Hieronymus Cock (Antwerp 1518-1570) was a painter and printmaker. Together with his wife Volcxken Diericx he was one of the fi rst in the north to establish a publishing fi rm for prints. From 1548 their house At the sign of the Four Winds (In de Vier Winden or Aux Quatre Vents) issued hundreds of important etchings and engravings. Prints after frescoes and paintings by Raphael and Bronzino, the fi rst series of classical ruins, antique sculpture, as well as designs by northern artists such as Maarten van Heemskerck and Frans Floris found their way in large numbers all over Europe and helped to spread the renaissance ideals of beauty.
It was Cock who had an eye for the talent of Pieter Bruegel who would supply him with more than sixty designs for prints. He also took the initiative to produce engravings of some monumental imaginative compositions of Hieronymus Bosch.
In this book, the output of the business of Hieronymus Cock and his wife is
carefully reconstructed and analyzed. This publication wants to do justice to
the entrepreneurial mind of the protagonists and make the reader aware of the importance of the role of the print publisher in the history of art.

Joris Van Grieken is curator of prints and drawings at the Royal Library of Belgium in Brussels; Ger Luijten is director of the Fondation Custodia, Paris, and editor of The New Hollstein, the reference work for German and Netherlandish printmaking; Jan Van der Stock is professor of art history at the Leuven University and director of Illuminare Centre for the Study of Medieval Art (KU Leuven).