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Frans van den Wyngaerde
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One of the leading print publishers in 17th-century Antwerp, Frans van den Wyngaerde was also a skilled etcher and engraver who created reproductive prints after Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), Anthony van Dyck (1599-1640) and many other artists. Born in 1614 to a family of fishmongers, he was baptized on July 8 of that year. Wyngaerde apparently showed artistic talent at an early age, as his father placed him as an apprentice with Paulus Pontius (1603-1658) when he was about fourteen. He was enrolled as a master in the artists’ Guild of St. Luke during the Guild’s year 1636-1637. Apparently impoverished, the dean of the guild loaned him part of the necessary fee. His fortunes apparently improved. By 1640, when he married Maria Cruyt, the daughter of wealthy merchants, he contributed an estate valued at 1,500 guilders, at a time when a master carpenter earned about a third that much in a year. By the middle of the century he was a very successful publisher of prints, along with the Antwerp publishers Martinus van den Enden (before 1605-after 1654), Gillis Hendrcx (?-1677) and Joannes Meyssens (1612-1670). In addition to publishing his own work and that of his contemporaries, Wyngaerde acquired old plates by well-established artists, added his name to the plate and reissued the prints. He had a connection with Italy, and published seven plates by Jusepe de Ribera (1591-1652), a Spanish artist working in Naples. Wyngaerde’s own prints include etchings, engravings and plates with both techniques used. The subject matters include about thirty religions scenes, allegories, genre scenes and portraits, a series of fifty portraits of Catholic cardinals, eleven illustrations of battle scenes for a book and twenty-six sheets of illustrations of emblems for a religious book. He became a captain of the civic guard and died in 1679 with substantial assets. (TNB 2/2013) Selected bibliography: Duverger, Erik and Danielle Maufort. “Franciscus van den Wyngaerde,” in Carl Depauw and Ger Luijten. Anthony van Dyck as a printmaker. Exhibition catalog, p. 390. Antwerp: Antwerpen Open, 1999.