SADELER, Aegidius II
(b. 1570, Antwerpen, d. 1629, Prague)


Flemish engraver, draftsman, and painter, part of a family of artists, active throughout Europe. For three generations this family of engravers, publishers and print-sellers played a dominant role in European graphic art, producing work of great variety and high quality.

Aegidius Sadeler II, along with his uncles Jan and Raphael, played a central role in the Netherlandish Mannerist School of the late 16th and early 17th centuries. He spent most of his career in Prague where Emperor Rudolf II commissioned many of his works. He was appointed Imperial Printmaker to three successive Habsburg emperors in Prague and Vienna and helped to spread the art of the Habsburg Courts, and especially the artists of Rudolf II, particularly Hans von Aachen and Batholomeus Spranger, throughout Europe.

Aegidius was apprenticed to his uncle Jan, an important part of the Antwerp School (which also included Cornelis Cort, Philip and Theodore Galle, Jan and Adrien Collaert, and Jerome, Jan, and Anthonie Wierix), who produced many engravings after drawings by Marten de Vos and others for the publisher Christopher Plantin before becoming a publisher (along with his brother Raphael) himself. In the late 1580s, the family left Antwerp and went to Germany where Jan became printmaker to Duke Wilhelm V of Bavaria, working at his court in Munich.

After visits from Hendrik Goltzius both on his way to Italy and on his return, Aegidius seems to have made the journey himself between 1591 and 1593 where he stayed in Venice, Verona, Rome, and perhaps Florence. In Rome he worked with Joseph Heintz, also one of Rudolf II's imperial painters, which may have led to Aegidius' own appointment at the court of Rudolf II in 1597.

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