Aldegraef, Henry

, a celebrated artist, was born at Zoust in Westphalia, in 1502; but we have no account of his family, nor are we quite certain of his Christian name, some calling him Henry, and some Albert. It is said, that he went to Nuremberg, and studied under Albert Durer, as he copied his style. As a painter, he attained considerable fame: the principal part of his works are in the churches and convents of Germany. Des Piles mentions a “Nativity” by him, which he accounts worthy of the admiration of the curious. He is, however, chiefly known by his engravings; and as, like many of the ancient engravers, particularly of Germany, he applied himself chiefly to the engraving of small plates, he has been classed by French authors among those they call little masters, and in this class he claims the first rank. The mechanical part of his engraving is extremely neat, and executed entirely with the graver. The light parts upon his flesh he has often rendered very soft and clear, by the addition of small long dots, which he has judiciously interspersed. His drawing of the naked figure, which he seems very fond of introducing, is much correcter than is usually found among the old German masters; and much less of that stiff taste, so common to them, appears in his best works. But Florent le Comte’s observation is certainly very just, that his men figures are far more correct than his women. His heads are very expressive in general, and his other extremities well marked, but sometimes rather | heavy. But as his prints are very numerous, amounting, according to abbe de Marolles, to no less than 350, they cannot be supposed to be all equal; it is, therefore, necessary to see many of his prints, before any adequate judgment can be formed. The first collection of them was formed by the burgomaster Six, but to this many additions were made by Mariette, to the amount of 390 pieces, comprising many duplicates with differences. This collection was sold in France, in 1805, for 660 francs. He died at Soest, in 1558, in very poor circumstances, 1


Strutt and Pilkington’s Dictionaries. —Moreri. De Piles, Biog. Universelle.