Israhel van Meckenem

1445 - Nov 10, 1503

Israhel van Meckenem, also known as Israhel van Meckenem the Younger, was a German printmaker and goldsmith, perhaps of a Dutch family origin.
He was the most prolific engraver of the fifteenth century and an important figure in the early history of old master prints. In total, he produced over 620 engravings, most of which were copies of other prints; they represent about 20% of print production by all Northern European artists in the period of his working life. His career lasted long enough for him to copy Dürer prints.
He was active from 1465 until his death, and continued to work as a goldsmith; there are some surviving pieces, and many documented commissions from the city of Bocholt. He probably trained in engraving with Master E. S. in South Germany, and may well have been with him at his death c. 1467, since he acquired and reworked forty-one of the master's plates. Another two hundred of van Meckenem's "own" prints were also copies of Master E. S. engravings. He copied many other printmakers, but it is thought that he engraved some 150 of his own original compositions.
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