Hieronymus Cock

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Hieronymus Cock
Hieronymus Cock.jpg
Portrait of Cock with skull (posthumously) engraved by Hieronymus Wierix
Born 1518
Antwerp, Habsburg Netherlands
Died 1570 (1571)
Antwerp, Spanish Netherlands
Field Painting, printmaking, printing
Training Antwerpen, Rome?
Movement Renaissance

Jérôme or Hieronymus Cock, or Wellens de Cock (1518, Antwerp – 3 October 1570, Antwerp) was a Flemish painter and etcher of the Northern Renaissance, as well as a publisher and distributor of prints.[1]


The Holy Family with St. John the Baptist, by Hieronymus Cock (after Andrea del Sarto)

He was born to a family of painters; his father was Jan Wellens de Cock, his brother Matthys Cock.[1] 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.[2]

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

Pictorum aliquot celebrium Germaniae inferioris[edit]

At his death in 1570 he left behind the most prominent print publishing establishment in Europe north of the Alps.[3] His widow Volcxken Diercx continued the publishing house until her death in 1601.[1] 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". The list of artists in the Hieronymus Cock version were (in order): Hubert van Eyck, Jan van Eyck, Hieronymus Bosch, Rogier van der Weyden, Dirk Bouts, Bernard van Orley, Jan Mabuse, Joachim Patinir, Quentin Matsys, Lucas van Leyden, Jan van Amstel, Joos van Cleve, Matthys Cock, Herri met de Bles, Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen, Pieter van Aelst, Jan van Scorel, Lambert Lombard, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Willem Key, Lucas Gassel, Frans Floris, and ending with Hieronymus Cock himself.[4] The book includes a poem by Lampsonius dedicated to the memory of Hieronymus Cock and applauding the work of his widow.[4] In 1610, 22 of these prints served as models for Hendrik Hondius I who published a book of the same name with 69 engraved portraits, though he dropped the portrait of Cock himself. This last portrait (often numbered 23) may however have been dropped because the inscription under it claims the likeness was made after death, rather than being drawn as was more customary, "ad vivum" or after the living model.[5]


  1. ^ a b c Hieronymus Cock at RKD
  2. ^ Diego Gutiérrez at the Library of Congress' website
  3. ^ Riggs, Timothy A. "Hieronymus Cock. Printmaker and Publisher", PhD dissertation, Yale University 1971, published in the series Outstanding Dissertations in the Fine Arts, Garland Publishers, New York / London, 1977.
  4. ^ a b Pictorum aliquot celebrium Germaniae inferioris 1572 version in the Courtauld Institute of Art
  5. ^ Portrait of Hieronymus Cock in the effigies, Courtauld Institute of Art

External links[edit]