Simon Grynaeus
By H[ONDIUS], H[endrik] , 1600

Simon Grynæus.

Art & Architecture
  • Author: H[ONDIUS], H[endrik]
  • Publication place: [The Hague
  • Publisher: ex officina Bucoldi Cornelii Nieulandii
  • Publication date: 1602].
  • Physical description: Engraved portrait.
  • Dimensions: 170 by 120mm. (6.75 by 4.75 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 17727


The son of a peasant, Simon Grynaeus (1493 – 1541) managed to work his way up the social ladder thanks to his intelligence, which won him a place at the University of Vienna, where he distinguished himself as a Classicist. He later taught in Hungary, Germany and Switzerland, and travelled to England with a letter of commendation from Erasmus, whic granted him access to all the greatest libraries. In 1532 he published the first general history of travels, the ‘Novus orbis regionum ac insularum veteribus incognitarum’ with Johann Huttich. It contained a world map by Münster with decorations attributed to Holbein.

This portrait appeared in Jacob Verheiden’s ‘Praestantium Theologorum Effigies’ (1602), a collection of portraits of some of the most important theological figures, and like the majority, was made by Hendrik Hondius I. It shows the upper half of Grynaeus wearing simple layered garments, and is accompanied by four lines of Latin verse praising his achievements: “Te quicumque, Simon Grinaee, aspexit, amavit: / Splenduit in vultu grata tanta tuo. / Te quicumque, Simon Grinaee, audivit, amavit: / Facundo fluxit tantus ab ore lepos” (‘Whoever saw you, Simon Grynaeus, loved you: such grace shone in your face. Whoever heard you, Simon Grynaeus, loved you: such wit flowed from your eloquent mouth’).


  1. Kivell & Spence: pg.168 - not in