- Also known as
primary name: Vandrebanc, Peter
other name: Banck, Peter Van Der
other name: Van Der Banck, Peter
other name: Vanderbank, Peter
- individual; printmaker; British; French; Male
- Life dates
- Engraver. Vandrebanc was a Frenchman, and always signs his plates with this spelling. It is only in a few advertisements and in later sources that his name was Dutchified as Vanderbank. The entirely plausible information that he was born in 1649 seems not to have an earlier source than F.Basan, 'Dictionnaire des Graveurs', Paris 1767. R.Hecquet states that he was a pupil of the distinguished engraver François de Poilly (in his catalogue of Poilly, 1752, p.4). According to Vertue (I 87), he came to England with Gascar, with the implication that Gascar had brought him to engrave his paintings. In Add.Ms.23078 f.46, Vertue reports: 'Peter van der Bank from Paris came to London 1674 or thereabouts. His works were much admired when he first came, indeed England had never any so large and great works engraved, especially heads which are very masterly done, especially the large head of King Charles'.
On Gascar's departure, Vandrebanc stayed in England, and initially was very successful, publishing all his plates himself. The misfortunes of his later career were described by his youngest son, William, 'a poor labouring man', whom Vertue met in 1743 (V 19, VI 183). Vandrebanc had married a Miss Forester, who brought him a dowry of £500. Her brother had an estate at Bradfield in Hertfordshire, and when Vandrebanc's affairs went badly and he became ill, he retired there. He was buried on 4 October 1697 in the parish church of Cottered-cum-Bradfield (so DNB). His widow sold his plates to the printseller Christopher Browne, the successor to Robert Walton, and his sons went to sea 'or shifted about being not otherwise provided for'. The painter John Vanderbank (1694-1739) was not a relation.
Vandrebanc has never been the subject of any study, although he was the best engraver working in London in his time, and the catalogue of his works remains to be drawn up (the fullest list is in Walpole from Vertue). In several advertisements of 1685-9 he was living at a house in Prince's Street near Leicester Fields; in 1691 he had moved to Greek Street near Soho Square over against Hercules Pillars. He usually worked, not after his own drawings, but after paintings, first by Gascar, and later by Lely, Kneller and others. Kneller made a portrait drawing of him (Stainton & White cat.143).
In later years he broadened his range into other types of prints, among them three very large etchings after Verrio's ceiling at Hampton Court, and the plates to Tijou's ironwork book of 1693. He remained active and up-to-date to at least 1688, and his poverty at the end of his life is hard to explain. Possibly the rise of mezzotint, which was so much quicker, cheaper, and latterly of such high quality, had undercut his business, but it is more likely that some personal or family disaster lay behind his troubles.
- Antony Griffiths, 'The Print in Stuart Britain', p.220
DNB (as Vanderbank)