc van

    Other Names:

    • Marc van Vaernewyck

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1518

    Date Died: 1569

    Place Born: Ghent, East Flanders, Flanders, Belgium

    Place Died: Ghent, East Flanders, Flanders, Belgium

    Home Country/ies: Belgium

    Subject Area(s): biography (general genre), Flemish (culture or style), historiographers, historiography, painting (visual works), religious history, and sixteenth century (dates CE)


    Painter; early diarist and chronicler of Flemish artistic life. Vaernewyck was raised a Catholic and remained one his life. He was placed in charged of the guard investigating religious beliefs of expatriates and the Ghent citizenry alike. In 1560 he published Vlaemsche audvremdigheyt, a Flemish history written as poetry. He further held various government positions, including administrator of the charity house (1563), city councilman (1564), and controller for the grain exchange (depot) in 1566. In 1568, he published Den spieghel der Nederlandscher audtheyt (The Mirror of Netherlandish Antiquity) a work mixing fantasy and Flemish history together. It remained continually in print until 1829. Vaernewyck also left a diary, written between 1566 and 1568, which mentions the iconoclasm fervor and the destruction of works of art in Ghent and the of the Flemish people by the Duke of Alba and the Spanish after the abortive attack on Spanish forces by Prince William I of Orange-Nassau in 1568. Although historically inaccurate in a myriad of ways, the concluding chapters of Den spieghel der Nederlandscher audtheyt discuss Ghent and its art. This and his diary provide primary source documentation for an understanding of Flemish culture in Ghent during the religious rebellions.

    Selected Bibliography

    Den spieghel der Nederlandscher audtheyt. Ghent, 1568; [subsequent editions appear as:] Die historie van Belgis, diemen anders namen mach, den spieghel der Nederlantscher audtheyt: waer inne men zien mach als in eenen clare[m] spieghel, [etc.] Ghent: By de weduwe van Gheeraert van Salenson, 1574.


    van Miegroet, Hans. Vaernewijck, Marcus van” Dictionary of Art; Ridderbos, Bernhard. “From Waagen to Friedländer.” in, Early Netherlandish Paintings: Rediscovery, Reception, Research. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2005, p. 218; Thieme-Becker


    "Vaernewyck, Marc van." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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