* 1533 Hoorn
† 1578 Rom
Cornelis Cort was one of the most important graphic artist and hand drawers of the 16th century.
Cornelis Cort was born at the Dutch town of Hoorn near Alkmaar in 1533. As of 1553 Cornelis Cort made his first series of prints for Hieronymous Cock, the famous Antwerp publisher. It appears to be very likely that Cornelis Cort was employed at Hieronymous Cock, because Cornelis Cort only began to sign his plates when they were not published by Cock any longer. Additionally, a letter that Titian received in 1567 from his Dutch acquaintance Domenicus Lampsonius mentions Hieronymous Cock as Cornelis Cort´s master.
In Antwerp Cornelis Cort´s art fully unfolded, by 1560 his personal graphic style had become fully developed. What was particularly remarkable about him was his ability to transfer the color shades of paintings to the black and white scheme of graphic works. With a strong and contrasting style, Cornelis Cort took up inspirations from his Italian contemporary Giorgio Ghisi, who was also active for Cock in Antwerp (1550-1555).
Because of his remarkable graphic style, Cornelis Cort was especially popular as reproduction etcher. More than 50 engravings by Cornelis Cort after models by Frans Floris have been preserved. Other models during the years with Cock came from artists such as Andrea del Sarto, Maarten van Heemskerck and Rogier van der Weyden.
In 1565 Cort left Antwerp and set out for Italy. Cornelis Cort was active in Venice, where he met Titian (1565/66 and presumably in 1571/72), and in Rome. In the Eternal City Cornelis Cort was also active as independent publisher in the 1570s. Cornelis Cort died in Rome in 1533.