Pictures in print
XYL-1.2: Christs Descent into Hell; Resurrection of Christ
[Southern Germany (Bavaria?), c.1455-60]. Metalcuts (dotted prints) with Latin inscription.
These pictures belong to a cycle of scenes of Christ's Passion extending from the Entry into Jerusalem to the Last Judgement. The cycle is known from the Munich copy as the Stger-Passion (or Leiden Christi), and the pictures were designed to be printed on small leaves and made up into a booklet.
The separate Bodleian leaves XYL-1.1 and XYL-1.2 were removed in Feb. 1887 from a small-format Greek book of hours printed by Aldus Manutius in Venice in 1497 (see Bod-inc H-169), where they had been pasted inside the binding. XYL-1.1 was pasted inside the upper board (with Christ washing Peters feet and the Last Supper uppermost) and XYL 1.2 inside the lower board (with the Resurrection of Christ uppermost) of a contemporary Italian blind-tooled brown leather binding.
The printing of the illustrations back to back is only otherwise attested in the complete copy of the Leiden Christi in Munich, which has German text, and in the Rosenthal fragments [now in the Schiede Library, Princeton], which have Italian text. In view of their provenance, having been extracted from the Italian binding of an incunable printed in Venice, it seems most probable that the Bodleian leaves are fragments of the Italian incunable edition. Whether this edition was produced in Germany, for export, or in Italy itself, remains the subject of controversy.
Shelfmark: Arch. G f.6 and Arch. G f.7.
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