Theodorus de Bry (1528 – 27 March 1598) was an engraver, goldsmith, editor and publisher, famous for his depictions of early European expeditions to the Americas. The Spanish Inquisition forced de Bry, a Protestant, to flee his native Spanish-controlled Southern Netherlands. He moved around Europe, starting from the city of Liege in the Prince-Bishopric of Liege (where he was born and grew up), then to Strasbourg, Antwerp, London and Frankfurt, where he eventually settled.
In 1590 Theodorus de Bry and his sons published a new, illustrated edition of Thomas Harriot's ""A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia ""about the first English settlements in North America (in modern-day North Carolina). His illustrations were based on the watercolor paintings of colonist John White. The book sold well, and the next year de Bry published a new one about the first French attempts to colonize Fort Caroline, Florida, founded by Jean Ribault and Rene de Laudonniere. It featured 43 illustrations based on paintings of Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues, one of the few survivors of Fort Caroline. Jacques de Moyne had planned to publish his account of his expeditions but died in 1587. According to de Bry's account, he had bought de Moyne's paintings from his widow in London and used them as a basis for the engravings.
He and his son John-Theodore made adjustments to both the texts and the illustrations of the original accounts, on the one hand in function of his own understanding of Le Moyne's paintings, and, most importantly, to please potential buyers. The Latin and German editions varied markedly, in accordance with the differences in estimated readership.
The verisimilitude of many of de Bry's illustrations is questionable; not least because he never crossed the Atlantic. Amerindians look like Mediterranean Europeans, and illustrations mix different tribal customs and artifacts. In addition to everyday life of the American natives, Theodore de Bry even included a few depictions of cannibalism. All in all, the vast amount of these illustrations and texts influenced the European perception of the New World, Africa, and Asia. These books or parts were called ""The Grand Voyages"" (14 parts) and the ""Little Voyages"" (also 12 parts).
Girolamo Benzoni published a ""History of the New World, ""in 1565, describing the Spanish territories there which he spent c. 15 years exploring; a large part of his writings are based on his own experiences. de Bry's parts IV, V, and VI are from Benzoni's history.
""Pars Sexta"" - This part contains the third and last portion of Benzoni's ""History,"" relating to Peru. In this volume there are also to be found a history of the Canary Islands; a history of the expedition of the French into Florida; and (pages 105-108) the petition by the widows, children, and friends of the French who had been massacred by the Spanish in 1665 [sic, i.e. 1565].
[Church 158. Biblioteca Mejicana p. 51 #479].