Brye, Theodore De

, an eminent engraver, was born in 1528, at Leige, but resided chiefly at Francfort, where he carried on a considerable commerce in prints. It does not appear to what master he owed his instructions in the art, but the works of Sebast Beham were certainly of great service to him. He copied many of the plates engraved by that artist, and seems to have principally formed his taste from them. He worked almost entirely with the graver, and seldom called in the assistance of the point. He acquired a neat, free style of engraving, well adapted to small subjects in which many figures were to be represented, as funeral parades, processions, &c. which he | executed in a charming manner. He also drew very correctly. His heads, in general, are spirited and expressive, and the other extremities of his figures well-marked. His backgrounds, though frequently very slight, are touched with a masterly hand. He died, as his sons inform us (in the third part of Boissard’s collection of portraits), March 27, 1598. The two first parts of that collection were engraved by De Brye, assisted by his sons, who afterwards continued it.

His great works are, 1. “The plates for the first four volumes of Boissard’s ` Roman Antiquities’.” 2. Those for the illustration of “The Manners and Customs of the Virginians,” in the “Brief true report of the new found land of Virginia, published by Thomas Hariot, servant to sir Walter Raleigh, &c.” Francfort, 1590. 3. The plates to the Latin narrative of the “Cruelties of the Spaniards in America,1598; and 4. his greatest work, “Descriptio Indise Orientalis et Occidentals,1598, 5 vols. fol. He published also many detached plates, the most remarkable and scarce of which is the “Procession for the funeral of sir Philip Sidney.” This is a long roll, contrived and invented by Thomas Lant, gent, servant of that honourable knight, and engraven in copper by Derich or Theodore de Brie, in the city of London, 1578." Prefixed is the portrait of Mr. Lant, aged thirty-two. It contains thirty plates (in the copy we have seen, but Strutt says thirtyfour) and has usually been considered as the first English work by De Brye. There was a copy in Mr. Cough’s collection, which was purchased at his sale in 1810 by sir Joseph Banks for thirty-eight guineas. Mr. Strutt describes another roll by De Brye, representing the procession of the knights of the garter in 1576, which was considered as unique. The copy belonged to the late sir John Ferm. De Brye’s two sons were engravers, but nothing is recorded of them, unless, as already noticed, that they continued Boissard’s portraits and Roman antiquities.1


Strutt’s Dixt.—Lord Orford’s Engravers.