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Gerard de Jode

Gerard de Jode

*  1568 Antwerpen
† 1600 Mons

Gerard de Jode was born in 1509 or 1517 in Nimwegen, in the Netherlands. Gerard de Jode was first documented in 1547 on his induction as a free master into the Guild of St. Lucas in Antwerp, where he received the right to print in 1551. His professional activities can be traced back to only 1560; no single dated pages or series in the years previous are known. After 1560, De Jode published maps of the most important countries in quick succession. Part of these were drafted and engraved by De Jode himself, but the larger part was engraved by the brothers Johannes and Lucas von Doetechum. He printed an improved edition of the world map of Giacomo Castaldi in 1560 and four years later the large world map by Abraham Ortelius, who would later become his strongest competition. In 1573, De Jode compiled many maps into an atlas (Speculum), for which he received the imperial printing rights in 1575 and the royal Spanish printing rights in 1577. The atlas was finally published in 1578 with an accompanying text by Daniel Cellarius and was reprinted by Christian Plantin a year later. This world atlas contained the "Speculum Totius Germaniae" ("Complete Atlas of Germany"), a collection of 38 maps. Beside Daniel Ortelius, De Jode is considered one of the most important map printers of the 16th century, though in contrast to Ortelius, he was almost completely forgotten in the centuries which followed. There is little to say about his acitivity as an engraver, as it is unclear on most of the maps marked with his printing address whether he was the engraver or just the printer. De Jode died on February 25, 1591, in Antwerp.