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Balthasar I Moretus

Balthasar I Moretus cultivated close ties with Spain. As a result, the Officina Plantiniana’s export business to Spain and its overseas territories flourished once again. His luxury editions commanded respect throughout Europe.

After the death of Jan I Moretus in 1610, control of the Officina Plantiniana passed to his sons, Jan II and Balthasar I Moretus, who had to run the business together as a single entity.

The premature death of Jan II Moretus (1576 - 1618)

Jan II and Balthasar I Moretus divided the running of the Officina Plantiniana between them. Jan II took care of the bookshop, while Balthasar I was responsible for the contacts with authors and the editing of the texts. Jan II died young in 1618, leaving Balthasar I Moretus to continue the business on his own.

Balthasar I Moretus (1574 - 1641)

Balthasar I Moretus remained in charge of the Officina Plantiniana until his death in 1641. His luxury editions made an impression throughout Europe. Thanks to Philippus de Peralta, an influential Spanish Jesuit, the Moretuses again secured large contracts to supply Spain and the Spanish colonies. Other works such as historical and neo-Latin publications also still accounted for a large proportion of the output of Balthasar I Moretus.

Collaboration with Rubens

Since his early years in Latin school, Balthasar had been a close friend of Peter Paul Rubens. The painter designed book illustrations and provided portraits of the family’s parents, grandparents and best friends. These still adorn the walls of the ‘grand salon’. Balthasar I Moretus converted the house into a beautiful mansion.

Museum Plantin-Moretus

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