Adriean Collaert Biography

Adriean Collaert




Adriaen Collaert, Flemish draughtsman, engraver, print publisher and dealer was born in Antwerp around 1560. He was probably trained by the engraver and publisher Philip Galle, whose daughter Justa he married in 1586, and with whom he collaborated. In 1580 Adriaen was admitted to the Antwerp Guild of St Luke as a master’s son, his father being the artist, designer, and craftsman Jan Collaert I. In 1596 and 1597 he was respectively assistant dean and dean of the Guild. He then apprenticed at the publishing houses of Gerard de Jode, Eduard Hoeswinckel, and Hans van Luyck, before moving to Italy to further his studies for a few years.

Collaert produced a notable and extensive oeuvre of around 600 engravings, including various series after his own drawings of birds, fish and animals (e.g. Animalium quadrupedum, Hollstein, nos 596–615; and Avium vivae icones, 1580; Hollstein, nos 616–47). Also after his own designs are the series of engravings of the Four Elements (pub'd by himself; Hollstein, nos 453–6; see fig.) and Flowers (pub'd by Theodoor Galle; Hollstein, nos 679–702). All these rather uneven compositions are characterized by the faithful representation of nature. Collaert’s own compositions often include decorative borders consisting of flowers, animals and grotesques. This suggests he was important as a designer of ornament.

However, by far the majority of his work comprises engravings after other Netherlandish artists, including Hans Bol, Josse de Momper, Marten de Vos, Crispin van den Broeck, Hendrick Goltzius and Pieter de Jode. These include the Landscapes with Religious Scenes after Bol (Hollstein, nos 479–502), the Four Continents (Hollstein, nos 471–4) after de Vos and John the Baptist in the Wilderness (Hollstein, no. 147) after Goltzius. Adriaen Collaert’s sober, refined and supple burin style resembles that of his father-in-law.  

Adriaen Collaert died on June 29, 1618 in Antwerp, Belgium. 

Biography partially sourced from Grove Dictionary of Art