Cornelis Floris


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Cornelis Floris II or Floris de Vriendt was born in Antwerp, and made his name as a designer and sculptor of funerary monuments, notably those of King Christian III (reigned 1535–59) of Denmark in Roskilde Cathedral (c. 1568–75), that commissioned (c.1549) by Duke Albrecht I of Prussia (reigned 1525–68) for his wife, Dorothea, with additions for his second wife, Anna Maria (c.1570), and that for the Duke himself (1569–73—destroyed) (the last in the Domkirche, Königsberg (now Kaliningrad). After a visit to Rome he became the most influential designer of Renaissance and Mannerist ornament in Flanders. The Town Hall in Antwerp (1561–6) was an important step in the assimilation of Italian sources into Northern Europe, and incorporated features derived from Bramante and Serlio such as coupled columns and triumphal arches in its six-storey frontispiece. However, there is some doubt as to whether Floris himself was the architect of the building, as he was primarily a sculptor. The real architect appears to have been Hans Hendrick van Paesschen, who also may have designed the Hanzehuis (Hanseatic House), Antwerp (1564–8), attributed to Floris de Vriendt. The latter designed and made the Rood-screen in Tournai Cathedral (1573–4), and the stone tabernacle in the St Leonarduskerk, Zoutleeuw (1550–2), both in Belgium. His decorative style was much disseminated by de Vries, influenced designers in the northern Netherlands, and his monuments were made familiar by the engravings published (1557) by Hieronymus Cock (c. 1510–70). His work was typical of Antwerp Mannerism.

G&D (1954);G&TK (1960);Hedicke (1913);Huysmans et al. (1996);Millar (1987)

Subjects: Architecture.

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