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Metalcuts

Christ washing Peters feet, and the Last Supper. Christ kneels, to the left in the foreground, washing the feet of Peter, who is seated to the right and whose right foot is placed in the basin. Behind this group is a second scene, the Last Supper, in which Christ is shown seated at the centre of the table with his disciples on either side. He is shown wearing a different long-sleeved gown and raising his right hand in blessing. John rests his head on Christs bosom. The table is decked with a cloth, on which has been placed a pretzel, a knife, a plate containing a fish, and a piece of bread. Judas, the only figure with no halo, is seated in front of the table, his head raised, and otherwise largely obscured by the group in the foreground. [opens new window]

XYL-1.1: Christ Washing Peters feet, and The Last Supper; The Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane;

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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