Title: The Roman Church by Robert Willemsz. de Baudous
Place: Published in Amsterdam by Jaques de Gheyn II
Date: 1605
Medium & technique: Engraving on paper
Dimensions: 423 x 1429 mm
Themes: Monstrous – Marvellous
Collection: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Felton Bequest, 1923. This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of the Joe White Bequest.

This satirical print is made up of three sheets of paper, and illustrates the folly and corruption of the Roman Catholic church. While mass takes place inside the church, grotesque clerical figures engage in the wholesale trade of indulgences and dispensations. Outside, a motley procession of masked worshippers winds its way toward the entrance. In response to a political and religious climate in the Netherlands that had seen church interiors refashioned for the purpose of Reformed Calvinist worship, Robert Willemsz. de Baudous’s print aligned the deformed human body with the corrupt Roman Catholic soul. Read more about this object.

Catherine Mahoney, University of Melbourne

Further Reading:

N.M Orenstein, Hendrick Hondius and the Business of Prints in Seventeenth-Century Holland (Rotterdam: Sound and Vision Interactive, 1996).

I.Q. van Regteren Altena, Jacques De Gheyn: Three Generations (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1983).

Angela Vanhaelen, The Wake of Iconoclasm: Painting the Church in the Dutch Republic. (Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2012).

I.M. Veldman, Images for the Eye and Soul: Function and Meaning in Netherlandish Prints (1450-1650). (Leiden: Primavera Pers, 2006).