Stradanus (1523-1607), court artist of De Medici.
Jan van der Streat was a designer of prints and tapestries, mostly known as Joannes Stradanus or known as Giovanni Stradano in Italy. He was born in Bruges in 1532 and received early instruction from his father Jan van der Straet (died 1535) and after his death for two years from Maximillian Franck (1490-1547). Between 1537 and 1540 he studied in Antwerp under Pieter Aertsen (q.v.), and in c.1545 became a master in that city and that same year travelled to Italy via Lyon, where he worked with Corneille de Lyon (q.v.). During his first stay in Florence (1546-50) he designed tapestries for Cosimo de’ Medici’s factory, the Arazzeria Medicea. During 1550-3 he probably was in Rome where he collaborated with Daniele da Volterra in the Belvedere, deeply influenced by Salviati (q.v.) When he was back in Florence he made independent tapestry designs and from 1557 onwards worked under Giorgio Vasari’s supervision on the decoration of the Palazzo Vecchio. In 1563 and again in 1586 and 1591 he was an officer of the Accademia del Disegno and painted altarpieces for several Florentine churches. In 1578 designed two series of ‘Hunting Scenes’ engraved by Philip Galle, later republished as one series in c.1596. He aso worked in Naples on frescoes and easel paintings. In 1602 he ‘retired’ from the duties of the Accademia del Disegno and died in Florence 3 November 1605.
The native of Bruges made a career in the Florence of the second half of the sixteenth century, was, after Giorgio Vasari, one of the most important painters at the court of the Medici, and above all made a great name for himself as a designer of hundreds of prints, some of which have become among the most reproduced engravings in the history of art.
Johannes Stradanus was in the words of Karel van Mander in 1604, the celebrated Bruges painter in Florence’…. soo sal Vlaender ten minste haer ghetrochten, sulck een besonder Brugghelingh te hebben ghehadt, die t’schoon Florencen met de bloemen zijner wercken noch schoonder wesen toehelangt.’