Christopher Plantin

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Founder of the Officina Plantiniana, which became the largest printing business in 16th Century Europe, largely due to his business acumen and a fluid approach to the prevailing political and religious climate. Plantin published works that appealed to both Protestants and Catholics, and was prepared to move his business when things became volatile. From as early as 1558, Plantin was a business associate and friend of Abraham Ortelius, who published his first “modern” atlas of the world in 1570. After many years in Leiden, Plantin did returned as an elderly man to Antwerp in 1585, where he attempted to ingratiate himself one last time with Spain, by printing a Spanish edition of Ortelius’s atlas, in 1588.

Painted portrait of Christopher Plantin, a man with short brown hair, holding a compass in his right hand and a book in his left hand.