One of the first and most prominent representatives of this specific direction, rudolphine art is Joris Hoefnagel. Like Arcimboldo, it was a representative of the older generation of rudolfina. In the works of these artists can be found in the installation of complex "hieroglyphic" content, the world of bizarre comparisons. Hufnagel had to create works in which, like a fantastic illusionism Arcimboldo, very precise, naturalistic detail – images of nature – there were the abstract "collage" together. Hufnagel was self-taught originally from Mechelen. He grew up in the heart of the local art tradition, including illuminators. Extraordinary skill of the artist-miniaturist from the dry to create didactic illustrations to scientific treatise of the original artistic phenomenon was manifested in the work.Hoofnagle Senior and was continued by his son Jakub, and a few other artists.
• In 1582, for Ferdinand II of Tyrol, they had their Missal (the liturgical book containing texts for the conduct of the mass) thumbnail in the fields;
• In 1594 he illustrated the book with sample fonts, ordered another calligrapher Boscai for the Emperor Maximilian II;
• In 1596 was finished the second book of fonts already for Rudolph II. Finest calligraphy connects here with the miniatures, grotesques, on the lower part of the page.
• The most well-known work of Hoefnagel, for which he received not only the title of "naturalist", but "characters" - four books on the image of the created world, called "the Four elements" (earth, water, air, fire). Image inhabiting the globe of creatures, from the tiger to the sea – shell best achievement of the artist. Carefully reproduced butterflies, beetles, lizards arranged in elegant groups, arranged in a beautiful finished compositions, masterfully positioned on a sheet of parchment. One of the origins of the elements – late Dutch miniature with its tradition and taste to the image of reality. Culture of miniature writing, the use of planes, organization of color spots and line pattern into an ornamental whole in which, however, is not lost natural image accuracy, inherent in the highest measure. Images of living creatures, placed on a clean surface of the sheet, without landscape, without any environment and are linked only by the whim of the artist, the ornamental lines and belonging to one or another element.
It is known that in 1590-ies, at the end of the work, the Senior Hufnagel performed and a separate still lifes, usually of flowers, in his usual watercolors on vellum, having become acquainted thereby with the most consistent realist in the court – Ruletom Saverem.
(Joris Hoefnagel worked in the service of the Emperor Rudolph II about 10 years, since 1591.)