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From Father To Son: Van Veen's Montaigne And Van Ravesteyn's Pieter Van Veen, His Son Cornelis And His Clerk Hendrick Borsman

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the copy of 1602 Paris edition of Montaigne’s Essais owned by a Dutch lawyer and painter called Pieter van Veen. It focuses on the memoir, which deals with the seige of Leiden, with Pieter’s travels, his relations with his literary mentor Justus Lipsius, his father Cornelis, and his elder brothers Gijsbert and Simon. The chapter argues that it is ultimately Otto’s formation and reputation that explains the distinctive mixture of drawings and annotations to be found in the copy. It also argues that the book is best understood as an heirloom, a secular equivalent to Books of Hours passed down within medieval and early modern families. With his book, Pieter is passing on to the next generation a portrait of himself, and a recipe for living wisely in troubled times. Paintings such as Van Ravesteyn’s and books such as the Montaigne were passed down as heirlooms.

Keywords: Cornelis; Essais; heirloom; Hendrick Borsman; memoir; Montaigne; Pieter Van Veen; Van Ravesteyn



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