Focus on the Peck Collection: Johannes Stradanus and the Hunt

November 17, 2023 - February 18, 2024

Two men hunting in a forest; one is riding a horse and the other is standing.

Though Netherlandish artist Jan van der Straet, better known as Johannes Stradanus, spent the majority of his career in Italy, a high percentage of his artistic output was made for print publishers in the northern European city of Antwerp. In addition to making designs for religious, historical, and allegorical scenes, Stradanus also made images of the hunt. With his long-time collaborator, the prolific print publisher Philips Galle (Dutch, 1537-1612), Stradanus created a series of 104 compositions illustrating the various hunting methods of specific animals, which were then published as engravings. This Focus on the Peck Collection installation presents one drawing of a fox hunt from the Peck Collection and two engravings of boar hunts after Stradanus’s designs. The drawing, though not preparatory for the accompanying engravings, demonstrates how the artist’s distinctive and highly descriptive compositions were translated by northern European engravers into extremely successful prints for the market.

Image credit:
Jan van der Straet, called Stradanus, Flemish, 1523-1605, The Hunt of the Fox, Smoked Out of the Burrow and Chased by Dogs, c. 1578, pen and brown ink, brown wash heightened with white over traces of black chalk, on paper prepared with a pale blue wash, 7 3/4 × 10 7/8 in. (19.7 × 27.6 cm). Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Peck Collection, 2017.1.128.