Dominicus Lampsonius

Dominicus Lampsonius

Dominicus Lampsonius (1532–1599), of Bruges and Liège, was a Flemish humanist, poet, and artist. Through his writings, a great deal is known about engravers and printers of the era. Lampsonius himself never saw the Italian paintings about which he wrote and instead relied on prints and other writers, such as Giorgio Vasari.

Life and works

Lampsonius served as Cardinal Reginald Pole's secretary in England. After 1558, he traveled to Liège and was secretary to successive Prince-Bishops of that town (Robert of Berghes, Gerard of Groesbeek, and Ernest of Bavaria). In 1572 Lampsonius published under his own name a series of twenty-three engraved portraits of artists from the Low Countries, which was called Portraits of some Celebrated Artists of the Low Countries (Pictorum aliquot celebrium Germaniae inferioris effigies). Lampsonius provided poems in Latin to accompany the individual portraits. This work was previously being prepared by the engraver Hieronymous Cock, who died before it was completed. In 1576, Lampsonius finished his only known extant work of art, a Crucifixion scene.

He was a correspondent of Giorgio Vasari, who relied upon him for his notes about the life and works of the painter Lambert Lombard [1]

Lampsonius wrote numerous poems and epigrams in Latin and carried out regular correspondence with individuals such as Vasari and Giulio Clovio. Lampsonius also wrote The Life of Lambert Lombard, a biography of the artist Lambert Lombard (1565). Lampsonius noted that Lambert worked more for love of art than for money, an idea promoted in ancient times by Pliny the Elder, and promoted by Lampsonius as well.



  • Morford, Mark. "Theatrum Hodiernae Vitae: Lipsius, Vaenius, and the Rebellion of Civilis." Recreating Ancient History: Episodes from the Greek and Roman Past and Literatures of the Early Modern Period. Eds. Karl Enekel, Jan L. de Jong, Jeanine De Landtsheer. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2001.
  • Stechow, Wolfgang. Northern Renaissance Art, 1400-1600: Sources and Documents. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1989.

External links

  • The Life of Lambert Lombard by Domenicus Lampsonius, original latin version (1565) on Google Books
  • Pictorum aliquot celebrium Germaniae inferioris effigies. Eorum nempè qui vita functi hac praestantiss. arte immortalitatis nomen sibi compararunt. Original latin version (1572) on Google Books

Secondary Material

  • Dominicus Lampsonius