Flemish Mask, 1555

- Image ID: HRJGY6
Flemish Mask, 1555
Science History Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: HRJGY6
A style of decorative art characterized by fanciful or fantastic human and animal forms often interwoven with foliage or similar figures that may distort the natural into absurdity, ugliness, or caricature. Mask designs from Flemish engraver Frans Huys, rooted in the "grotesque" style and composed of shapes inspired from creaturely and vegetative forms. Huys based these prints on original designs by the sculptor and architect Cornelis Floris (1514 - October 20, 1575), who is credited with inventing this particular Flemish version of the grotesque style in about 1541. The prints come from a set published in 1555 by Hans Liefrinck, an important Antwerp publisher and print-seller. The volume - bearing the full title of "Pourtraicture ingenieuse de plusieurs fa̤ons de masques, forts utile aulx painctres, orseures, taillieurs de pierres, voirriers, & tailleurs d'images" - is thought to have contained at least 18 images and, as the title suggests, seems to have been intended as a kind of sourcebook for craftsmen and artists looking for inspiration/templates.