Romeyn de Hooghe was the most inventive and prolific etcher of the later Dutch Golden Age. The producer of wide-ranging book illustrations, newsprints, allegories, and satire, he is best known as the chief propaganda artist working for stadtholder and king William III. This study, the first book-length biography of de Hooghe, narrates how his reputation became badly tarnished when he was accused of pornography, fraud, larceny, and atheism.
Traditionally regarded as a godless rogue, and more recently as an exponent of the Radical Enlightenment, de Hooghe emerges in this study as a successful entrepreneur, a social climber, and an Orangist spin doctor. A study in seventeenth-century political culture and patronage, focusing on spin and slander, this book explores how artists, politicians, and hacks employed literature and the visual arts in political discourse, and tried to capture their readership with satire, mockery, fun, and laughter.