Hyeronimus Wierix

Amberes, 1553

Hieronymus Wierix (1553–1619) was a Flemish engraver and member of the Antwerp Wierix family who made engravings after well-known artists, including Albrecht Dürer.

He was born in Antwerp as the son of Anton Wierix I (c. 1520/25–c. 1572). His father Anton was registered as a painter in 1545–6 but is occasionally also referred to as a cabinet maker. It is not believed that Anton I taught Hyeronimus or his other two sons Jan and Anton II. Johannes and Hieronymus are believed to have trained with a goldsmith while Anton II likely trained with an older brother, probably Johannes. Listed as Lutherans at the time of the Fall of Antwerp in 1585, the family members seem to have reconverted to Catholicism soon thereafter.

The three Wierix brothers gained a reputation for their disorderly conduct as evidenced by a 1587 letter by Plantin to the Jesuit priest Ferdinand Ximenes in which he complained that whoever wanted to employ the Wierix brothers had to look for them in the taverns, pay their debts and fines and recover their tools, since they would have pawned them. Plantin also wrote that after having worked for a few days the brothers would return to the tavern. Plantin regularly had to repay Wierix brothers’ debts.

Hyeronimus Wierix was born and died in Antwerp. According to Cornelis de Bie’s book of artist biographies Het Gulden Cabinet he and his brothers Jan and Antoine were all engravers. His pupils were Abraham van Merlen, Jan Baptist van den Sande the elder, and Jacob de Weert. His daughter Christina married the engraver Jan-Baptist Barbé, who later had his other daughter Cecilia (his sister-in-law) declared insane in order to claim her inheritance, a set of Dürer drawings.

Together with other members of the Wierix family of engravers he played an important role in spreading appreciation for Netherlands’ art abroad as well as in creating art that supported the Catholic cause in the Southern Netherlands.

Here you can see the artist's works that are part of the collection.