Thomas de Leu

(c. 1555—1612)

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(b Paris, c. 1555; d Paris, c. 1612). French engraver, publisher and print dealer. The son of a dealer in Audenarde, he worked first at Antwerp for Jean Ditmar (c. 1538–1603) and then went to Paris before 1580 to work for the painter and engraver Jean Rabel (1540/50–1603). He married first Marie, daughter of Antoine Caron, in 1583, and secondly, in 1605, Charlotte Bothereau. He skilfully moved from the side of the militant Catholic League in the Wars of Religion to that of Henry IV, and as a result made himself a fortune. He ran a busy workshop and published large numbers of prints by other hands. Among his apprentices were Jacques Honnervogt (fl 1608–35) and Melchior Tavernier (c. 1564–1641). His first dated engraving is Justice (1579; Linzeler, no. 57), after Federico Zuccaro (1540/42–1609). He specialized mainly in portraiture (more than 300 plates), for example Catherine de ’ Medici (l 255), and in devotional engravings, such as Christ in Blessing (1598; l 7); he also made book illustrations. His work, the style of which is somewhat cold, is reminiscent of Flemish engravers of the 16th century, such as Cornelis Cort, the Sadeler and the Wierix families.

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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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