HONDIUS, Hendrik I
(b. 1573, Duffel, d. ca. 1650, Den Haag)


Engraver, etcher, draughtsman and publisher, part of a Dutch family of printmakers and publishers of Flemish descent, active in The Hague. Like another Hondius family of Amsterdam, with whom they are often confused, they fled from their native Flemish town because of the war with Spain. Guiljam Hondius, a school master in Duffel, moved his family to nearby Mechelen, but after he died his widow settled in Antwerp. Their son Hendrik Hondius I married Sara Jansdochter, daughter of an Antwerp goldsmith, and they moved to The Hague, where Hendrik became one of the most important Dutch reproductive printmakers and publishers in the early 17th century. The division commonly made in the literature between prints attributed to Hendrik I of the Hondius family from The Hague and Hendrik 'II' of the Hondius family from Amsterdam is arbitrary and in need of revision. The two families may well have been related, but a direct connection has not yet been established. Between 1598-99 and c. 1616 Hendrik I and his wife had five daughters and two sons, the portrait engraver Willem Hondius (?1600-1658) and Hendrik Hondius II, who became a print publisher.

Hendrik I trained with Godefroy van Gelder, a goldsmith in Brussels, and then with Jan Wierix, a printmaker in Antwerp. After travelling to Cologne, London and Paris, he was in The Hague by 1597. In that year he was registered in the artists' guild and obtained his first print privilege for a portrait of Prince Maurits. He was awarded a general privilege by the States General in 1599. He left to live in Amsterdam in 1603 and Leiden in 1604-5, returning to settle in The Hague in 1605.

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