(?? c. 1575 – Nancy 1616 or 1638)
Draftsman, painter and French engraver, one of the major exponents of the early Baroque, active at the Dukedom of Lorraine between 1602 and 1616 where he made decorations and paintings, most of which are lost today.
The birthplace and his family descent remain unknown, although according to some French documentary sources he could be born in the Bassigny region, known as “Bellange” in the south of Lorraine.
At the age of about 20 years, after a period of apprenticeship in Nancy, he has travelled in northern Germany where he met the Flemish engraver Crispijn Van de Passe who had moved to Cologne and printed some of Bellange drawings.
Around 1602 Jacques Bellange returned to Nancy, with the reputation of international artist: here he experienced a rapid career as a court painter and draftsman.
In 1612 he married Claude Bergeron, the seventeen years old daughter of an eminent chemist, and they had three children.
His etchings focused on religious subjects and reflect the influence of the “School of Fontainebleau”, inspired by the Italian Mannerist Parmigianino and Barocci and the Nordic masters like Spranger and Goltzius. The works of Bellange are characterized by refined elegance, to the limit of virtuosity, and a whimsical refinement of composition and style.
The exact date and cause of his death remains unknown.