Theodor de Bry

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Theodorus de Bry (1528 – 27 March 1598) was an engraver, goldsmith and editor who traveled around Europe, starting from the city of Liège (where he was born and grew up), then to Strasbourg, Antwerp, London and Frankfurt, where he settled.

Theodorus de Bry created a large number of engraved illustrations for his books. Most of his books were based on first-hand observations by explorers, even if De Bry himself, acting as a recorder of information, never visited the Americas. To modern eyes, many of the illustrations seem formal but detailed.


Theodorus de Bry was born in 1528 in Liege, east of today's (2008) Belgium, to a family who had escaped the destruction of the city of Dinant in 1466 by the Duke of Burgundy, Philip the Good and his son Charles the Bold. As a man he trained under his grandfather, Thiry de Bry senior (? - 1528), and under his father, Thiry de Bry junior (1495–1590), who were jewelers and engravers, engraving copper plates. The art of copper plate engraving was the technology of that time required for printing images and drawings as part of books. In 1524, Thiry de Bry junior married Catherine le Blavier, daughter of Conrad le Blavier de Jemeppe. Their son, Theodorus de Bry, also became a jeweler, engraver and book editor and publisher, famous most notably for his depictions of early European expeditions to the Americas.

Around 1570, Theodorus de Bry, a protestant, fled religious persecution south to Strasbourg, along the west bank of the Rhine....
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