In spite of their influence some printmakers have been poorly treated by art history and Peeter van der Borcht is one of them. Many of his prints were copied by other artists and there is evidence that a number of his print series were re-issued until way into the seventeenth century. The scarcity of his etchings is probably one of the reasons of him being largely neglected. As the user of this volume full of hitherto unrecorded prints will notice many of the prints survive in one or two impressions only. And that is peculiar indeed, especially as a lot of them must have gone through considerable editions as they were made to circulate certain religious ideas. Some of them must have been printed in enormous quantities and may even have been handed out on the spot.
Van der Borcht was active in the field of printmaking for a relatively long period. Few prints he was involved in seem to have been done on his own initiative. He was a professional designer print publishers called upon whenever they wanted to issue a certain series or an illustrated book. He would subsequently submit preparatory drawings or copperplates with etched images done by himself or under his supervision. Apart from Christophe Plantin he served the interesting Adriaen Huybrechts (Huberti), Johan Baptista Vrients and others.
We think that the catalogue of the work of this often overlooked artist - " with the superb series of biblical illustrations to H.J. Barrefelt's Imagines et Figurae Bibliorum with their majestic landscapes to come - " will serve iconographers, theologians, general art historians and print lovers alike.
Compiled by Ursula Mielke | Edited by Ger Luijten | Published June 2005