The exhibition in the Museum Plantin-Moretus, which is titled “BAROQUE BOOK DESIGN. A tale of friendship and co-operation”, illustrates the publisher’s passion for his trade, highlighting how he inspired and motivated artists, printers and book designers to create an outstanding product in the past and how his influence is still felt in the present.
The Baroque book: a fortunate co-creation by Balthasar Moretus and Peter Paul Rubens
Many new types of books were created in the sixteenth century. We largely owe this to publishers such as the Plantin-Moretus family, who searched for ways of committing new knowledge and ideas to paper and organising this information. They thought of creative ways to arrange text on a page, about the relationship between images and text, the nature of the title page… Books as we know them today were developed during this era.
Balthasar I Moretus took the next great step in the development of book architecture, working with prominent artists for his book designs. He commissioned illustrations from Peter Paul Rubens for his new prayer books. But artists such as Erasmus Quellinus, Karel de Mallery, Peeter de Jode and Abraham Van Diepenbeeck also supplied designs for title pages and illustrations to Balthasar Moretus.
The contemporary publisher as a director
Nowadays publishers still play a defining role in innovations in book architecture. Museum Plantin-Moretus reveals the similarities between Balthasar Moretus’s approach and a contemporary book publishing project in the exhibition, highlighting how a leading contemporary publisher approaches a book and reinvents it, time and again, working with artists.
A tale of friendship and co-operation
The exhibition showcases the publisher’s passion for his trade, highlighting how he inspired and motivated artists, printers and book designers to create an outstanding product in the past and how his influence is still felt in the present. The museum aims to share this passion with its visitors through a lecture series, workshops, collection and workshop visits.