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Peeter Van der Borcht

ca. 1535 Malines or Brussels – 1608 Antwerp

Details of the life of Peeter Van der Borcht are few and far between. It is known that the artist was a member of the painters’ guild in Malines from 1559 on. In 1572 he fled for unknown reasons to Antwerp, where he became a master in 1580. Van der Borcht must have gained a measure of esteem in Antwerp, for he was dean of the Guild of Saint Luke from 1589 to 1592 and was made a citizen in 1597. Despite being an influential and productive artist in his lifetime, Van der Borcht’s etchings are rare, a fact that is rather surprising, since many of his inventions were copied by other artists and his prints re-issued until well into the 17th century. Given their popularity at the time, Van der Borcht’s didactic suites of etchings on moral and religious themes must have gone through very large editions, especially as the artist worked for such leading Antwerp publishers as Christoph Plantin, Adriaen Huybrechts, Johannes Baptista Vrients and Philips Galle.