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2017-06-22 21:59:47
Wittenberg: Georg Rhau, 1549. FIRST EDITION. This elusive work features a major suite of wood engravings by a leading artist of the German Renaissance, vividly depicting the martyrdoms suffered by Christ's Apostles, the "Holy 12" of the title. Court painter to Frederick, elector of Saxony, and friend of Martin Luther, Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553) is described by Britannica as the "chief pictorial propagandist of the Protestant cause in Germany." His reputation drew other artists to Wittenberg, and Muther observes that the city "achieved its position in the history of book illustration by virtue of Martin Luther and Lucas Cranach." He is best known today as an engraver, and the present woodcuts demonstrate his merit. Originally designed in 1514 and used once before (in a 1539 work on the Apostle's Creed), they are full of movement and detail, showing the various brutal deaths of the Apostles--by crucifixion, beheading, and in the case of the unfortunate Simon, by being sawn in half--before jeering crowds. In the sermon printed here at the front of the volume, Lutheran preacher Pollicarius (1524-67) explains how the lives and deaths of the Apostles can be a source of inspiration and instruction to Christians (while Lutherans had abolished the cult of the saints, they were still devoted to the Apostles). Accompanying each plate is a line linking back to the prefatory sermon and then a brief passage describing the image, often including scriptural citations of the event portrayed. Pollicarius studied under Luther at Wittenberg and wrote the first biography of his teacher … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Mediev
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