Gold- and silversmith Paulus van Vianen (c. 1570-1613) was the more travelled of the Van Vianen brothers. While Adam remained in Utrecht, after his apprenticeship Paulus van Vianen travelled around Europe. He remained abroad practically all his life. In 1603, he was appointed Kammergoldschmied by Emperor Rudolf II in Prague, a post he held for life. Under Rudolf’s patronage – and with an ample salary – Van Vianen created his best work. His plaquettes are exceptional, with their finely modelled figures and spacious settings. He based his designs on sketches which he drew from life. Paulus van Vianen also developed the characteristic auricular style of decorating and forming precious metal objects which became extremely fashionable in the Netherlands.

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