COLYN, Alexander
(b. ca. 1526, Mechelen, d. 1612, Innsbruck)


Alexander Colyn (Colijn or Colin), Flemish sculptor, active in Austria. He was one of the foremost sculptors active at the Habsburg courts in Innsbruck, Prague and Vienna, but his activities before 1558 are unclear. Colyn may have trained c. 1540 with his uncle, Symon Colyns (fl 1518–42), a sculptor or stonemason in Mechelen. It was suggested on the basis of style that the young sculptor was at Fontainebleau in the 1540s and then went to Italy, possibly to Milan. His reputation was well established by March 1558, when he is documented working on the façade sculpture of the Otto Heinrich Wing of Heidelberg Castle with 12 journeymen. In 1559 or 1560 he returned to Mechelen where two years later he married Marie de Vleeschouwer, probably the daughter of Anthoni de Vleeschouwer (d 1558), a sculptor whom Colyn succeeded at Heidelberg. Late in 1562 Colyn moved to Innsbruck where he spent most of the rest of his career.