De Jode I, Pieter (1570-1634)

De Jode I, Pieter (1570-1634)
De Jode I, Pieter (1570-1634)

Flemish engraver Pieter de Jode I possessed a canny talent for the reproduction of multitudinous works of art. He also produced a number of his own original engravings.

De Jode’s engraving education began under his father, the mapmaker Gerard de Jode (1509-1591). He continued his studies under the leading engraver of the time, Hendrik Goltzius (1558-1617), who had a studio in Haarlem, close to De Jode’s hometown of Antwerp. At this time, the Low Countries were a hub for engraving and printmaking, which were proving increasingly popular throughout the 16th century as techniques and distribution improved.

After his time with Goltzius, De Jode travelled to Italy, where he lived and worked for a number of years. Moving between Venice, Siena, and Rome, De Jode would reproduce the works of a number of Italian artists. Annibale Carracci (1560-1609), Titian, and Jacopo Bassano (1510-1592) are only a few whose works he translated into lines engraved upon a metal sheet, which would then be printed in ink.

It is argued that Goltzius’ influence is recognisable in these works. The sophisticated execution of each line and marking, shading tempered and composition and anatomy understood, all show the teachings of De Jode’s master. Nonetheless, they are testament to his own skill. De Jode was able to fluidly translate the dramatic lines and languid poses of baroque masterpieces into the language of lines and ink.

Indeed, De Jode was recognised by a number of artists as being a valuable asset. He struck up a good working relationship with Antonio Tempesta (1555-1630), becoming the foremost reproducer of his works in the Low Countries when De Jode returned to Antwerp in the early 17th century.

Back in Antwerp, De Jode became a member of the Guild of Saint Luke. This was a prestigious honour which allowed De Jode to operate professionally and commercially. He set up his own studio, with pupils working under him who would aid him in producing commissions.

As well as the artwork of others, De Jode also completed a number of portraits of his own design. These featured prominent figures of his time, mainly monarchs and members of Europe’s royal families. Anne of Denmark, King James VI, and King Charles IX of France are depicted with the same sophistication of line as his other works. De Jode gets a great sense of character as well as of the royal regalia in which these figures are dressed. Delicate detail is given to Anne of Denmark’s headpiece, and King James’ ermine robes have the ruffled texture of fur.

Amongst the pupils in his studio were included who would go on to be the defining engravers of their generation. Pieter de Bailliu (1613-1660), Pieter Perret (1555-1625), and Jan Gaspar Dooms (1597-1625) are only a few such credited names. De Jode’s own son, Pieter de Jode II (1606-1674), was trained under his father and would go on to achieve his own very successful career.

Pieter de Jode I forged for himself a noteworthy career reproducing works for artists which would then be distributed across Europe. Not only that but he ensured the continuance of his craft through his tutelage of younger engravers. It is in part thanks to him that engraving continued, and still continues to this day, to be a commonly practised craft.


Born in Antwerp, Belgium.

c. 1590

Trained under Hendrik Goltzius in Harleem, Belgium.

c. 1595-1600

Travelled and worked in Italy.


Became a master of the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke.


Married Susanna Verhulst.


Became a Dean of the Guild of Saint Luke.


Married Josina Galle.


Travelled to Paris, France.


Died in Antwerp, Belgium.

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