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Gerard De Jode

Nymwegen 1509 - Antwerpen 1591


Gerard de Jode; born 1509 or 1517 in Nimwegen; died February 25, 1591, in Antwerp. Gerard de Jode was inducted as a free master into the Guild of St. Lucas in Antwerp in 1547 and received the right to print in 1551. Only his professional activities after 1560 can be traced; no single dated pages or series in the years previous are known.
After 1560, Gerard de Jode published maps of the most important countries in quick succession. A small number of these were drafted and engraved by De Jode himself, but he had the larger part engraved by the brothers Johannes and Lucas von Doetechum. In 1560, he printed an improved edition of the world map of Giacomo Castaldi, and in 1564, he printed the large world map by Abraham Ortelius, who would later become his strongest competition.
In 1573, many maps were compiled into an atlas (Speculum), for which De Jode received the imperial printing rights in 1575 and the royal Spanish rights in 1577. The atlas appeared in 1578 with an accompanying text by Daniel Cellarius and was reprinted by Christian Plantin in 1579. A subsection of this world atlas was the "Speculum Totius Germaniae" ("Complete Atlas of Germany") , a collection of 38 maps. Next to Daniel Ortelius, Gerard de Jode is considered one of the most important map printers of the 16th century, though in contrast to Ortelius, he was almost completely forgotten in the following centuries. On the other hand, there is little to say about his acitivity as an engraver. It is unclear on most of the maps marked with Gerard de Jode printing address, whether he was the engraver or just the printer.


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