Emanuel von Baeyer
Incunabula and Early Illuminated Woodcuts in Northern Europe
Incunabula and Early Illuminated Woodcuts in Northern Europe
Emanuel von Baeyer Cabinet is delighted to present a new online exhibition on incunabula and early illuminated woodcuts.
We display some truly rare and precious incunabula and sixteenth-century book illustrations. This is a continuation of our interest in the topic with a particular focus on hand-colouring and early colour printing, following our publication "Illuminated. Prints 1480 - 1600". Most of the works on offer are Canon woodcuts and leaves from rare and important publications printed between 1480s and 1550s.
Please visit to view the full exhibition.
Detail: Johann Prüss, Hie reitet worfdietrich muss gen Iherusalem... c.1480
Hie reitet wolfdietrich auss gen Iherusalem...
Size of woodblock: 9.6 x 12.4 cm.
Woodcut with contemporary hand colouring in yellow, red, pink and grey.
Literature: Schreiber XX, nos. 1397 and 1425.
A handsome and carefully coloured leaf from one of the most precious early illustrated publications North of the Alps. This collection of epic tales from the thirteenth century focused on the heroic figure Dietrich of Berne or Wolfdietrich, is one of the sources of literature on which Richard Wagner based his Ring der Nibelungen. The book is extremely rare, only nine copies are known and leaves with colouring are rarer still.
Christ on the Cross
Size of woodblock: 23.7 x 15.9 cm.
Woodcut with contemporary hand colouring in yellow, green, red and brown.
Literature: Hollstein p. 96. Oldenbourg 153. Dodg. II, 10, 1.
Watermark: High crown (See. Briquet 4902, there dated Nuremberg 1487-1500 and Meder 20). A fine impression with strong contemporary hand colouring without text verso. The woodcut was used in: Beschlossen Gart, 1505, and in Ulrich Pinder’s Speculum Passionis domini nostri Ihesu christi... Nuremberg, Friedrich Peypus, 1507.
Detail: Erhard Altdorfer (c.1480 Regensburg - 1561/2 Schwerin), Joshua, seated as a Maximilian knight. 1534.
Coat-of-Arms of Florian von Waldauf
Size of woodblock: 18.2 x 13 cm.
Woodcut printed in black, red and yellow.
Literature: Hollstein 827. Sch. S. XII. 18. Geisberg, German Bookillustration, vol. 8, no. 818, plate 351.
From: Missal of the Diocese of Brixen. Augsburg, Erhard Ratdolt, 17. August 1493. Very fine impression in unfaded colours of an early example of colour woodcuts printed from three blocks. Hans Burgkmair was introduced to colour printing at Ratdolt’s press in Augsburg and his conception of the art was subsequently influenced for a lifetime by the printer. Yellow printing inks from this time are rare and the colours are fugitive, and this impression seems particularly vibrant and clearly printed rather than painted. Florian Waldauf, Ritter von Waldenstein was an Austrian knight in the services of Emperor Maximilian I. The son of a Tyrolian farmer, he served as a scribe to Archduke Sigismund Austria (1427-1496). When the latter resigned, he entered employment with young King Maximilian.
Christ before Annas
Size of woodblock: 21.5 x 16.5 cm.
Literature: Pass. III.332,40. Weigel 19115.
One single line of text above: “Zn der Mettin zeit Christus vor Anna” and 5 lines of text below. Fine impression in fresh condition.
Detail: Heinrich Vogtherr the Elder, attributed (1490 Dillingen - 1556 Vienna), Coat of Arms of Strasbourg, c. 1530
Size of sheet: 23.4 x 21 cm.
Literature: Hollst.13. B.13. Dodgson 120. Provenance: Unknown collector’s stamp, similar to A.H. Rouart (Lugt 2l87 a).
Watermark: High Crown (Cf.Piccard VII 73, Württemberg 1523). Early impression from the collection of portraits of Saints for the emperor Maximilian ( "Seel und heiligen buch Keiser Maximilians altfordern"). Beautiful, early impression with some relief on the verso.
Urs Graf / Master DS (Daniel Schwegler?)
Pope Gregory receiving a Deputation of Lawyers and Monks/ Recto: Basilisk Supporting the Arms of the City of Basel
Size of woodblock: 23.7 x 19 cm.
Literature: Lüthi 12. Hollstein 264. Bock 35. Hieronymus 103. Bartrum, German Renaissance Prints, 1995, 212. Chr. Müller, Urs Graf , 2002, p. 343, 57.
From: Decretum Gratiani, Basle, Johann Amerbach, Hendric Petri and Johann Froben, 1512. This fine woodcut by Urs Graf shows the presentation of the Liber Extra by Raimund of Peñafort to Pope Gregory IX. The woodcut was used in the Decretals of Gratian printed in Basle 1512. On the recto we find one of the most impressive woodcuts of Master DS. The cut served as printer’s mark for the Basel firm of Johann Amerbach, Johann Froben and Johann Petri and first appeared in books printed 1511.
Detail: Leonhard Beck (c.1480 - Augsburg - 1542), Sancta Bathildis, 1510
Size of sheet: 23.5 x 21.2 cm.
Literature: Hollstein 12, 94. B. VII 240, 94. Dodg. II, p.131, 113.
A fine crisp impression from the series of Saints in the Genealogy of the House of Habsburg, printed at the time of the execution of the block. Rare. Leonhard Beck was one of the artists who worked on Emperor Maximilian’s numerous projects illustrating his life and his family history. Our image is one of 123 woodcuts of individual Saints- all in Renaissance settings, which Leonard Beck executed for the Genealogy of Maximilian I between 1516 and 1518, but which was not published until much later.
Master GZ (Gabriel Zehender, attributed)
Christ on the Cross between the Virgin Mary and St. John
Size of sheet: 34.3 x 24.5 cm. Lower left, on a stone, in mirror writing the letters GZ (intertwined) and the date 1517. Watermark unidentified.
Woodcut with full contemporary hand colouring in yellow, green, blue, red, pink and brown.
Literature: F. Hieronymus, Oberrheinische Buchillustration, 2, Basle, 1983, no. 280 and p. XVIII. Hans Koegler in: Schweizer Künstler-Lexikon, vol. 4 (suppl.), p. 191–195, no. 5. Karlsruhe,Exhibition catalogue Hans Baldung Grien. 1959, no. 314.
The attribution of this powerful crucifixion to Gabriel Zehender, the Basel painter, remains unconfirmed. First identified in 1917 by Hans Koegler as part of a small group of woodcuts printed in Basel, Hagenau and Strasbourg, the image was then attributed to Gabriel Zehender in the exhibition catalogue of Karlsruhe 1959. This attribution was contested for chronological reasons by Frank Hieronymus. The two known woodcuts with the monogram GZ both appeared in 1518, whereas Zehender seems traceable in Basel between 1529 and 1534. More importantly, Hieronymus praises the outstanding quality of the crucifixion with its extensive landscape showing mountains in the background, calling it “powerful and very expressive” and identifying this crucifixion as “one of the greatest book woodcuts of its time”. It is signed and dated in the block: 1517 GZ. (Hieronymus, p. 284 f). The woodcut was created as a Canon leaf for the Missale Ordinis sancti Benedicti reformatorum nigrorum monachorumprinted in Hagenau by Thomas Anszhelmus January 1518.
Heinrich Vogtherr the Elder (attributed)
Coat of Arms of Strasbourg
Size: 25.5 x 16 cm.
Woodcut printed from two blocks in red and black, partially coloured in light yellow.
Literature: Röttinger 77 (Brunfels); VD16 B 8499, frontispiece (fol.4v). Provenance: Friedrich August II (1797–1854), Dresden (Lugt 971); Dr. Albert Blum (1882–1952), Short Hills (Lugt Suppl. 79 b).
A fine example of printing in black and red with the help of stencil colouring. From Otto Brunfels, Herbarum vivae eicones, vol. I (Strasbourg: Johann Shott, 1530-36). In 1997 Frank Muller attributed the woodcut to Heinrich Vogtherr. (Frank Muller. Heinrich Vogtherr l'Ancien: un artiste entre Renaissance et Réforme. Wolfenbütteler Forschungen. Voll. 72. Wiesbaden 1997).
Joshua, seated as a Maximilian knight
Size of woodblock: 18 x 19.2 cm.
Literature: Dodg. II, 378, 1. Pass. 16. Hollst. 16. Kat. New Haven, 1969, 68. W.19. Mielke, cat. Altdorfer, Berlin/Regensburg 1988, 190 d. Giulia Bartrum, German Renaissance Prints, 1490–1550, 1995, p. 198 and cf. p. 94f.
This strong work depicts Joshua, the war-leader of the Israelites who captured Jericho, as a Maximilian knight. It was used as the titlepage of the Old Testament of the Lubeck Bible, completed in 1534. With an expressive affluent line, a very battle-weary Joshua – clad in his armour – is depicted seated on a rock. At the far left the mountain landscape with a fortress testifies to Erhard Altdorfer’s origins in the Danube school.