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Kunstbuchlin, darinnen neben Furbildung vieler Geistlicher unnd Weltlicher Hohes und Niderstands Personen . . . allerhandt kunstreiche Stuck unnd Figuren . . . Alles auff das zierlichst und kunstlichst gerissen
Frankfurt: Johann Feyerabend, 1599. Frankfurt: Johann Feyerabend, 1599. Renaissance Woodcut Master Ammon, Jost (1539-1591). Kunstbuchlin, darinnen neben Furbildung vieler Geistlicher unnd Weltlicher Hohes und Niderstands Personen . . . allerhandt kunstreiche Stuck unnd Figuren . . . Alles auff das zierlichst und k?lichst gerissen. Frankfurt: Johann Feyerabend, 1599. First complete edition. Small 4to (193 x 143 mm). Title printed in red and black, 293 full page woodcuts. Old stamp removed from title and patched on recto and verso, lacking final blank. Old vellum gilt, gilt edges (rebacked). Adams A 969; Brunet I, 234; Fairfax Murray German 36. Wood engravings after Jost Amman by various engravers. The first woodcut is signed by Amman "IA," but also by the engraver "MF." This mark plus those of "L.F.," "C.S.," and "G.H." are also found in the volumes. First complete edition of this model book for painters, designers, copyists and other craftsmen. The designs comprise mythological and classical compositions, as well as modern subjects with female figures, heads of bishops and Turks, military and other costume of the period, horses, combats, etc. Excellent as a resource for the study of dress and manners, as well as the study of weapons and horses. Jost Ammon, Swiss-German printmaker, painter, draughtsman, designer of woodcuts, and etcher. Also known as Jos, Jobst, or Joss Amman. Died in Nuremberg in 1591. The son of a notable professor, the erudite Jost Amman chose printmaking over scholarship, but always maintained contacts in humanist circles. He may have apprenticed in Basel or Zurich and probably also studied in Paris and Lyon. In 1561, Amman settled in Nuremberg, where he worked with Virgil Solis. After Solis's death in 1562, Amman began a lifelong partnership with Solis's publisher Sigmund Feierabend, becoming the chief designer of publications, adapting himself to every task, and changing his style according to his employer's demands. If Amman is not recognized as an equal to Durer and Holbein, it is because he did too much work in the service of others. Although economic concerns prevented Amman from fully developing his genius, he is nevertheless considered one of the most important and productive illustrators and woodcutters of his time. Amman's woodcuts can be recognized by the elegant, mannered slenderness of the figures. The artist also composed technical and theoretical writings on art. Amman's drawing is "correct and spirited, and his delineation of the details of costume, &c., is minute and accurate" (Snell). The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition notes that Amman "revealed himself as a brilliant and witty recorder of contemporary events." Amman's prints depict the costumes of men of all ranks, the women of Europe and their dress, and representations of hunting and fowling with numerous dynamic pictures of horses. According to William Andrew Chatto, the prints in Kunstbuchlin "afford the best specimens of his talents as a designer on wood [and] are those illustrative of the costume of the period, first published between 1580-1585 by S. Feyerabend at Frankfort." Chatto also notes that this 1599 edition was published for the "especial benefit of painters and amateurs" (492). The works of Jost Amman have proved a mine for succeeding artists; his figures were frequently copied by wood engravers in France, Italy, and Flanders; and even some modern English paintings contain evidence of the artist having borrowed more than a hint of the figures of Amman. Some of his very best designs are to be found among his equestrian subjects. His men generally have a good "seat" and his ladies seem to manage their heavy long-tailed steeds with great ease and grace (492). Benezit's Dictionnaire (not prone to heaping praise on its entries) called Amman one of the great artists in the spirit of Durer, Aldegrever and Beham. Amman is notable for his artistic expression through his engravings, which were produced with "vitraux remarquables." He was as facile with a copper plate as with a woodblock, and his beautiful designs with a pen as well as his prints should be studied by amateurs (I, 147). References: Andresen I, 99ff; Benezit, Dictionnaire des peintres sculpteurs . . . (1966); Chatto, A Treatise on Wood Engraving, Historical and Practical (1839); Encyclopaedia Britannica, "Jost Amman," http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/20894/Jost Amman; O'Dell, "Jost Amman and the Album Amicorum Drawing after Prints in Autograph Albums," Print Quarterly IX (1992): I; Rabb, A Sixteenth Century Book of Trades, (2009); Snell, "Jost Amman," About.com, http://historymedren.about.com/od/aentries/a/11_amman.htm. Provenance: Acquired from Gilhofer & Ranschburg, 1983; Arthur & Charlotte Vershbow, Christie's, NY, April 9-10, 2013, lot 87.
      [Bookseller: Golden Legend, Inc.]
Last Found On: 2014-05-02           Check availability:      Biblio    

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