Plantin, Christophe

Plantin, Christophe

(krēstôf` pläNtăN`), 1514–89, printer. Plantin left his native France for Belgium because of religious persecution. In Antwerp his work, at first as a bookbinder, began in 1549. He began the production and publishing of books in 1555. His establishment continued to work until 1867 and is now preserved as the Plantin-Moretus Museum. Plantin was the leading printer of the second half of the 16th cent., and his books are admired for their accuracy and their typography. His equipment included types designed by GaramondGaramond, Claude
, 1480–1561, Parisian designer and maker of printing types. According to tradition he learned his art from Geofroy Tory. Types designed by Garamond were used in the printeries of the Estienne family, Colines, Plantin, and Bodoni, and types used by the
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 and GranjonGranjon, Robert
, fl. 1545–88, French designer of type and printer. He began his work in Paris and afterward worked in Lyons, Antwerp, and Rome. The types that he designed and made included roman, italic, Greek, Hebrew, and Syriac.
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. The most famous work from his press is the Polyglot Bible (Bible regia) in eight volumes. In the center of his printer's mark is a pair of compasses.


See study by K. L. Bowen and D. Imhof (2009).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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