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Woodcut portrait of Adrianus Petit Coclico (1499/1500-1562)

A full-length woodcut portrait of the composer Coclico at age 52, printed in 1552, was recently purchased. It includes music notation at upper left, with the text “Desperando spero,” and identification of the composer, “Adrian Petit Coclico Mvsico. Etat: LII,” at upper right. This inscription is the only known source that states his birth year.

Born in Flanders, the composer traveled around and seems to have not been very successful at securing positions or keeping them for very long. He died in Copenhagen. His claims to have been a pupil of Josquin dez Prez cannot be substantiated. The woodcut appeared in two of his works,  Compendium musices and Consolationes piae: musica reservata, both published in 1552. The portrait will be housed in Special Collections, Green Library.

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