van Doetechum

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Dutch family of etchers. The brothers Jan [Johannes] van Doetechum I (b Deventer, fl 1554–c. 1600) and Lucas van Doetechum (b Deventer, fl 1554; d before March 1584) worked extensively for Antwerp print publishers, first Hieronymus Cock and later Gerard de Jode I. They may have learnt etching from Cock, but their style is distinct from his; they combined firmly drawn, and frequently ruled, shading lines, the weight of which was controlled by variable biting, with the occasional use of an engraver's burin. Their earliest signed work is the Funeral Procession of Charles V (1559), designed by Cock and published by Christoph Plantin. They appear to have worked entirely from the designs of other artists. They produced a few large figure compositions (e.g. the Resurrection, 1557, after Frans Floris) but specialized in landscape (after Pieter Bruegel I and Hans Bol, among others), architectural and ornamental designs (especially after Cornelis Floris and Hans Vredeman de Vries) and topographical views and maps. During the 1570s and 1580s they devoted themselves increasingly to the etching of maps, contributing to the Theatrum orbis terrarum (1570) of Abraham Ortelius, Gerard de Jode's Speculum orbis terrarum (1578) and Lucas Janszoon Waghenaer's Spieghel der zeevaerdt (1584–5). In 1584 Jan had a shop in Deventer (Lucas was evidently dead by this time). In 1587, when Deventer fell to the Spanish, he fled to Haarlem and remained there until his death. His sons, Jan van Doetechum II (d 1630) and Baptist van Doetechum (fl c. 1589–1606), were also etchers. The van Doetechums were famous in their own time for having invented a mode of etching that closely resembled engraving and for the volume of work they produced; their use of the medium foreshadows Jacques Callot (1592–1635) and particularly Abraham Bosse (1602–76).

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.