Christophe Plantin

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Plantin, Christophe


Born circa 1520 in Saint-Avertin, France; died July 1, 1589, in Antwerp. Netherlands printer, publisher, scholar, and founder of a large publishing firm.

Plantin fled from religious persecution in France in the mid-loth century and settled in Antwerp, where in 1549 he opened a bookbindery, and in 1555 a printing office. During his 34-year career, Plantin published more than 1,600 books in Antwerp and at his branch offices in Paris and Leiden. His publications consisted chiefly of scholarly works, ancient Greek and Roman works with scholarly commentaries, and liturgical and theological books. They were distinguished by their excellent typography and contained many copperplate engravings. Plantin’s masterpiece is the Antwerp polyglot Bible (Biblia polyglotta; vols. 1–8, 1569–73), printed in Hebrew, Chaldean, Greek, and Latin. Plan-tin’s logotype was a hand holding a pair of compasses over the motto “Through Labor and Constancy.”

Plantin left his printing offices to his sons-in-law; the Antwerp office was inherited by his main successor, J. Moretus. In 1877 a memorial museum devoted to Plantin and Moretus (Museum Plantin-Moretus) was established in the Plantin buildings in Antwerp.


Delen Ary, J. J. Christophe Plantin: Imprimeur de l’humanisme. Brussels, 1944.