Hieronymus Cock  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Jérôme or Hieronymus Cock, or Wellens de Cock (c. 1510–1570) was a Flemish painter and etcher of the Northern Renaissance, as well as a publisher and distributor of prints.


He was born to a family of painters; his father was Jan Wellens de Cock, his brother Matthys Cock. He was admitted to the painters' guild of Saint Luke in Antwerp in 1545 and from 1546 to 1548, he travelled to Rome. When he returned to Antwerp in 1548, he founded his own publishing house, Aux quatre vents or In de Vier Winden (the "House of the Four Winds"). He issued his first prints there in 1548. Cock's enterprise played an important role in the spread of the Italian High Renaissance throughout northern Europe as Cock published prints by prominent engravers as Giorgio Ghisi, Dirck Volckertsz Coornhert, and Cornelis Cort after leading Italian painters as amongst others Raphael, Primaticcio and Andrea del Sarto. Vincenzo Scamozzi copied many of the engravings made by Cock for his own volume on Rome. Cock also published prints after painters from the Netherlands such as Frans Floris, Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Maarten van Heemskerck, and Hieronymus Bosch.

With the Spanish cartographer Diego Gutiérrez, he collaborated on a 1562 Map of America.

From 1557, Philippe Galle worked at his printing house and later succeeded him there.

Pictorum aliquot celebrium Germaniae inferioris

At his death in 1570 he left behind the most prominent print publishing establishment in Europe north of the Alps. His widow Volcxken Diercx continued the publishing house until her death in 1601. In 1572 she published the popular book by Dominicus Lampsonius called Pictorum aliquot celebrium Germaniae inferioris effigies, a set of 23 engraved portraits of artists with short verses printed below them, sometimes signed "IHW".

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