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Jan Sadeler I
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A Flemish engraver, draftsman and publisher who worked in the Low Countries, Germany and Italy, Jan Sadeler I was part of a famly of engravers, publishers and printers active in Europe for a hundred years beginning in the 1560s. Born in Brussels in 1550, his father was a specialist in engraving designs on steel weapons and on cutlery. The second of three brothers (all of whom became artists), Jan (or Johan) Sadeler probably was an apprentice to his father but sometime before 1568 moved to Antwerp where he worked making illustrations for the publishing house of Cristophe Plantin (1514-1589), a French printer to had moved to Antwerp to establish what became one of Europe’s great publishers. Sadeler was admitted to the artists’ Guild of St. Luke in 1572 as an engraver. He made reproductive engravings, a line of work he would pusue for the rest of his life. His output was prodigiouis: he engraved some 560 prints, he published ninety prints and with his older brother Aegidius Sadeler I (before 1580-1620) published nearly two hundred more. In about 1579 he moved to Cologne, probably because of religious persecution, together with his younger brother Raphael Sadeler I (1561-1632). One of his notable works was a portrait of Martin Luther (H. 604, TIB 7001.548) made in 1580 after a painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553). He traveled frequently to Antwerp, where many of his prints were published. By 1586 he had moved to Frankfurt, where he was made a citizen in 1587 and continued his career of making reproductive engravings. He was joined there by his brothers Raphael and Aegidius. In 1588 or 1589 Sadeler moved to Munich, where he became engraver to the court of Duke William V of Bavaria (1548-1626). During the early 1590s he traveled to Italy, and by 1595 was no longer employed by the Bavarian court and had moved to Italy. He is recorded as being in Rome, Venice and Verona, where he made prints after a variety of Italian artists. He died in Venice in 1600. (TNB 8/2012).