Christophe Plantin (1520-1589), founder of an important printing house and publisher of the Antwerp Polyglot Bible, learned bookbinding and bookselling in Normandy and settled as a bookbinder in Antwerp in 1549.
A bad arm wound seems to have led him to turn to typography around 1555. His many publications were distinguished by their excellent typography, and he was original in using copper, instead of wood, engravings for book illustrations.
His greatest venture, the “Biblia polyglotta” which would fix the original text of Old and New Testaments, was supported by Philip II of Spain in spite of clerical opposition and appeared in eight volumes during 1569-1572.
When Antwerp was plundered by the Spaniards in 1576 and Plantin had to pay a ransom, he established a branch office in Paris and then, in 1583, settled in Leiden as the typographer of the new university of the states of Holland, leaving his much reduced business in Antwerp to his sons-in-law, John Moerentorf (Moretus) and Francis van Ravelinghen (Raphelengius).
But in 1585, Plantin returned to Antwerp. After his death, the business was carried on by Moretus but declined in the second half of the 17th century. All was religiously preserved, however, and in 1876 the city of Antwerp acquired the buildings and their contents and created the Plantin-Moretus Museum.