COCK, Hieronymus
(b. ca. 1510, Antwerpen, d. 1570, Antwerpen)


Etcher, print publisher and dealer, part of a South Netherlandish family of artists. Although Jan Wellens de Cock probably came from Leiden, possibly as early as 1503 and certainly from 1506 onwards, he was active in Antwerp as a painter, draughtsman and maybe also an engraver. Two of his four children became artists: Matthijs Cock was a serviceable painter of landscapes, and Hieronymus Cock became an engraver as well as owning the successful and influential publishing house Aux Quatre Vents.

Hieronymus Cock was received into the Antwerp Guild of St Luke in 1546. He probably made a trip to Rome before 1550, the date when he etched and published a series of 25 views of Roman ruins. In 1548 he published a set of ornament designs by Cornelis Floris engraved by Balthazar van den Bos, and over the next two decades more than 1100 prints appeared bearing his name as publisher (Hieronymus Cock excudit) or that of his publishing house, Aux Quatre Vents (At the Sign of the Four Winds). According to van Mander, he also commissioned and dealt in paintings and became rich through these commercial activities.