- Also known as
Simon van de Passe
primary name: Passe, Simon de
other name: Passaeus, Simon
other name: de Passe, Simon
other name: van de Passe, Simon
- individual; printmaker; sculptor/medallist; Dutch; Male
- Life dates
- Engraver; second son of Crispijn van de Passe I, born in Cologne. 1612-1615 in Utrecht; 1615-1622 in London; 1624-1647 in Copenhagen where he died.
His early career can be deduced from his prints, which he was in the habit of dating. His first dated prints were made in 1612 (two plates in the series Hollstein 231ad and 232ad published by his father in Utrecht). He came to London in 1615 and worked at first almost exclusively for Compton Holland. Simon soon switched publisher, for his plates of 1617-8 were almost all for Sudbury & Humble. Since the Sudbury & Humble address appears to be a later addition to several plates, squeezed into a space not designed to fit it (eg. Viscount Lisle), it may be that Simon first tried to publish his plates himself, before, several months later, going over to Sudbury & Humble.
Much confusion has been caused by two plates of English subjects which bear dates of 1612 and 1613, and it has often been deduced that Simon came to London in 1612. This is impossible as Simon was still producing plates in Holland in 1614 and 1615. The portrait of Prince Henry (Hind II 258.28, Hollstein 61) only has the date added in the third state, and it refers to the year of Henry's death. The date of 1613 on Charles as Duke of York (Hind II 254.18, Hollstein 33 with a first state before Hind's) seems to be copied from that on the plate made for the 1613 edition of Crispijn de Passe's 'Regiae Anglicae Maiestatis Pictura' (Hind II 54.4).
Simon's last plate published in England was in 1621, the year that his brother Willem arrived in London and Crispijn II moved from Utrecht to France. In 1622-4 Simon was based in Utrecht, where in October 1624 he was baptised according to Mennonite rites. His few plates in these years were published by his father, and are portraits of sitters who were closely linked with English international politics of the period. In 1625 he moved to Copenhagen, where he was appointed engraver to Christian IV of Denmark (see the text to Hollstein 19), and in 1637-9 masterminded the Kronberg series of 84 drawings showing the history of Denmark (see 'Apollo', 128 1988, pp.99-103). He remained in Denmark, as engraver for the University, though with visits and a long absence in Utrecht in 1627-30/1. His last dated plate was made in 1646, and he died the following year.
In England Simon became a specialist in portrait engraving, and the pioneer of a new type of auricular frame. In the 'Complete Gentleman' of Henry Peacham (1634, p.109) are the lines: 'The workes of my honest loving friend Crispin de Passe of Utrecht are of most price. These cut to the life, a thing practised but of late years'.
Simon also developed a method of mass-producing engraved roundels (dated examples were made in 1615-8). These were never intended for printing, but were used in the same way as medals, with which they have conventionally been classified.
- Franken; Hollstein; Hind II, pp.245-84 (for his 57 British plates).
H.D. Schepelern, 'Simon de Pas og andre kobberstikkere omkring Christian IV', Kunstmuseets Aarsskrift, XXXVIII 1951, pp.1-45 (for plates made in Denmark)
Ilja Veldman, 'Crispijn de Passe and his Progeny', 2001, chapter 9.