Hoefnagel was born in Antwerp. He travelled abroad, making drawings from archaeological subjects, and was a pupil of Hans Bol at Mechlin. He was afterwards patronized by the elector of Bavaria at Munich, where he stayed eight years, and by the Emperor Rudolph at Prague. He died at Vienna in 1601. His son, Jacob Hoefnagel, was also a painter.
He is famous for his miniature work, especially on a missal in the imperial library at Vienna; he painted animals and plants to illustrate works on natural history; and his engravings (especially for Braun's Civitates orbis terrarum, 1572, and Ortelius's Theatrum orbis terrarum, 1570) give him an interesting place among early topographical draftsmen.
Hoefnagel was commissioned by Rudolf II to illustrate the Mira calligraphiae monumenta (the Model Book of Calligraphy), which he began around 1590, more than 15 years after the death of the calligrapher, Georg Bocskay. In the work, Hoefnagel's illuminations are primarily botanical, but also include small animals and insects.
During his travels to England, c. 1569-71, he painted his only known large-scale panel painting, a panorama of English society in the Elizabethan era called variously A Fête at Bermondsey, A Marriage Feast at Bermondsey, or A Wedding at Bermondsey. He died in Vienna.
- Hendrix, Lee and Vignau-Wilberg, Thea. (1997) Nature Illuminated: Flora and Fauna from the Court of the Emperor Rudolf II
- Hearn, p. 112-113
- Strong 1969, p. 147-149
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
- Hearn, Karen, ed. Dynasties: Painting in Tudor and Jacobean England 1530-1630. New York: Rizzoli, 1995. ISBN 0-8478-1940-X.
- Strong, Roy,The English Icon: Elizabethan and Jacobean Portraiture, 1969, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London (Strong 1969)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Joris Hoefnagel.|
- Civitates orbis terrarum
- Joris Hoefnagel at Wikigallery.org
- entomologiitaliani Digital Animalia Rationalia et Insecta (1575–1580)
- Joris Hoefnagel on Artcyclopedia
- Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Drawings and Prints, a full text exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which includes material on Joris Hoefnagel (see index)