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 Theodore De Bry  (1528 - 1598)

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Lived/Active: England/Germany/Belgium      Known for: travel subjects, history and Indian engraving

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Theodore  De Bry
An example of work by Theodore De Bry
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Biography from J. Paul Getty Museum and Research Institute:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Born to a wealthy Protestant family and trained in his native Liège as a goldsmith and engraver, Theodor de Bry fled the Netherlands around 1570 due to religious persecution. After moving to the free city of Strasbourg, de Bry left for England in 1586. There he made some of his best-known works, engraved copies after scenes from the New World. ??

While de Bry was in England, his family moved permanently to Frankfurt and set up a publishing business there. When he returned in 1589, he and his sons illustrated ten volumes of American travel literature with his New World engravings, published from 1590 to 1618.

Most Europeans came to know the costumes and customs of the American Indians and the historical events of the New World through de Bry's prints, however distorted. He used European standards for landscape and figure types and, as a Lutheran, emphasized the cruelty of the Catholic Spanish conquerors toward the Peruvian natives. De Bry also published a series of engraved portraits of famous men.

In addition to many book illustrations, he produced a large number of other prints, particularly designs for jewelry and goldsmith work.


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