Four South German Women (Noble and Plebian) from Augsburg and Swabia
From Divesarum (sic) Gentium Armatura Equestris. Ubi fere Europae Asiae atque Africae equitandi ratio propria expressa est [Diverse Clothing of the Nations of Europe, Asia, Africa and America]
A printmaker active in Antwerp and later in Cologne, de Bruyn worked for publishing houses and was the author and publisher of his own Divesarum (sic) Gentium Armatura Equestris. Ubi fere Europae Asiae atque Africae equitandi ratio propria expressa est (Cologne: A. Bruijnuis excude, 1577) which contains 52 engravings of horsemen and women.
His last known signed work was the Omnium poene Europae, Asiae, Aphricae atque Americe Gentium Habitus imagines by Hadrian Dammen published in Cologne in 1577 (and Antwerp in 1581) which contains 206 costumed figures on 50 plates. Our print comes from this work, and depicts the costumes of women in southern Germany: a noble maiden from Augsburg, a noble matron from Swabia, a noble matron from Augsburg, and a plebeian woman from Augsburg. The caption reads: “virgo nobilibus progunta (sic) Augustae Vind.” “In Suevia matrona nobilis,” “Augusta Vind. Matrona nobilis” and “Augusta Vind. mulier plebeia.” This engraving was cut to edges of the print with a loss of the lower margin and lower framing line, resulting in the loss of the plate number, which is visible on the engraving of the Four Turks (2006.26).