On 24 February 1530, Charles V and Pope Clement VII celebrated the imperial coronation in a long procession through the streets of Bologna. News about this ceremony quickly spread throughout Europe by means of textual and visual printed reports. Glorifying historiography was indeed supported by the Habsburg court. From the court of Margaret of Austria emerged two ambitious large-scale printed images depicting this procession: a woodcut by Robert Peril from Antwerp and an etching by Nicolas Hogenberg from Mechelen. These printed images – including their different states – have until now been only briefly compared in the consulted literature.
The first aim of this article is to compare the woodblocks and etchings more thoroughly. In order to find out if these artists may have inspired each other, techniques, styles and iconographies are compared. Even if techniques and styles are different, an iconographical comparison does confirm a link. Peril and Hogenberg most probably looked at each other’s work, although proof which would confirm the direction of influence is lacking.
The second purpose of this article is to study the sharing of information in a larger context. Eight narrative sources printed in the Netherlands are available today, all reporting the ceremonial procession of Charles V and Clement VII. In the consulted literature, only two of them have been related to the images engraved by Hogenberg and Peril. The other texts have not yet been compared with each other, or with the images. This study approaches the printed images as narrative sources as well, given their elaborate captions in Latin and in French. Peril certainly copied his subscriptions from a model text, most likely the French text edited by Martin Lempereur.
The exchanges that are revealed between engravers and publishers lead to the following conclusion: engravers Peril and Hogenberg did not need to undertake this transalpine journey since the information they needed was there for the taking in Antwerp and Mechelen.