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Adriaen Collaert
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A member of a family of reproductive engravers working in Antwerp during the 16th and 17th centuries, Adriaen Collaert was a print publisher, book illustrator and reproductive engraver. He was born in Antwerp around 1560. He was probably taught by his father Hans Collaert I (ca. 1525-1580), who was a draftsman and engraver known for designing tapestries, stained glass, embroidery, jewels and ornaments as well as prints, as well as engraving prints to designs by others. In 1580 Adrian was admitted to the Antwerp chapter of the artists’ Guild of St. Luke as a master’s son. His first prints, a series of the Seven Planets to designs by Maarten de Vos (1532-1603), were published in 1581. During the 1580s he worked for several print publishers, including Philips Galle (1537-1612), whose daughter Jozijne he married in 1586. During the 1580s Adriaen often collaborated with his younger brother Jan Collaert II (ca. 1561-ca. 1620), also a reproductive engraver. At the end of the decade he began publishing prints. He was also an active book illustrator; the first mention of Collaert in the records of Plantin Moretus, the Antwerp publishing house, occurs in 1589. Collaert took on three apprentices in the early 1590s, indicating that he had established a workshop. He was the treasurer of the Guild of St. Luke in 1595, assistant dean in 1596-1597 and dean in 1597-1598. Records show that Collaert employed a least three other apprentices from 1597 through 1605. Over the balance of his life Collaert was particularly active in publishing and in book illustration. For example, he created seventy illustrations for a book published in 1608,. He published numerous prints “in the service of the Counter-Reformation” after 1600. Many of his prints were published on commission from leaders of the Roman Catholic Church. He became a prominent and prosperous citizen, serving as “wijkmeester” (chairman) of his district in Antwerp during 1612-1613. He died on June 29, 1618 in Antwerp. (TNB 12/2012) Selected bibliography: Diels, Ann. “Introduction” to “The Collaert Dynasty,” in The New Hollstein Dutch & Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts 1450-1700. Compiled by Ann Diels and Marjolein Leesberg. 8 vols. Oudeerkerk aan den Ijssel: Sound & Vision Publishers, 2005.