Amator: lover or practitioner in 17th Cent.

bern20

New Member
Hello,
I have a question about a 17th cent. dedicational text on a print:
When somebody is called summo artis Chalcographicae admiratori, amatorique
does this mean that he is both a lover and a practitioner of the graphic arts, as one would expect in modern language, or can it be that amator is still only a litary duplication of admirator here.
(B.t.w.: if you google this text you'll see the print in case you are interested)
 

bern20

New Member
No, I translate admirator as admirer/lover. Question is whether amator is just a synonym, or can or should I consider a 17 Cent. Latin amator to be an a(n amateur) practitioner as well.
In other words what is/does an amator in 17th cent. perception.
You can leave this ambiguity in the translation, of course, but that does not solve my problem, since I want to know what this guy did exactly.
 

Laurentius

Civis Illustris
I understand. Are you sure in 17 cent. latin it could mean "amateur" too? If so maybe he meant to be little ambiguous.
 

bern20

New Member
No, I am not sure. That is exactly my question.
I don't suppose it is meant to be ambiguous; there was no need to be ambiguous.
We know the man, Johan Huyssen, was a collector. what I want to find out is if he was only a collector.
 

Laurentius

Civis Illustris
I don't know, imho it is "admirer and lover", but it's just my opinion.
 

Aurifex

Aedilis
Staff member
When somebody is called summo artis Chalcographicae admiratori, amatorique
does this mean that he is both a lover and a practitioner of the graphic arts, as one would expect in modern language, or can it be that amator is still only a litary duplication of admirator here.
I'd say almost without a doubt that amatori is just a stronger version of admiratori, and there's no suggestion that Huyssen was a practicioner himself. In those times the idea that someone of noble status would stoop to doing the work of a copper-plate engraver, a mere artisan, would have been almost unthinkable. It was only in the nineteenth century, I think, that it began to become socially acceptable for the well-to-do to roll their sleeves up and play the role of "amateurs".
I've tried Googling the text, by the way, but no image results.
 

bern20

New Member
Thanks. Those are the kind of thought I had also, but I am not so convinced. Hence my question. Think of Dirck Coornhert, Karel van Mander, Rubens. Your remark that amator is stronger, however, is a stronger argument and something to think about.
Johan's half sister married Michiel van Mierevelt and I think he supported or even initiated the choise of his two distant cousins Bartholomeus van Bassen and Adriaen Hanneman to become painters. I cannot prove this (yet), but it is in this light that I posted my question.
Sorry, the print (by Hendrick Hondius, 1598) is not on line, only a description (http://www.dbnl.org/arch/_nav001185901_01/pag/_nav001185901_01.pdf).
 
Whatever the poſſibility of his having dabbled in the engraver's art, the word 'amator' certainly does not imply anything beyond a collector's love. The earlieſt evidence even for 'amateur' being used to describe a non profeſſional practitioner is late eighteenth century.
 

bern20

New Member
Thanks!
That's what I need, provided you are right.
The Dutch Chronologisch Woordenboek [Dictionary] by N. van der Sijs (2001) however gives:
amateur: beoefenaar uit liefhebberij [practitioner for pleasure] 1654
But thanks anyhow. You brought me on the right track to look further.
 

Aurifex

Aedilis
Staff member
Thanks. Those are the kind of thought I had also, but I am not so convinced. Hence my question. Think of Dirck Coornhert, Karel van Mander, Rubens.
You have a point, but there are two further points I think you need to bear in mind. Firstly an artisan and an artist have always belonged to different social categories. Secondly, many famous artists to whom works of craftsmanship such as engravings, bookbindings et al. are ascribed did not actually do the manual work themselves. Instead they did only the artwork or the design for the finished item. The artisans who executed the work are often nameless.
 
Secondly, many famous artists to whom works of craftsmanship such as engravings, bookbindings et al. are ascribed did not actually do the manual work themselves. Instead they did only the artwork or the design for the finished item. The artisans who executed the work are often nameless.
Still often the caſe in our own time.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Firstly an artisan and an artist have always belonged to different social categories.
I remember reading that there was a time when artists (painters etc.) were considered artisans as others. I don't know when exactly they would have started to be considered separately, but at least in the middle ages, there would have been no difference.
 

Aurifex

Aedilis
Staff member
I remember reading that there was a time when artists (painters etc.) were considered artisans as others. I don't know when exactly they would have started to be considered separately, but at least in the middle ages, there would have been no difference.
Actually, the terms artisan and artist are more interchangeable in some languages than they are in English.
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
I remember reading that there was a time when artists (painters etc.) were considered artisans as others. I don't know when exactly they would have started to be considered separately, but at least in the middle ages, there would have been no difference.
Yes, I read in a book on Gothic cathedrals that in the mediaeval period there was no concept of "artist".
 

Aurifex

Aedilis
Staff member
Still often the caſe in our own time.
Yes, but to a much lesser extent, I think.
It's also worth pointing out that some people who have given their names to works of craftsmanship over the years have not even been the artists or designers; they've simple owned and financed the workshop producing the work they put their name to.
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
Producers, or businessmen, in other words.
 

bern20

New Member
It's also worth pointing out that some people who have given their names to works of craftsmanship over the years have not even been the artists or designers; they've simple owned and financed the workshop producing the work they put their name to.
For my Johan Huyssen that would be enough already. But using a burin every now and then is hard work, but not too hard or too inferior for a well educated, art loving nobleman. It's better than chopping wood, like good old Wilhelm II did after his "retirement."
 
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