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Title: Early Illustrated Books - A History of the Decoration and Illustration of Books in - the 15th and 16th Centuries
Author: Pollard, Alfred W. (Alfred William), 1859-1944
Language: English
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Transcriber's Notes

Inconsistent spellings and hyphenation have been retained as in the
original. With the exception of minor changes to format or
punctuation, any changes to the text are listed at the end of the
book.

In this Plain Text version of the e-book, symbols from the ASCII and
Latin-1 character sets only are used. The following substitutions are
made for other symbols in the text:

  [et] = Latin Small Letter Et
  [OE] and [oe] = oe-ligature (upper and lower case).

Other conventions used to represent the original text are as follows:

  Italic typeface is indicated by _underscores_.
  Small caps typeface is represented by UPPER CASE.
  Superscript typeface is preceded by caret (e.g. y^e)

Footnotes are numbered in sequence throughout the book and presented
at the end of each chapter.

       *       *       *       *       *

  _Books about Books_
  _Edited by A. W. Pollard_



                                Early
                          Illustrated Books

[Illustration]



                                Early
                          Illustrated Books

                   A History of the Decoration and
                     Illustration of Books in the
                       15th and 16th Centuries

                         By Alfred W. Pollard

[Illustration]

                           _Second Edition_

                                London
               Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd.
                     New York: E. P. Dutton & Co.
                              MDCCCCXVII

                         _First Edition, 1893_
               _Second Edition, revised and corrected_
                              _May 1917_

     _The rights of translation and of reproduction are reserved_



Preface


This little book was written nearly a quarter of a century ago in the
enthusiasm of a first acquaintance with a fascinating subject, and
with an honest endeavour to see for myself as many as possible of the
books I set out to describe. If I had tried to rewrite it now I might
have made it more interesting to experts, but at the cost of
destroying whatever merit it possesses as an introductory sketch. I
have therefore been content to correct, as thoroughly as I could, its
many small errors (not all of my own making), more especially those
due to the ascription of books to impossible dates and printers, which
before the publication of Robert Proctor's _Index to the Early Printed
Books in the British Museum_, in 1898, was very difficult to avoid. In
these emendations, and in getting the titles of foreign books into
better form, I have had much kind help from Mr. Victor Scholderer of
the British Museum. I am grateful also to Mr. E. Gordon Duff for his
leave to use again the chapter on English Illustrated Books which he
kindly wrote for me for the first edition.

  A. W. P.



Contents


    CHAPTER I
                                                        PAGE
  RUBRISHERS AND ILLUMINATORS                              1

    CHAPTER II

  THE COMPLETION OF THE PRINTED BOOK                      22

    CHAPTER III

  GERMANY--I.                                             37

    CHAPTER IV

  GERMANY--II.                                            56

    CHAPTER V

  ITALY--I.                                               79

    CHAPTER VI

  ITALY--II.                                             108

    CHAPTER VII

  FRANCE                                                 142

    CHAPTER VIII

  THE FRENCH BOOKS OF HOURS                              174

    CHAPTER IX

  HOLLAND                                                195

    CHAPTER X

  SPAIN                                                  209

    CHAPTER XI

  ENGLAND. By E. Gordon Duff                             219

  INDEX                                                  249



EARLY ILLUSTRATED BOOKS



CHAPTER I

RUBRISHERS AND ILLUMINATORS


No point in the history of printing has been more rightly insisted on
than that the early printers were compelled to make the very utmost of
their new art in order to justify its right to exist. When a
generation had passed by, when the scribes trained in the first half
of the fifteenth century had died or given up the struggle, when
printing-presses had invaded the very monasteries themselves, and
clever boys no longer regarded penmanship as a possible profession,
then, but not till then, printers could afford to be careless, and
speedily began to avail themselves of their new license. In the early
days of the art no such license was possible, and the striking
similarity in the appearance of the printed books and manuscripts
produced contemporaneously in any given city or district, is the best
possible proof of the success with which the early printers competed
with the most expert of the professional scribes.

All this is trite enough, but we are somewhat less frequently
reminded that, after some magnificent experiments by Fust and
Schoeffer at Mainz, the earliest printers deliberately elected to do
battle at first with the scribes alone, and that in the fifteenth
century the scribes were very far, indeed, from being the only persons
engaged in the production of books. The subdivision of labour is not
by any means a modern invention; on the contrary, it is impossible to
read a list of the medieval guilds in any important town without being
struck with the minuteness of the sections into which some apparently
quite simple callings were split up. Of this subdivision of labour,
the complex art of book-production was naturally an instance. For a
proof of this, we need go no further than the records of the Guild of
St. John the Evangelist at Bruges, in which, according to Mr. Blades's
quotation of the extracts made by Van Praet, members of at least
fourteen branches of industry connected with the manufacture of books
joined together for common objects. In the fifteenth century a book of
devotions, commissioned by some wealthy book-lover, such as the Duke
of Bedford, might be written by one man, have its rubrics supplied by
another, its small initial letters and borders by a third, and then be
sent to some famous miniaturist in France or Flanders for final
completion. The scribe only supplied the groundwork, all the rest was
added by other hands, and it was only with the scribe that the early
printers competed.

The restriction of their efforts to competition with the scribe alone,
was not accepted by the first little group of printers until after
some fairly exhaustive experiments. The interesting trial leaves,
preserved in some copies of the 42-line Bible, differ from the rest
not only in having their text compressed into two lines less, but also
in having the rubrics printed instead of filled in by hand. Printing
in two colours still involves much extra labour, and it was easier to
supply the rubric by hand than to be at the pains of a second
impression, even if this could be effected by the comparatively simple
process of stamping. Except, therefore, in the trial leaves, the
rubrics of the first Bible are all in manuscript. Peter Schoeffer,
however, when he joined with the goldsmith Fust in the production of
the magnificent Mainz _Psalter_ of 1457, was not content to rely on
the help of illuminators for his rubrics and capitals, or, as the
disuse of the word majuscules makes it convenient to call them,
initial letters. Accordingly, the Psalter appeared not only with
printed rubrics, but with the magnificent B at the head of the first
psalm, which has so often been copied, and some two hundred and eighty
smaller initials, printed in blue and red.

Schoeffer's initial letters appear again in two editions of the _Canon
of the Mass_ attributed to 1458, in the _Psalter_ of 1459, in the
_Rationale_ of Durandus of the same year, and in a _Donatus_ printed
in the type of the 1462 Bible. As Mr. Duff has pointed out, in some
sheets of this Bible itself the red initial letters are printed and
the outline of the blue ones impressed in blank for the guidance of
the illuminator in filling them in. Thereafter Schoeffer seems to have
kept his initials for special occasions, as in the 35-line _Donatus_
issued _c._ 1468, perhaps when he was starting business for himself,
and in the antiquarian reprints of the _Psalter_ in and after 1490.
Doubtless he was sorry when he could no longer print in the colophon
of a book that it was 'venustate capitalium decoratus,
rubricationibusque sufficienter distinctus,' but while illuminators
were still plentiful, handwork was probably the least expensive
process of decoration. It is noteworthy, also, that Mr. Duff's
discovery as regards the 1462 Bible brings us down to the beginning of
those troublous three years in the history of Mainz, during which Fust
and Schoeffer only printed 'Bulls and other such ephemeral
publications.' When they resumed the printing of important works in
1465 with the _Decretals_ of Boniface VIII. and the _De Officiis_ of
Cicero, Schoeffer was content to leave decoration to the illuminator.
The firm's expenses were thus diminished, and purchasers were able to
economise in the amount of decoration bestowed upon the copy they were
buying. It is noteworthy, indeed, that even in 1459, when he was
habitually using his printed initial letters, Schoeffer did not refuse
customers this liberty, for while one of the copies of the _Rationale
Durandi_ at the Bibliothèque Nationale has the initials printed, in
the others they are illuminated by hand.

Very little attention has as yet been devoted to the study of the
illumination and rubrication of printed books, and much patient
investigation will be needed before we can attain any real knowledge
of the relation of the illuminators to the early printers. Professor
Middleton, in his work on _Illuminated Manuscripts_, had something to
say on the subject, but the pretty little picture he drew of a scene
in Gutenberg's (?) shop seems to have been rather hastily arrived at.
'The workshop,' he wrote, 'of an early printer included not only
compositors and printers, but also cutters and founders of type,
illuminators of borders and initials, and skilful binders, who could
cover books with various qualities and kinds of binding. A purchaser
in Gutenberg's shop, for example, of his magnificent Bible in loose
sheets, would then have been asked what style of illumination he was
prepared to pay for, and then what kind of binding, and how many brass
bosses and clasps he wished to have.' What evidence there is on the
subject hardly favours the theory which Professor Middleton thus
boldly stated as a fact. The names we know in connection with the
decoration of the 42-line Bible are those of Heinrich Cremer, vicar of
the Church of St. Stephen at Mainz, who rubricated, illuminated, and
bound the paper copy now in the Bibliothèque Nationale, and Johann
Fogel, a well-known binder of the time, whose stamps are found on no
fewer than three of the extant copies of this Bible. We have no reason
to believe that either Cremer or Fogel was employed in the printer's
shop, so that as regards the particular book which he instances, it is
hard to see on what ground Professor Middleton built his assertion.

As regards Schoeffer's practice after 1462, the evidence certainly
points to the majority of his books having been rubricated before they
left his hands, but the variety of the styles in the copies I have
seen, especially in those on vellum, forbids my believing that they
were all illuminated in a single workshop. A copy in the British
Museum of his 1471 edition of the _Constitutions_ of Pope Clement V.
presents us with an instance, rather uncommon in a printed book,
though not infrequently found in manuscripts, of an elaborate border
and miniatures, sketched out in pencil and prepared for gilding, but
never completed. The book could hardly have been sold in this
condition, and would not have been returned so from any illuminator's
workshop. We must conjecture that it was sold unilluminated to some
monastery, where its decoration was begun by one of the monks, but put
aside for some cause, and never finished.

The utmost on this subject that we can say at present is that as a
printer would depend for the sale of his books in the first place on
the inhabitants of the town in which he printed, and as these would
be most likely to employ an illuminator from the same place, the
predominant style of decoration in any book is likely to be that of
the district in which it was printed, and if we find the same style
predominant in a number of books this may give us a clue to connect
them altogether, or to distinguish them from some other group. In this
way, for instance, it is possible that some light may be thrown on the
question whether the 36-line Bible was finished at Bamberg or at
Mainz. Certainly the clumsy, heavy initials in the British Museum copy
are very unlike those which occur in Mainz books, and if this style
were found to predominate in other copies we should have an important
piece of new evidence on a much debated question. But our knowledge
that Schoeffer had an agency for the sale of his books as far off from
the place of their printing as Paris, the Italian character of the
illuminations added to some of his books, and the occurrence of a note
in a book printed in Italy that the purchaser could not wait to have
it illuminated there, but entrusted it to a German artist on his
return home, may suffice to warn us against any rash conclusion in the
present very meagre state of our knowledge.

Apart from the question as to where they were executed, the
illuminations in books printed in Germany are not, as a rule, very
interesting. Germany was not the home of fine manuscripts during the
fifteenth century, and her printed books depend for their beauty on
the rich effect of their gothic types, their good paper and handsome
margins, rather than on the accessories added by hand. The attempts of
the more ambitious miniaturists to depict, within the limits of an
initial, St. Jerome translating the Bible or David playing on the
harp, are, for the most part, clumsy and ill-drawn. On the other hand,
fairly good scroll-work of flowers and birds is not uncommon. As a
rule it surrounds the whole page of text, but in some cases an
excellent effect is produced by the stem of the design being brought
up between the two columns of a large page, branching out at either
end so as to cover the upper and lower margins, those at the sides
being left bare. It may be mentioned that much good scroll-work is
found on paper copies, the vellum used in early German books being
usually coarse and brown, and sometimes showing the imperfections of
the skin by holes as large as a filbert, so that it was employed
apparently, chiefly for its greater resistance to wear and tear,
rather than as a luxurious refinement, as was the case in Italy and
France. An extreme instance of the superiority of a paper copy to one
on vellum may be found by comparing the coarsely-rubricated 42-line
Bible in the Grenville Collection at the British Museum with the very
prettily illuminated copy of the same book in the King's Library. The
Grenville copy is on vellum, the King's on paper; but my own
preference has always been for the latter. Even in Germany, however,
good vellum books were sometimes produced, for the printers
endeavoured to match the skins fairly uniformly throughout a volume,
and a book-lover of taste would not be slow to pick out the best copy.
The finest German vellum book with which I am acquainted is the
Lamoignon copy of the 1462 Bible, now in the British Museum. This was
specially illuminated for a certain Conradus Dolea, whose name and
initials are introduced into the lower border on the first page of the
second volume. The scroll-work is excellent, and the majority of the
large initials are wisely restricted to simple decorative designs.
Only in a few cases, as at the beginning of the Psalms, where David is
as usual playing his harp, is the general good taste which marks the
volume disturbed by clumsy figure-work.

In turning from the illuminations of the first German books to those
printed by Jenson and Vindelinus de Spira at Venice we are confronted
with an interesting discovery, first noted by the Vicomte Delaborde in
his delightful book _La Gravure en Italie avant Marc-Antoine_ (p.
252), carried a little further in the _Bibliographie des Livres à
figures Venitiens_, written by the Prince d'Essling when he was Duc de
Rivoli, then greatly extended by the researches of Dr. Paul
Kristeller, some of the results of which, when as yet unpublished, he
kindly communicated to me, and finally summed up in the Prince
d'Essling's magnificent work, _Les Livres à figures Venitiens_. In a
considerable number--the list given me by Dr. Kristeller enumerated
about forty--of the works published by Jenson and Vindelinus, from
1469 to 1473, the work of the illuminator has been facilitated in some
copies by the whole or a portion of his design having been first
stamped for him from a block. The evidence of this stamping is partly
in the dent made in the paper or vellum, partly in the numerous little
breaks in the lines where the block has not retained the ink; but I
was myself lucky enough to find in the Grenville copy of the _Virgil_
printed at Venice by Bartholomaeus de Cremona in 1472, an uncoloured
example of this stamped work, which was reproduced in
_Bibliographica_, and subsequently by the Prince d'Essling. A copy of
the _Pliny_ of 1469 in the Bibliothèque Nationale, illuminated by
means of this device, has an upper and inner border of the familiar
white elliptical interlacements on a gold and green ground. In the
centre of the lower border is a shield supported by two children, and
at the feet of each child is a rabbit. The outer border shows two
cornucopias on a green and gold ground. The upper and inner borders
are repeated again in the _Livy_ and _Virgil_ of 1470, in the
_Valerius Maximus_ of 1471, and in the _Rhetorica_ of George of
Trebizond of 1472. In this last book it is joined with another border,
first found in the _De Officiis_ of Cicero of the same year. All these
books proceeded from the press of Johannes and Vindelinus de Spira. A
quite distinct set of borders are found in Jenson's edition of
Cicero's _Epistolae ad Familiares_ of 1471; but in an article in the
_Archivio Storico delle Arti_ Dr. Kristeller showed that the lower
border of the _Pliny_ of 1469, described above, occurs again in a copy
of the _De Evangelica Praeparatione_, printed by Jenson in 1470. The
apparent distinction of the blocks used in the books of the two firms
is thus broken down, and in face of the rarity of the copies thus
decorated in comparison with those illuminated by hand, or which have
come down to us with their blank spaces still unfilled, it seems
impossible to maintain that either the preliminary engraving or the
illumination was done in the printer's workshop. We should rather
regard the engraving as a labour-saving device employed by some master
illuminator to whom private purchasers sent the books they had
purchased from the De Spiras or Jenson for decoration. No instance has
as yet been found of a book printed after 1473 being illuminated in
this way.[1]

Apart from the special interest of these particular borders, the
illumination in early Italian books is almost uniformly graceful and
beautiful. Interlacements, oftenest of white upon blue, sometimes of
gold upon green, are the form of ornament most commonly met with.
Still prettier than these are the floral borders, tapering off into
little stars of gold. Elaborate architectural designs are also found,
but these, as a rule, are much less pleasing. In the majority of the
borders of all three classes a shield, of the graceful Italian shape,
is usually introduced, sometimes left blank, sometimes filled in with
the arms of the owner. More often than not this shield is enclosed in
a circle of green bay leaves. The initial letters are, as a rule,
purely decorative, the designs harmonising with the borders. In some
instances they consist simply of a large letter in red or blue,
without any surrounding scroll-work. We must also note that in some
copies of books from the presses of the German printers at Rome we
find large initial letters in red and blue, distinctly German in their
design, the work, possibly, of the printers themselves.

Germany and Italy are the only two countries in which illumination
plays an important part in the decoration of early books. In England,
where the Wars of the Roses had checked the development of a very
promising native school of illuminators, the use of colour in printed
books is almost unknown. The early issues from Caxton's press, before
he began to employ printed initials, are either left with their blanks
unfilled, or rubricated in the plainest possible manner. In France,
the scholastic objects of the press at the Sorbonne, and the few
resources of the printers who succeeded it during the next seven or
eight years, at first forbade any serious competition with the
splendid manuscripts which were then being produced. In Holland and
Spain woodcut initials, which practically gave the death-blow to
illumination as a necessary adjunct of a book, were introduced almost
simultaneously with the use of type.

So far we have considered illumination merely as a means of completing
in a not immoderately expensive manner the blanks left by the earliest
printers. We may devote a few pages to glancing at the subsequent
application of the art to the decoration of special copies intended
for presentation to a patron, or commissioned by a wealthy book-lover.
The preparation of such copies was practically confined to France and
Italy. A copy on vellum of the Great Bible of 1540, presented to Henry
VIII. by his 'loving, faithfull and obedient subject and daylye
oratour, Anthony Marler of London, Haberdassher,' has the elaborate
woodcut title-page carefully painted over by hand, but this is almost
the only English book of which I can think in which colour was thus
employed. In Germany its use was only too common, but for popular, not
for artistic work, for at least two out of every three early German
books with woodcut illustrations have the cuts garishly painted over
in the rudest possible manner, to the great defacement of the
outlines, which we would far rather see unobscured. It is tempting,
indeed, to believe that in many cases this deplorable addition must
have been the work of the 'domestic' artist; it is certainly rare to
find an instance in which it in any way improves the underlying cut.

In France and Italy, on the other hand, the early printers were
confronted by many wealthy book-lovers, accustomed to manuscripts
adorned with every possible magnificence, and in a few instances they
found it worth while to cater for their tastes. For this purpose they
employed the most delicate vellum (very unlike the coarse material
used by the Germans for its strength) decorating the margins with
elaborate borders, and sometimes prefixing a coloured frontispiece. In
France this practice was begun by Guillaume Fichet and Jean Heynlyn,
the managers of the press at the Sorbonne. Several magnificent copies
of early Sorbonne books--so sober in their ordinary dress--are still
extant, to which Fichet has prefixed a large miniature representing
himself in his clerical garb presenting a copy of the book to the
Pope, to our own Edward IV., to Cardinal Bessarion, or to other
patrons. In some cases he also prefixed a specially printed letter of
dedication, thereby rendering the copy absolutely unique. Some twenty
years later this practice of preparing special copies for wealthy
patrons was resumed by Antoine Vérard, whose enterprise has bequeathed
to the Bibliothèque Nationale a whole row of books thus specially
decorated for Charles VIII., and to the British Museum a no less
splendid set commissioned by Henry VII. Nor were Vérard's patrons
only found among kings, for a record still exists of four books thus
ornamented by him for Charles d'Angoulême, at a total cost of over two
hundred livres, equivalent to rather more than the same number of
pounds sterling of our present money.

Vérard's methods of preparing these magnificent volumes were neither
very artistic nor very honest. The miniatures are thickly painted, so
that an underlying woodcut, on quite a different subject, was
sometimes utilised to furnish the artist with an idea for the grouping
of the figures. Thus a cut from Ovid's _Metamorphoses_, representing
Saturn devouring his children and a very unpleasing figure of Venus
rising from the sea, was converted into a Holy Family by painting out
the Venus and reducing Saturn's cannibal embrace to an affectionate
fondling. This process of alteration and painting out was also
employed by Vérard to conceal the fact that these splendid copies were
often not of his own publication, but commissioned by him from other
publishers. Thus Henry VII.'s copy of _L'Examen de Conscience_ has the
colophon, in which it is stated to have been printed for Pierre
Regnault of Rouen, rather carelessly erased, and in Charles VIII.'s
copy of the _Compost et Kalendrier des Bergers_ (1493)[2] Guiot
Marchant's device has been concealed by painting over it the royal
arms, while the colophon in which his name appears has been partly
erased, partly covered over by a painted copy of Vérard's well-known
device. Vérard's borders, also, are as a rule heavy, consisting
chiefly of flowers and arabesques arranged in clumsy squares or
lozenges. Altogether these princely volumes are perhaps rather
magnificent than in good taste.

The custom of illuminating the cuts in vellum books was not practised
only by Vérard. Almost all the French publishers of Books of Hours
resorted to it--at first, while the illumination was carefully done,
with very splendid effect, afterwards to the utter ruin of the
beautiful designs which the colour concealed. Under Francis I.
illumination seems to have revived, for we hear of a vellum copy of
the _De Philologia_ of Budæus, printed by Ascensius (1532), having its
first page of text enclosed in a rich border in which appear the arms
of the dukes of Orleans and Angoulême to whom it was dedicated. In
another work by Budæus (himself a book-lover as well as a scholar),
the _De Transitu Hellenismi_, printed by Robert Estienne in 1535, the
portrait and arms of Francis I. are enclosed in another richly
illuminated border, and the King's arms are painted in other books
printed about this time. In a vellum copy of a French Bible printed by
Jean de Tournes at Lyons in 1557, there are over three hundred
miniatures, and borders to every page. Even by the middle of the
seventeenth century the use of illumination had not quite died out in
France, though it adds nothing to the beauty of the tasteless works
then issued from the French presses. One of the latest instances in
which I have encountered it is in a copy presented to Louis XIV. of
_La Lyre du Jeune Apollon, ou la Muse naissante du Petit de
Beauchasteau_ (Paris, 1657); in this the half-title is surrounded by a
wreath of gold, and surmounted by a lyre, the title is picked out in
red, blue, and gold, and the headpieces and tailpieces throughout the
volume are daubed over with colour. By the expenditure of a vast
amount of pains, a dull book is thus rendered both pretentious and
offensive.

In Italy, the difference between ordinary copies of early books and
specially prepared ones, is bridged over by so many intermediate
stages of decoration that we are obliged to confine our attention to
one or two famous examples of sumptuous books. The Italian version of
_Pliny_, made by Cristoforo Landino and printed by Jenson in 1476,
exists in such a form as one of the Douce books (No. 310) in the
Bodleian Library. This copy has superb borders at the beginning of
each book, and is variously supposed to have been prepared for
Ferdinand II., King of Naples, and for a member of the Strozzi family
of Florence, the arms of both being frequently introduced into the
decoration. Still more superb are the three vellum copies of Giovanni
Simoneta's _Historia delle cose facte dallo invictissimo Duca
Francesco Sforza_, translated (like the _Pliny_) by Cristoforo
Landino, and printed by Antonio Zarotto at Milan in 1490. These copies
were prepared for members of the Sforza family, portraits of whom are
introduced in the borders. The decoration is florid, but superb of its
kind, and provoked Dibdin to record his admiration of the copy now in
the Grenville Library as 'one of the loveliest of membranaceous
jewels' it had ever been his fortune to meet with. For many years in a
case devoted to specimens of illuminated printed books in the King's
Library the British Museum used to exhibit vellum copies of the Aldine
_Martial_ of 1501, and _Catullus_ of 1502, and side by side with them,
printed respectively just twelve years later, and also on vellum, an
_Aulus Gellius_ and _Plautus_ presented by Giunta, the Florentine
rival of Aldus, to the younger Lorenzo de' Medici.

The use of illumination in printed books was a natural and pleasing
survival of the glories of the illuminated manuscript. Its
discontinuance was in part a sign of health as testifying to the
increased resources of the printing press; in part a symptom of the
carelessness as to the form of books which by the end of the
seventeenth century had become well-nigh universal throughout Europe.
So long as a few rich amateurs cared for copies of their favourite
authors printed on vellum, and decorated by the hands of skilful
artists, a high standard of excellence was set up which influenced the
whole of the book-trade, and for this reason the revival of the use
of vellum in our own day may perhaps be welcomed. It may be noted that
the especially Italian custom of introducing the arms of the owner
into the majority of illuminated designs left its trace in the blank
shields which so frequently form the centre of the printed borders in
Italian books from 1490 to 1520. Theoretically these shields were
intended to be filled in with the owner's arms in colour, but they are
more often found blank. Two examples of their use are here shown, one
from the upper border of the _Calendar_, printed at Venice in 1476
(the first book with an ornamental title-page), the other from the
lower border of the first page of text of the _Trabisonda Istoriata_,
printed also at Venice in 1494. We may note also that the parallel
custom of inserting the arms of the patron to whom a book was
dedicated was carried on in Spain in a long series of title-pages, in
which the arms of the patron form the principal feature.

[Illustration: From the _Calendar_ of 1476.]

[Illustration: From _La Trabisonda Historiata_ of 1494.]

In England, also, a patron's coat was sometimes printed as one of the
decorations of a book. Thus on the third leaf of the first edition of
the _Golden Legend_ there is a large woodcut of a horse galloping past
a tree, the device of the Earl of Arundel, the patron to whom Caxton
owed his yearly fee of a buck in summer and a doe in winter. So, too,
in the Morton _Missal_, printed by Pynson in 1500, the Morton arms
occupy a full page at the beginning of the book. Under Elizabeth and
James I. the practice became fairly common. In some cases where the
leaf thus decorated has become detached, the arms have all the
appearance of an early book-plate, and the Bagford example of Sir
Nicholas Bacon's plate has endured suspicions on this account. In this
instance, however, the fortunate existence of a slight flaw in the
block, which occurs also in the undoubtedly genuine gift-plate of
1574, offers a strong argument in favour of its having been in the
possession of Sir Nicholas himself, and therefore presumably used by
him as a mark of possession.

       *       *       *       *       *

[1] In a copy of the edition of _Suetonius_, printed by Sweynheym and
Pannartz at Rome in 1470, which belonged to William Morris, and is now
in the Morgan collection at New York, there are nine excellent woodcut
capitals used with a handsome border-piece, which do not appear in
other examples. Dr. Lippmann found similar decorations in the 1465
edition of _Lactantius_, printed at Subiaco by the same firm. In this
case the blocks probably belonged to the printers, but were used to
decorate only a few copies.

[2] A full description of this copy will be found in Dr. Sommer's
introduction to the facsimile and reprint of the English translations
of Paris, 1503, and London, 1506 (Kegan Paul, 1892).



CHAPTER II

THE COMPLETION OF THE PRINTED BOOK


As we have seen, the typical book during the first quarter of a
century of the history of printing is one in which the printer
supplied the place of the scribe and of the scribe alone. An
appreciable, though not a very large, percentage of early books have
come down to us in the exact state in which they issued from the
press, with a blank space at their beginning for an illumination,
blanks for the initial letters, blanks for the chapter headings, no
head-lines, no title-page, no pagination, and no signatures to guide
the binder in arranging the sheets in the different gatherings. Our
task in the present chapter is to trace briefly the history of the
emancipation of the printer from his dependence on handwork for the
completion of his books. We shall not expect to find this emancipation
effected step by step in any orderly progression. Innovations, the
utility of which seems to us obvious and striking, occur as if by
hazard in an isolated book, are then abandoned even by the printer who
started them, and subsequently reappear in a number of books printed
about the same time at different places, so that it is impossible to
fix the chronology of the revived fashion.

[Illustration]

We have already noted how the anxiety of the earliest Mainz printers
to rival at the very outset the best manuscripts with which they were
acquainted, led them to anticipate improvements which were not
generally adopted till many years afterwards. Among these we must not
reckon the use for the rubrics or chapter headings of red ink, which
appears in the trial leaves of the 42-line Bible, and was to a greater
or less extent employed by Schoeffer in most of his books. Although
red ink has appeared sporadically, and still does so, on the
title-page of a book here or there, more especially on those which
make some pretence to sumptuousness, its use in the fifteenth century
was a survival, not an anticipation. For legal and liturgical works it
was long considered essential; for other books the expense of the
double printing which it involves soon brought it into disfavour and
has kept it there ever since.

The use of a colophon, or crowning paragraph, at the end of a book, to
give the information now contained on our title-pages, dates from the
Mainz Psalter of 1457, and was continued by Schoeffer in most of his
books. A colophon occurs also in the _Catholicon_ of 1460, though it
does not mention the printer's name (almost certainly Gutenberg).
There is an admirably full one in rhyming couplets (set out as prose)
to Pfister's _Buch der vier Historien von Joseph, Daniel, Esther, und
Judith_, and the brothers Bechtermüntze, who printed the _Vocabularius
ex quo_ at Eltvil in 1467, are equally explicit. In many cases,
however, no colophon of any sort appears, and the year and place of
publication have to be deduced from the information given in other
books printed in the same types, or from the chance entry by a
purchaser or rubricator of the date at which the book came into or
left his hands. We may claim colophons as part of the subject of this
book, because they early received decorative treatment. Schoeffer
prints them, as a rule, in his favourite red ink, and it was as an
appendix to the colophon that the printer's device first made its
appearance. Schoeffer's well-known shields occur in this connection in
his Bible of 1462. No other instance of a device is known until about
1470, when they became common, some printers, like Arnold ther Hoernen
of Cologne, and Colard Mansion of Bruges, imitating Schoeffer in the
modest size of their badges, while others, among whom some Dutch
printers are prominent, made their emblem large enough, if need be, to
decorate a whole page.

Of Schoeffer's coloured capitals enough has already been said. Woodcut
initials for printing in outline, the outline being intended to be
coloured by hand, were used by Günther Zainer at Augsburg at least as
early as 1471, and involved him in a controversy to which we shall
allude in our next chapter. Their use spread slowly, for it was about
this date that the employment of hand-painted initials was given a
fresh lease of life, by the introduction of the printed 'director,' or
small letter, indicating to the illuminator the initial he was
required to supply. The director had been used by the scribes, and in
early printed books is frequently found in manuscript. It was, of
course, intended to be painted over, but the rubrication of printed
books was so carelessly executed that it often appears in the open
centre of the coloured letter. In so far as it delayed the
introduction of woodcut letters, this ingenious device was a step
backward rather than an improvement.

In the order of introduction, the next addition to a printer's
stock-in-trade which we have to chronicle is the use of woodcut
illustrations. These were first employed by Albrecht Pfister, who in
1461 was printing at Bamberg. Like Schoeffer's coloured initials,
Pfister's illustrated books form an incident apart from the general
history of the development of the printed book, and it will be
convenient, therefore, to give them a brief notice here, rather than
to place them at the head of our next chapter. They are six in number,
or, if we count different editions separately, nine, of which only two
have dates, viz.: one of the two editions of Boner's _Edelstein_,
dated 1461, and the _Buch der vier Historien von Joseph, Daniel,
Esther, und Judith_, dated 1462, with Pfister's name in the rhyming
colophon already alluded to. The undated books are another edition of
the _Edelstein_; the _Belial seu consolatio peccatorum_; a _Biblia
Pauperum_; two closely similar editions of this in German; two
editions of the _Rechtstreit des Menschen mit dem Tode_, also called
_Gespräch zwischen einem Wittwer und dem Tode_. Attention was first
drawn to these books by the Pastor Jacob August Steiner of Augsburg in
1792, and when the volume which he described was brought to the
Bibliothèque Nationale, with other spoils from Germany, a learned
Frenchman, Camus, read a paper on them before the Institute in 1799.
The three tracts which the volume contained were restored to the
library at Wolfenbüttel in 1815, but the Bibliothèque has since
acquired another set of three and a separate edition of the German
_Biblia Pauperum_. The only other copies known are those in the
Spencer Collection, one of the _Belial_ at Nuremberg, and a unique
example of the undated _Edelstein_ at Berlin.[3]

These four books contain altogether no less than 201 cuts, executed in
clumsy outline. One hundred and one of these cuts belong to the
_Edelstein_, a collection of German fables written before 1330. The
book which contains them is a small folio of 28 leaves, and with a
width of page larger by a fourth than the size of the cuts. To fill
this gap, Pfister introduced on the left of the illustration a figure
of a man. In the dated copy, in which the cuts are more worn, this
figure is the same throughout the book; in the undated there are
differences in the man's headgear, and in the book or tablet he is
holding, constituting three different variations. In the _Buch der
vier Historien_ the cuts number 55, six of which, however, are
repeated, making 61 impressions. In the impossibility of obtaining
access to the originals, while the Spencer Collection was in the
course of removal, the careful copy of one of these, made for Camus in
1799, was chosen for reproduction as likely to be less familiar than
the illustrations from Pfister's other books given by Dibdin in his
_Bibliotheca Spenceriana_. The subject is the solemn sacrifice of a
lamb at Bethulia after Judith's murder of Holofernes. The _Biblia
Pauperum_ is in three editions, two in German, the third in Latin;
each consists of 17 printed leaves, with a large cut formed of five
separate blocks illustrating different subjects, but joined together
as a whole, on each page.

The last book of Pfister's we have to notice, the _Complaint of the
Widower against Death_, is probably earlier than either of his dated
ones. It contains 24 leaves, with five full-page cuts, showing (1)
Death on his throne, and the widower and his little son in mourning;
(2) Death and the widower, with a pope, a noble, and a monk vainly
offering Death gold; (3) two figures of Death (one mounted) pursuing
their victims; (4) Death on his throne, with two lower compartments
representing monks at a cloister gate, and women walking with a child
in a fair garden,--this to symbolise the widower's choice between
remarriage and retiring to a monastery; (5) the widower appearing
before Christ, who gives the verdict against him, since all mortals
must yield their bodies to Death and their souls to God. The cuts in
this book are larger and bolder than the other specimens of Pfister's
work which we have noticed, but they are rude enough.

[Illustration: From Pfister's _Buch der vier Historien_.]

[Illustration--transcription as follows:

Sermo ad populum predicabilis · In festo presentacionis. Beatissime
marie semper virginis nouiter cum magna diligencia. ad communem vsum
multorum sacerdotum presertim curatorum collectus. Et idcirco per
impressonem multiplicatus. sub hoc currente. Anno domini Mº ccccº
.lxxº. cuiusquidem collectionis atque etiam multiplicacionis eius non
paruipendenda racio si placet · videri poteret. In folii laterem
sequenti]

After the introduction of woodcut illustrations, the next innovation
with which we have to concern ourselves is the adoption of the
title-page. What may be called accidental title-pages are found on
both the Latin and the German edition of a Bull of Pope Pius II.
printed by Fust and Schoeffer in 1463. After this Arnold ther Hoernen
of Cologne appears to have been the first printer lavish enough to
devote a whole page to prefixing a title to a book. A facsimile is
here given, from which we see that this 'sermon preachable on the
feast of the presentation of the most blessed Virgin' was printed in
1470 at the outset of ther Hoernen's career. The printer, however,
seems to have understood no better than Schoeffer the commercial
advantage of what he was doing, and the next title-page which has to
be chronicled is another of the same kind, reading the 'Tractatulus
compendiosus per modum dyalogi timidis | ac deuotis viris editus
instruens non plus curam | de pullis et carnibus habere suillis quam
quo modo | verus deus et homo qui in celis est digne tractetur. |
Ostendens insuper etiam salubres manuductiones quibus | minus
dispositus abilitetur,' etc. What we may call the business title of
this book is much more sensibly set forth in the brief colophon:
'Explicit exhortacio de celebratione misse per modum dyalogi inter
pontificem et sacerdotem, Anno Lxx[et],' &c. Still, here also, the
absence of an incipit, and of any following text must be taken as
constituting a title-page. Three years later two Augsburg printers,
Bernardus 'pictor' and Erhardus Ratdolt, who had started a
partnership in Venice with Petrus Löslein of Langenzenn in Bavaria,
produced the first artistic title-page as yet discovered. This appears
in all the three editions of a Calendar which they issued in Latin and
Italian in 1476, and in German in 1478. The praises of the Calendar
are sung in twelve lines of verse, beginning in the Latin edition:--

    Aureus hic liber est: non est preciosior ulla
    Gemma kalendario quod docet istud opus.
    Aureus hic numerus; lune solisque labores
    Monstrantur facile: cunctaque signa poli.

Then follows the date, then the names of the three printers in red
ink. This letterpress is surrounded by a border in five pieces, the
uppermost of which shows a small blank shield (see p. 19), while on
the two sides skilfully conventionalised foliage is springing out of
two urns. The two gaps between these and the printers' names are
filled up by two small blocks of tracery. It is noteworthy that this
charming design was employed by printers from Augsburg, the city in
which wood-engraving was first seriously employed for the decoration
of printed books. But the design itself is distinctly Italian in its
spirit, not German.

Like its two predecessors, the title-page of 1476 was a mere
anticipation, and was not imitated. The systematic development of the
title-page begins in the early part of the next decade, when the
custom of printing the short title of the book on a first page,
otherwise left blank, came slowly into use.[4] The two earliest
appearances of these label title-pages in England are (1) in 'A
passing gode lityll boke necessarye & behouefull agenst the
Pestilens,' by 'Canutus, Bishop of Aarhus,' printed by Machlinia,
probably towards the close of his career [1486-90?]; and (2) in one of
the earliest works printed by Wynkyn de Worde, Caxton's foreman, after
his master's death. Here, in the centre of the first page, we find a
three-line paragraph reading:

    The prouffytable boke for mañes soule And right comfortable to the
        body and specially in aduersitee & tribulation, which boke is
        called The Chastysynge of goddes Chyldern.

Other countries were earlier than England both in the adoption of the
label title-page and in filling the blank space beneath the title with
some attempt at ornament. In France the ornament usually took the form
of a printer's mark, more rarely of an illustration; in Italy and
Germany usually of an illustration, more rarely of a printer's mark.
Until the first quarter of the sixteenth century was drawing to a
close the colophon still held its place at the end of the book as the
chief source of information as to the printer's name and place and
date of publication. The author's name, also, was often reserved for
the colophon, or hidden away in a preface or dedicatory letter.
Title-pages completed according to the fashion which, until the
antiquarian revival by William Morris of the old label form, has ever
since held sway, do not become common till about 1520.

Perhaps the chief reason why the convenient custom of the title-page
spread so slowly was that soon after 1470 the Augsburg printers began
to imitate in woodcuts the elaborate borders with which the
illuminators had been accustomed to decorate the first page of the
text of a manuscript or early printed book. When they first appear
these woodcut borders grow out of the initial letter with which the
text begin, and extend only over part of the upper and inner margins.
In other instances, however, they completely surround the first page
of text, and this is nearly always the case with the very beautiful
borders which are found, towards the close of the century, in many
books printed in Italy. In these they are mostly preceded by a 'label'
title-page. The use of borders to surround every page of text was
practically confined[5] to books of devotion, notably the Books of
Hours, whose wonderful career began in 1487 and lasted for upwards of
half a century. Head-pieces are found in a few books, chiefly Greek,
printed at Venice towards the close of the fifteenth century. In the
absence of any previous investigations on the subject, it is
dangerous to attempt to say where tail-pieces first occur, but their
birthplace was probably France.

Pagination and head-lines are said to have been first used by Arnold
ther Hoernen at Cologne in 1470 and 1471; printed signatures by John
Koelhoff at the same city in 1472. The date of Koelhoff's book, an
edition of Nider's _Expositio Decalogi_, has been needlessly held to
be a misprint, though it is a curious coincidence that we find
signatures stamped by hand in one edition of Franciscus de Platea's
_De restitutionibus_, Venice, 1473, and printed close to the text in
the normal way in another edition issued at Cologne the following
year. None of these small matters have any direct bearing on the
decoration of books, but they are of interest to us as pointing to the
printer's gradual emancipation from his long dependence on the help of
the scribe. It is perhaps worth while, for the same reason, to take as
a landmark Günther Zainer's 1473 edition of the _De regimine
principum_ of Aegidius Columna. This book is possessed of printed
head-lines, chapter headings, paragraph marks, and large and small
initial letters. From first page to last it is untouched by the hand
of the rubricator, and shows that Zainer at any rate had won his
independence within five years of setting up his press. Curiously
enough, to this particular specimen of his work he did not give his
name, though it is duly dated.

[Illustration: From Ptolemy's _Cosmographia_, Ulm, 1482.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[3] A leaf of the _Rechtstreit_ is in the Taylorian Institute at
Oxford.

[4] It may be noted that in a few books, alike in Germany, Italy, and
France, issued about 1490, a label title is printed on the back of the
last leaf, either instead of, or in addition to, that on the recto of
the first.

[5] They are found also in some Books of Emblems, and in a few books
printed at Lyons in the middle of the sixteenth century.



CHAPTER III

GERMANY--1470-1486


In the fifteenth century Augsburg was one of the chief centres in
Germany for card-making and woodcut pictures. The cutters were jealous
of their privileges, and when, in 1471, Günther Zainer, a native of
Reutlingen, who had been printing in their town for some years (his
first book was issued in March 1468), asked for admission to the
privileges of a burgher, they not only opposed him, but demanded that
he should be forbidden to print woodcuts in his books. The abbot of
SS. Ulric and Afra, Melchior de Stamheim, who subsequently set up
presses of his own, procured a compromise, and Günther was allowed to
employ woodcuts freely, so long as they were cut by authorised
cutters.

Zainer's first dated book with illustrations is a translation of the
_Legenda Aurea_ of Jacobus de Voragine, with a small cut prefacing
each of the two hundred and thirty-four biographies. The first part of
this was finished in October 1471, and the second in April 1472. In
1472 came also two editions of the _Belial_ or 'processus Luciferi
contra Jesum Christum,' in which thirty-two cuts help the
understanding of the extraordinary text, and to the same year belongs
Ingold's _Das guldin Spiel_, a wonderful work, in which the seven
deadly sins are illustrated from seven games. As a copy of this book
is available, which has had the good fortune to escape the colourist,
one of its twelve cuts--that showing card-playing, with which an
Augsburg woodcutter would be especially familiar--is here reproduced.
The face of the man at the far end of the table is perhaps the most
expressive piece of drawing in all the series. In 1473 Zainer printed
for the Abbot of SS. Ulric and Afra a _Speculum Humanae Salvationis_,
with numerous Biblical woodcuts. He also issued two editions in 1473
and 1477 of a Bible, with large initial letters, into each of which is
introduced a little picture. At the end of the second of these
editions he adds the fine device, shown on p. 40, which it is strange
that he should not have used more often. In 1474 he printed an account
of the supposed murder of a small boy, named Simon, by the Jews,
illustrated with some quite vivid pictures, and to about this time
belongs his finest work, an undated edition of the _Speculum Humanae
Vitae_, full of numerous delightful cuts illustrating various trades
and callings. In 1477 he illustrated a German edition of the
moralisation of the game of Chess by Jacobus de Cessolis, of which
Caxton had helped to print an English version a year or two before.

[Illustration: From Ingold's _Guldin Spiel_, Augsburg, 1472.]

[Illustration: Device of Günther Zainer.]

During the ten or twelve years of his activity at Augsburg, which
was brought to a close by his death in 1478, Günther Zainer printed
probably at least a hundred works, of which about twenty, mostly
either religious or, according to the ideas of the time, amusing, have
illustrations. Of the works printed during the second half of his
career, the majority have woodcut initials, large or small, and a few
also woodcut borders to the first page. The initials (which sometimes
only extend through a part of a book, blanks being left when the stock
failed), if seen by themselves, are rather clumsy, but harmonise well
with the remarkably heavy gothic type which Zainer chiefly used during
this period of his career. If his engraved work cannot be praised as
highly artistic, it was at least plentiful and bold, and admirably
adapted for the popular books in which it mostly appeared.

Johann Bämler, who during twenty years from 1472 printed a long list
of illustrated books at Augsburg, can hardly have set much store by
originality, for in several of these, _e.g._ the _Belial_ (1473), the
_Plenarium_ (1474), the _Legenda Sanctorum_, &c., the cuts are wholly
or mainly copied from those in editions previously issued by Zainer.

Bämler began his own career as an illustrator with some frontispieces,
as we may call them, which come after the table of contents, and
facing the first page of text in the _Summa Confessorum_ of Johannes
Friburgensis, the _Goldenen Harfen_ of Nider, and others of his early
books. In 1474 he issued the first of his three editions of the _Buch
von den Sieben Todsünden und den Sieben Tugenden_. The 'Sins and
Virtues' are personified as armed women riding on various animals,
with various symbolical devices on their shields, banners, and
helmets. But the ladies' faces are all very much alike, and the
armorial symbolism is so recondite, that a considerable acquaintance
with medieval 'Bestiaries' would be required to decipher it. Far
better than this conventional work are the cuts in the _Buch der
Natur_, printed by Bämler in the next year. This is a
fourteenth-century treatise dealing with men and women, with the sky
and its signs, with beasts, trees, vegetables, stones, and famous
wells, and, as in Zainer's _Spiegel des menschlichen Lebens_, the
artist drew from nature far better than from his imagination. In an
edition of Königshofen's _Chronik von allen Königen und Kaisern_,
printed in 1476, Bämler inserted four full-page cuts representing
Christ in glory, the Emperor Sigismund dreaming in his bed, St.
Veronica holding before her the cloth miraculously imprinted with the
face of Christ, and the vision of Pope Gregory, when the crucified
Christ appeared to him on the altar.

Of Bämler's later books, his edition (issued in 1482), of the History
of the Crusades (_Türken-Kreuzzüge_), by Rupertus de Sancto Remigio,
is perhaps the most noticeable. The large cut of the Pope, attended by
a young cardinal, preaching to a crowd of pilgrims, whose exclamation
of 'Deus Vult' is represented by a scroll between them and the
preacher, is really a fine piece of work, though the buildings in the
background, from whose windows listeners are thrusting their heads,
have the usual curious resemblance to bathing-machines. Some of the
smaller cuts also are good, notably one of a group of mounted
pilgrims, which has a real out-of-door effect. After 1482, though he
lived another twenty years, Bämler published few or no new works,
being content to reprint his old editions.

Our next Augsburg printer is Anton Sorg, whose first dated work with
woodcuts is the _Buch der Kindheit unseres Herrn_ (1476). In his
_Büchlein das da heisset der Seelen Trost_, he produced the first
series of illustrations to the Ten Commandments,--large full-page
cuts, rudely executed. His _Passion nach dem Texte der vier
Evangelisten_, first issued in 1480, ran through no less than five
editions in twelve years. In 1481 he produced the first German
translation of the _Travels of Mandeville_, illustrated with numerous
cuts of some merit. By far his most famous work is his edition of
Reichenthal's account of the Council of Constance, illustrated with
more than eleven hundred cuts, chiefly of the arms of the dignitaries
there present. The arms were necessarily intended to be coloured (the
present system of representing the heraldic colours by conventional
arrangements of lines and dots only dates from the seventeenth
century), and this fate has also befallen the larger illustrations,
whose workmanship is, indeed, so rude, that it could scarcely stand
alone. These larger cuts represent processions of the Pope and his
cardinals, the dubbing of a knight, a tournament, the burning of Huss
for heresy, the scattering of his ashes (which half fill a cart) over
the fields, and other incidents of the famous council. But the
interest of the book remains chiefly heraldic.

After 1480, printers of illustrated books became numerous at Augsburg,
Peter Berger, Johann Schobsser, Hans Schauer, and Lucas Zeissenmaier
being rather more important than their fellows. More prolific than
these, but not more enterprising in respect to new designs, was the
elder Hans Schoensperger, who began his long career in 1481. His chief
claim to distinction is his printing of the Emperor Maximilian's
_Theuerdank_, to which we shall refer in the next chapter. Erhard
Ratdolt deserves mention for his ten years' stay at Venice, where, as
we have seen, he issued in 1476 the _Calendar_, which is the first
book with an ornamental title-page. In 1486 he returned to Augsburg at
the invitation of Bishop Friedrich von Hohenzollern to print
service-books, into which in future he put all his best work. His
types and initial letters he brought with him from Italy; for his
illustrations, he had recourse to German artists of no exceptional
ability. A few of his service-books, however, are distinguished by
some interesting, if not very successful, experiments in printing some
of the colours in his woodcuts.

The foregoing sketch of the chief illustrated books published at
Augsburg during the fifteenth century can hardly escape the charge of
dullness. It has been worth while, however, to plod through with it,
because it may serve very well as an epitome of the average
illustrated work done between 1470 and 1490 throughout Germany. Some
of the works we have mentioned remained to the end Augsburg
books--_e.g._ the _Buch der Kunst geistlich zu werden_, the _Buch der
Natur_, the _Historie aus den Geschichten der Römer_, were repeatedly
published there and nowhere else. Others, _e.g._ the _Historie des
Königs Apollonius_, were shared between Augsburg and Ulm, chiefly, no
doubt, through the relationship of the two Zainers. The _Historia
Trojana_ of Guido delle Colonne and the _Geschichte des grossen
Alexander_ enjoyed long careers at Augsburg, and were then taken up by
Martin Schott at Strasburg. Eleven editions of the _Belial_ of Jacobus
de Theramo were shared fairly equally between the two cities. The
Bible and the _Legenda Aurea_ were of too widespread an interest to be
monopolised by one or two places. A few books, like the _Æsop_ and the
_De Claris Mulieribus_ of Boccaccio, which start from Ulm, or the
early _Fasciculus Temporum_, of which more than half the early
editions belonged to Cologne, trace their source elsewhere than to
Augsburg. But it was at Augsburg that the majority of the popular
illustrated books of the fifteenth century were first published, and
the editions issued in other towns were mostly more or less servile
imitations of them.

Next in importance to Augsburg in the early history of illustrated
books in Germany, ranks the neighbouring city of Ulm, where the names
of wood-engravers are found in the town registers from the early part
of the century, and the printers had thus plenty of good material to
call to their aid. The first illustrated book which we know with
certainty to have been printed at Ulm is the _De Claris Mulieribus_ of
Boccaccio, issued by Johann Zainer, in a Latin edition dated 1473,
and in a German translation, with the same cuts, about the same time.
This Johann Zainer was probably a kinsman of Günther Zainer of
Augsburg, but very little is known of him. The _De Claris Mulieribus_
begins with a fine engraved border extending over the upper and inner
margins of the first page. It is not merely decorative but pictorial,
the subject represented being the Temptation of Adam and Eve. Eve is
handing her husband an apple from the Forbidden Tree, amid whose
branches is seen the head of the serpent, his body being twisted into
a large initial S, and then tapering away into the upper section of
the border, where it becomes a branch, among the leaves of which
appear emblems of the seven deadly sins. The numerous woodcuts in the
text are quite equal to the average Augsburg work. Our illustration
shows Scipio warning Massinissa to put away his newly married wife,
and the hapless Sophonisba drinking the poison, which is the only
marriage gift her husband could send her.

Zainer's most striking success was achieved by his edition of
Steinhöwel's version of the _Life and Fables of Æsop_, of which no
less than eleven editions were printed in various German towns before
the end of the century, for the most part closely copied from the Ulm
original. In this, there are altogether two hundred woodcuts, eleven
of which belong to the story of Sigismund at the end of the book. The
frontispiece is a large picture of Æsop, who, here and throughout
the chapters devoted to his imaginary 'life,' is represented as a
knavish clown, a variant of Eulenspiegel or Marcolphus. Some of the
illustrations to the fables are very good, notably those of the Sower
and the Birds, the Huntsman, and King Stork, here reproduced from
Sorg's reprint. The _Æsop_ and the Boccaccio _De Claris Mulieribus_
give Johann Zainer a high place among the German printers of
illustrated books. His other work was unimportant and mostly
imitative. His types are much smaller than those used in the early
Augsburg books, and his initials less heavy and massive. They are not
more than an inch high, and consist of a simple outline overlaid with
jagged work.

[Illustration: From Boccaccio _De Clar. Mul._, Ulm, 1473.]

[Illustration: King Log and King Stork, from the Ulm _Æsop_.]

In 1482, Leonhard Holl printed at Ulm an edition of Ptolemy's
_Cosmographia_, which contains the first woodcut map and fine initial
letters, one of which, showing the editor, Nicolaus Germanus,
presenting his book to the Pope, is given as a frontispiece to this
chapter. In 1483 he issued the first of many editions of the _Buch der
Weisheit der alten Menschen von Anbeginn der Welt_. The wisdom of the
ancients chiefly takes the form of fables, which are illustrated with
cuts, larger but much less artistic than those of Zainer's _Æsop_.
From Conrad Dinkmuth we have the first illustrated editions of three
notable works, the _Seelenwurzgarten_, or 'Garden of the Soul' (1483),
Thomas Lirar's _Schwäbische Chronik_ (1486), and the _Eunuchus_ of
Terence (1486). This last is illustrated with fourteen remarkable
woodcuts, over five inches by seven in size, and each occupying about
three-fourths of a page. The scene is mostly laid in a street, and
there is some attempt at perspective in the vista of houses. The
figures of the characters are fairly good, but not above the average
Ulm work of the time. Two later Ulm books, written by Gulielmus
Caoursin and printed by Johann Reger in 1496, are of great interest,
one giving the _Stabilimenta_ or ordinances, of the Order of St. John
of Jerusalem, the other an account of the successful defence of Rhodes
by its knights against the Turks. Both are richly illustrated with
woodcuts of very considerable artistic merit.

[Illustration: From the _Eunuchus_, Ulm, 1486.]

At Lübeck in 1475 Lucas Brandis printed, as his first book, a notable
edition of the _Rudimentum Noviciorum_, an epitome of history, sacred
and profane, during the six ages of the world. The epitome is
epitomised at the beginning of the book by ten pages of cuts, mostly
of circles linked together by chains, and bearing the name of some
historical character. Into the space left by these circles are
introduced pictures of the world's history from the Creation and the
Flood down to the life of Christ, which is told in a series of nine
cuts on the last page. The first page of the text is surrounded,
except at the top, by a border in three pieces, into one section of
which are introduced birds, and into another a blank shield supported
by two lions. The inner margin of the first page of text bears a fine
figure of a man reading a scroll, and the two columns are separated
by a spiral of leaves climbing round a stick. The cuts in the text are
partly repeated from the preliminary pages, partly new, though extreme
economy is shown in their use, one figure of a philosopher standing
for at least twenty different sages. The large initial letters at the
beginning of the various books have scenes introduced into them, the
little battle-piece in the Q of the 'Quinta aetas' being the most
remarkable. Altogether this is a very splendid and noteworthy book,
and one which Brandis never equalled in his later work.

At Nuremberg in 1472, Johann Sensenschmidt, its first printer, issued
a German Bible, introducing illustrations into the large initial
letters. At Cologne first one printer and then another published
illustrated editions (ten in all) of the _Fasciculus Temporum_, though
the cuts in these are mostly restricted to a few conventional scenes
of cities, and representations of the Nativity and Crucifixion and of
Christ in glory. At Cologne also, about 1480, there appeared two great
German dialect Bibles in two volumes, in the type and with borders
which are found in books signed by Heinrich Quentel, to whose press
they are therefore assigned. There are altogether one hundred and
twenty-five cuts, ninety-four in the Old Testament (thirty-three of
which illustrate the life of Moses), and thirty-one in the New. They
are of considerable size, stretching right across the double-columned
page, and are the work of a skilful, but not very highly inspired,
artist. They have neither the naïveté of the early Augsburg and Ulm
workmen, nor the richness of the later German work. They were,
however, immensely popular at the time. In 1483 Anton Koberger copied
them at Nuremberg, omitting, however, the borders which occur on the
first and third pages of the first volume, and at the beginning of the
New Testament, and rejecting also nineteen of the thirty-one New
Testament illustrations. The cuts were used again in other editions,
and influenced later engravers for many years. Hans Holbein even used
them as the groundwork for his own designs for the Old Testament
printed by Adam Petri at Basel in 1523.

At Strassburg, illustrated books were first issued by Knoblochtzer in
1477, and after 1480, Martin Schott and Johann Prüss printed them in
considerable numbers. Both these printers, however, were as a rule
contented to reproduce the woodcuts in the different Augsburg books,
and the original works issued by them are mostly poor. An exception
may be made in favour of the undated _Buch der Heiligen drei Könige_
of Johannes Hildeshemensis, printed by Prüss. This has a good border
round the upper and inner margins of the first page of text woodcut
initials, and fifty-eight cuts of considerable merit.[6]

At Mainz, Peter Schoeffer was very slow in introducing pictures into
his books, making no use of them until he took to Missal printing in
1483, when a cut of the Crucifixion became almost obligatory. In 1479,
however, a remarkable reprint of the _Meditationes_ of Cardinal
Turrecremata had been issued at Mainz by Johann Numeister or
Neumeister, a wandering Mainz printer, who had previously worked at
Foligno, and is subsequently found at Albi, but now while revisiting
his native place published there reduced adaptations of the cuts in
the editions printed by Hahn at Rome (see Chapter V), worked on soft
metal instead of on wood.

In addition to the places we have mentioned, illustrated books were
issued during this period by Bernhard Richel at Basel, by Conrad Fyner
at Esslingen, and by other printers in less important German towns.
But those we have already discussed are perhaps sufficient as
representatives of the first stage of book-illustration in Germany.
They have all this much in common that they are planned and carried
out under the immediate direction of the printers themselves, each of
whom seems to have had one or more wood-engravers attached to his
office, who drew their own designs upon the wood and cut them
themselves. There is a maximum of outline-work, a minimum of shading
and no cross-hatching. Every line is as direct and simple as
possible. At times the effect is inconceivably rude, at times it is
delightful in its child-like originality, and the craftsman's efforts
to give expression to the faces are sometimes almost ludicrously
successful. To the present writer these simple woodcuts are far more
pleasing than all the glories of the illustrated work of the next
century. They are in keeping with the books they decorate, in keeping
with the massive black types and the stiff white paper. After 1500, we
may almost say after 1490, we shall find that the printing and
illustrating of books are no longer closely allied trades. An artist
draws a design with pen and ink, a clever mechanic imitates it as
minutely as he can on the wood, and the design is then carelessly
printed in the midst of type-work, which bears little relation to it.
Paper and ink also are worse, and types smaller and less carefully
handled. Everything was sacrificed to cheapness, and the result was as
dull as cheap work usually is. By the time that the great artists
began to turn their attention to book-illustration, printing in
Germany was almost a lost art.

       *       *       *       *       *

[6] Many of Knoblochtzer's books also have very pretentious borders,
though the designs are usually coarse. A quarto border used in his
_Salomon et Marcolfus_ with a large initial letter, and a folio one in
his reprint of _Æsop_ perhaps show his best work. These are
reproduced, with many other examples of his types, initials, and
illustrations in _Heinrich Knoblochtzer in Strassburg von Karl
Schorbach und Max Spirgatis_. (Strassburg, 1888.)



CHAPTER IV

GERMANY, FROM 1486


The second period of book-illustration in Germany dates from the
publication at Mainz in 1486 of Bernhard von Breydenbach's celebrated
account of his pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Two years previously Schoeffer
had brought out a _Herbarius_ in which one hundred and fifty plants
were illustrated, mostly only in outline, and in 1485 he followed this
up with another work of the same character, the _Gart der Gesundheyt_,
which has between three and four hundred cuts of plants and animals,
and a fine frontispiece of botanists in council. This in its turn
formed the basis of Jacob Meidenbach's enlarged Latin edition of the
same work, published under the title of _Hortus Sanitatis_, with
additional cuts and full-page frontispieces to each part. These three
books in the naïveté and simplicity of some of their illustrations,
belong to the period which we have reviewed in our last chapter, but
in other cuts a real effort seems to have been made to reproduce the
true appearance of the plant, and the increased care for accuracy
links them with the newer work. It is, however, the _Opus transmarinae
peregrinationis ad sepulchrum dominicum in Jherusalem_ which opens a
new era, as the first work executed by an artist of distinction as
opposed to the nameless craftsmen at whose woodcuts we have so far
been looking.

When Bernhard von Breydenbach went on his pilgrimage in 1483 he took
with him the artist, Erhard Reuwich, and while Breydenbach made notes
of their adventures, Reuwich sketched the inhabitants of Palestine,
and drew wonderful maps of the places they visited. On their return to
Mainz in 1484, Breydenbach began writing out his Latin account of the
pilgrimage, and Reuwich not only completed his drawings, but took so
active a part in passing the work through the press that, though the
types used in it apparently belonged to Schoeffer, he is spoken of as
its printer. The book appeared in 1486, and as its magnificence
deserved, was issued on vellum as well as on paper. Its first page was
blank, the second is occupied by a frontispiece, in which the art of
wood-engraving attained at a leap to an unexampled excellence. In the
centre of the composition is the figure of a woman, personifying the
town of Mainz, standing on a pedestal, below and on either side of
which are the shields of Breydenbach and his two noble companions, the
Count of Solms and Sir Philip de Bicken. The upper part of the design
is occupied by foliage amid which little naked boys are happily
scrambling. The dedication to the Archbishop of Mainz begins with a
beautiful, but by no means legible, R, in which a coat of arms is
enclosed in light and graceful branches. This, and the smaller S which
begins the preface are the only two printed initials in the volume.
All the rest are supplied by hand.

The most noticeable feature in the book are seven large maps, of
Venice, Parenzo in Illyria, Corfu, Modon, near the bay of Navarino,
Crete, Rhodes, and Jerusalem. These are of varying sizes, from that of
Venice, which is some five feet in length, to those of Parenzo and
Corfu, which only cover a double-page. They are panoramas rather than
maps, and are plainly drawn from painstaking sketches, with some
attempt at local colour in the people on the quays and the shipping.
Besides these maps there is a careful drawing, some six inches square,
of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, headed 'Haec est dispositio et
figura templi dominici sepulchri ab extra,' and cuts of Saracens (here
shown), two Jews, Greeks, both seculars and monks, Syrians and
Indians, with tables of the alphabets of their respective languages.
Spaces are also left for drawings of Jacobites, Nestorians, Armenians,
and Georgians, which apparently were not engraved.

[Illustration: Saracens from Breydenbach.]

After Breydenbach and his fellows had visited Jerusalem they crossed
the desert to the shrine of St. Katharine on Mount Sinai, and this
part of their travels is illustrated by a cut of a cavalcade of Turks
in time of peace. There is also a page devoted to drawings of animals,
showing a giraffe, a crocodile, two Indian goats, a camel led by a
baboon with a long tail and walking stick, a salamander and a
unicorn. Underneath the baboon is written 'non constat de nomine'
('name unknown'), and the presence of the unicorn did not prevent the
travellers from solemnly asserting,--'Haec animalia sunt veraciter
depicta sicut vidimus in terra sancta!' At the end of the text is
Reuwich's device, a woman holding a shield, on which is depicted the
figure of a bird. The book is beautifully printed, in a small and very
graceful gothic letter. It obtained the success it deserved, for there
was a speedy demand for a German translation (issued in 1488), and at
least six different editions were printed in Germany during the next
twenty years, besides other translations.

Alike in its inception and execution Breydenbach's _Pilgrimage_ stands
on a little pinnacle by itself, and the next important books which we
have to notice, Stephan's _Schatzbehalter oder Schrein der wahren
Reichthümer des Heils und ewiger Seligkeit_ and Hartmann Schedel's
_Liber Chronicarum_, usually known as the _Nuremberg Chronicle_, are
in every respect inferior, even the unsurpassed profusion of the
woodcuts in the latter being almost a sin against good taste. Both
works were printed by Anton Koberger of Nuremberg, the one in 1491,
the other two years later, and in both the illustrations were
designed, partly or entirely, by Michael Wohlgemuth, whose initial W
appears on many of the cuts in the _Schatzbehalter_. Of these there
are nearly a hundred, each of which occupies a large folio page, and
measures nearly seven inches by ten. The composition in many of these
pictures is good, and the fine work in the faces and hair show that we
have travelled very far away from the outline cuts of the last
chapter. On the other hand, there is no lack of simplicity in some of
the scenes from the Old Testament. In his anxiety, for instance, to do
justice to Samson's exploits, the artist has represented him
flourishing the jawbone of the ass over a crowd of slain Philistines,
while with the gates of Gaza on his back he is casually choking a lion
with his foot. In the next cut he is walking away with a pillar, while
the palace of the Philistines, apparently built without any ground
floor, is seen toppling in the air. In contrast with these primitive
conceptions we find the figure of Christ often invested with real
dignity, and the representation of God the Father less unworthy than
usual. In the only copy of the book accessible to me the cuts are all
coloured, so that it is impossible to give a specimen of them, but the
figure of Noah reproduced from the _Nuremberg Chronicle_ gives a very
fair idea of the work of Wohlgemuth, or his school, at its best.

The _Chronicle_, to which we must now turn, is a mighty volume of
rather over three hundred leaves, with sixty-five or sixty-six lines
to each of its great pages. It begins with the semblance of a
title-page in the inscription in large woodcut letters on its first
page, 'Registrum huius operis libri cronicarum cum figuris et
ymaginibus ab inicio mundi,' though this really amounts only to a
head-line to the long table of contents which follows. It is
noticeable, also, as showing how slowly printed initials were adopted
in many towns in Germany, that a blank is left at the beginning of
each alphabetical section of this table, and a larger blank at the
beginning of the prologue, and that throughout the volume there are no
large initial letters. This is also the case with the
_Schatzbehalter_, the blanks in the British Museum copy being filled
up with garish illumination. After the 'table' in the _Chronicle_
there is a frontispiece of God in Glory, at the foot of which are two
blank shields held by wild men. The progress of the work of creation
is shown by a series of circles, at first blank, afterwards more and
more filled in. In the first five the hand of God appears in the upper
left-hand corner, to signify His creative agency. The two chief
features in the _Chronicle_ itself are its portraits and its maps. The
former are, of course, entirely imaginary, and the invention of the
artist was not equal to devising a fresh head for every person
mentioned in the text, a pardonable economy considering that there are
sometimes more than twenty of these heads scattered over a single page
and connected together by the branches of a quasi-genealogical tree.
The maps, if not so good as those in Breydenbach's _Pilgrimage_, are
still good. For Ninive, for 'Athene vel Minerva,' for Troy, and other
ancient places, the requisite imagination was forthcoming; while the
maps of Venice,[7] of Florence, and of other cities of Italy, France,
and Germany, appear to give a fair idea of the chief features of the
places represented. Nuremberg, of course, has the distinction of two
whole pages to itself (the other maps usually stretch across only the
lower half of the book), and full justice is done to its churches of
S. Lawrence and S. Sebaldus, to the Calvary outside the city walls,
and to the hedge of spikes, by which the drawbridge was protected from
assault.

[Illustration: From the _Nuremberg Chronicle_.]

We shall have very soon to return again to Wohlgemuth and Nuremberg,
but in the year which followed the production of the great _Chronicle_
Sebastian Brant's _Narrenschiff_ attracted the eyes of the literary
world throughout Europe to the city of Basel, and we also may be
permitted to digress thither. In the year of the _Chronicle_ itself a
Basel printer, Michael Furter, had produced a richly illustrated work,
the _Ritter vom Thurn von den Exempeln der Gottesfurcht und
Ehrbarkeit_, the cuts in which have ornamental borders on each side of
them. Brant had recourse to Furter a little later, but for his
_Narrenschiff_ he went to Bergmann de Olpe, from whose press it was
published in 1494. The engraver or engravers (for there seem to have
been at least two different hands at work) of its one hundred and
fourteen cuts are not known, but Brant is said to have closely
supervised the work, and may possibly have furnished sketches for it
himself. Many of the illustrations could hardly be better. The satire
on the book-fool in his library is too well known to need description;
other excellent cuts are those of the children gambling and fighting
while the fool-father sits blindfold,--of the fool who tries to serve
two masters, depicted as a hunter setting his dog to run down two
hares in different directions,--of the fool who looks out of the
window while his house is on fire,--of the sick fool (here shown) who
kicks off the bedclothes and breaks the medicine bottles while the
doctor vainly tries to feel his pulse,--of the fool who allows earthly
concerns to weigh down heavenly ones (a miniature city and a handful
of stars are the contents of the scales),--of the frightened fool who
has put to sea in a storm, and many others. The popularity of the book
was instantaneous and immense. Imitations of the Basel edition were
printed and circulated all over Germany: in 1497 Bergmann published a
Latin version by Jacob Locher with the same cuts, and translations
speedily appeared in almost every country in Europe. It is noteworthy
that in the _Narrenschiff_ we have no longer to deal with a great
folio but with a handy quarto, and that, save for its cuts and the
adjacent brokers, it has no artistic pretensions.

[Illustration: The Sick Fool]

In the same year (1494) as the _Narrenschiff_, Bergmann printed
another of Brant's works, his poems 'In laudem Virginis Mariae' and of
the Saints, with fourteen cuts, and in 1495 his _De origine et
conservatione bonorum regum et laude civitatis Hierosolymae_, which
has only two, but these of considerable size. In the following year
Brant transferred his patronage to Michael Furter, who printed his
_Passio Sancti Meynhardi_, with fifteen large cuts, by no means equal
to those of the _Narrenschiff_. In 1498 the indefatigable author
employed both his printers, giving to Bergmann his _Varia Carmina_ and
to Furter his edition of the _Revelatio S. Methodii_, which is
remarkable not only for its fifty-five illustrations, but for Brant's
allusion to his own theory, 'imperitis pro lectione pictura est,' to
the unlearned a picture is the best text. After 1498 Brant removed to
Strassburg, where his influence was speedily apparent in the
illustrated books published by Johann Grüninger, who in 1494 had
issued as his first illustrated book an edition of the _Narrenschiff_,
and in 1496 published an illustrated and annotated _Terence_. He
followed these up with other editions of the _Narrenschiff_, Brant's
_Carmina Varia_, and a _Horace_ (1498), with over six hundred cuts,
many of which, however, had appeared in the printer's earlier books.
In 1501 he produced an illustrated _Boethius_, and in the next year
two notable works, Brant's _Heiligenleben_ and an annotated _Virgil_,
each of them illustrated with over two hundred cuts, of which very few
had been used before.

The year 1494 was notable for the publication not only of the
_Narrenschiff_, but of a Low Saxon Bible printed by Stephan Arndes at
Lübeck, where he had been at work since 1488. The cuts to this book
show some advance upon those in previous German Bibles, but they are
not strikingly better than the work in the _Nuremberg Chronicle_, to
whose designers we must now return. In 1496 we find Wohlgemuth
designing a frontispiece to an _Ode on S. Sebaldus_, published by
Conrad Celtes, a Nuremberg scholar, with whom he had previously
entered into negotiations for illustrating an edition of _Ovid_, which
was never issued. In 1501 Celtes published the comedies of Hroswitha,
a learned nun of the tenth century, who had undertaken to show what
charming religious plays might be written on the lines of Terence. By
far the finest of the large cuts with which the book is illustrated is
the second frontispiece, in which Hroswitha, comedies in hand, is
being presented by her Abbess to the Emperor. The designs to the plays
themselves are dull enough, a fault which those who are best
acquainted with the good nun's style as a dramatist will readily
excuse. Her one brilliant success, a scene in which a wicked governor,
who has converted his kitchen into a temporary prison, is made to
inflict his embraces on the pots and pans, instead of on the holy
maidens immured amidst them, was not selected for illustration.

The woodcuts to the plays of Hroswitha were designed by Wohlgemuth or
his scholars, and this was also the case with those in the _Quatuor
libri amorum_, published by Celtes in 1502, to which Albrecht Dürer
himself contributed three illustrations. For three years, from St.
Andrew's Day 1486, Dürer had served an apprenticeship to Wohlgemuth,
and when he returned to Nuremberg after his 'Wanderjahre,' during
which he seems to have executed a single woodcut of no great merit for
an edition of the _Epistles of S. Jerome_, printed by Nic. Kesler, at
Basel, in 1492, he too began to work as an illustrator. His first
important effort in this character is the series of sixteen
wood-engravings, illustrating the Apocalypse, printed at Nuremberg in
1498. The first leaf bears a woodcut title _Die heimliche Offenbarung
Johannis_, and on the verso of the last cut but one is the colophon,
'Gedrücket zu Nurnbergk durch Albrecht Dürer maler, nach Christi
geburt M.CCCC und darnach im xcviij iar.' It has also in one or more
editions some explanatory text, taken from the Bible, but in spite of
these additions it is a portfolio of engravings rather than a book,
and as such does not come within our province. On the same principle
we can only mention, without detailed description, the _Epitome in
Divae Parthenices Mariae historiam_ of 1511, the _Passio Domini nostri
Jesu_, issued about the same date, and the _Passio Christi_, or
'Little Passion,' as it is usually called, printed about 1512. All
these have descriptive verses by the Benedictine monk Chelidonius
(though these do not appear in all copies), but they belong to the
history of wood-engraving as such, and not to our humbler subject of
book-illustration. Still less need we concern ourselves with the
'Triumphal Car' and 'Triumphal Arch' of the Emperor Maximilian,
designed by Dürer, and published, the one in 1522, the other not till
after the artist's death. Besides these works and the single sheet of
the Rhinoceros of 1513, Dürer designed frontispieces for an edition of
his own poems in 1510, for a life of S. Jerome by his friend Lazarus
Spengler in 1514, and for the _Reformation der Stadt Nürnberg_ of
1521. In 1513 also he drew a set of designs for half-ornamental,
half-illustrative borders to fill in the blank spaces left in the Book
of Prayers printed on vellum for the Emperor Maximilian in 1514. By
him also was the woodcut of Christ on the Cross, which appears first
in the Eichstätt _Missal_ of three years later. For us, however,
Dürer's importance does not lie in these particular designs, but in
the fact that he set an example of drawing for the wood-cutters, which
other artists were not slow to follow.

In directing the attention of German artists to the illustration of
books, the Emperor Maximilian played a more important part than Dürer
himself. As in politics, so in art, his designs were on too ambitious
a scale, and of the three great books he projected, the _Theuerdank_,
the _Weisskunig_, and the _Freydal_, only the first was brought to a
successful issue. This is a long epic poem allegorising the Emperor's
wedding trip to Burgundy, and though attributed to Melchior Pfintzing
was apparently, to a large extent, composed by Maximilian himself.
The printing was entrusted to the elder Hans Schoensperger of
Augsburg, but for some unknown reason, when the book was completed in
1517, the honour of its publication was allowed to Nuremberg. A
special fount of type was cut for it by Jost Dienecker of Antwerp, who
indulged in such enormous flourishes, chiefly to any _g_ or _h_ which
happened to occur in the last line of text in a page, that many
eminent printers have imagined that the whole book was engraved on
wood. The difficulties of the setting up, however, have been greatly
exaggerated, for the flourishes came chiefly at the top or foot of the
page, and are often not connected with any letter in the text. In the
present writer's opinion it is an open question whether the type,
which is otherwise a very handsome one, is in any way improved by
these useless appendages. They add on an average about an inch at the
top and an inch and a half at the foot to the column of the text,
which is itself ten inches in height, and contains twenty-four lines
to a full page. The task of illustrating this royal work was entrusted
to Hans Schäufelein, an artist already in the Emperor's employment,
and from his designs there were engraved one hundred and eighteen
large cuts, each of them six and a half inches high by five and a half
broad. The cuts, which chiefly illustrate hunting scenes and knightly
conflicts, are not conspicuously better than those produced about the
same time by other German artists, but they have the great advantage
of having been carefully printed on fine vellum, and this has
materially assisted their reputation.

The _Weisskunig_, a celebration of Maximilian's life and travels, and
the _Freydal_, in honour of his knightly deeds, were part of the same
scheme as the _Theuerdank_. The two hundred and thirty-seven designs
for the _Weisskunig_ were mainly the work of Hans Burgkmair,[8] an
Augsburg artist of repute; its literary execution was entrusted to the
Emperor's secretary, Max Treitzsaurwein, who completed the greater
part of the text as early as 1512. But the Emperor's death in 1519
found the great work still unfinished, and it was not until 1775 that
it was published as a fragment, with the original illustrations
(larger, and perhaps finer, than those in the _Theuerdank_), of which
the blocks had, fortunately, been preserved. The _Freydal_, though
begun as early as 1502, was left still less complete; the designs for
it, however, are in existence at Vienna. The 'Triumph of the Emperor
Maximilian,' another ambitious work, with one hundred and thirty-five
woodcuts designed by Burgkmair, was first published in 1796.

The death of Maximilian in 1519 and the less artistic tastes of
Charles V. caused German illustrators to turn for work to the Augsburg
printers, and during the next few years we find them illustrating a
number of books for the younger Schoensperger, for Hans Othmar, for
Miller, and for Grimm and Wirsung, all Augsburg firms. The most
important result of this activity was the German edition of Petrarch's
_De Remediis utriusque Fortunae_, for which in the years immediately
following the Emperor's death an artist named Hans Weiditz, whose
identity has only lately been re-established, drew no less than two
hundred and fifty-nine designs. Owing to the death of the printer,
Grimm, the book was put on one side, but was finally brought out by
Heinrich Steiner, Grimm's successor, in 1532. In the interim some of
the cuts had been used for an edition of Cicero _De Senectute_, and
they were afterwards used again in a variety of works. Despite the
excellence of the cuts the _Petrarch_ is a very disappointing book. To
do justice to the fine designs the most delicate press work was
necessary, and, except when the pressmen were employed by an Emperor,
the delicacy was not forthcoming; it may be said, indeed, that it was
made impossible by the poorness and softness of the paper on which the
book is printed. At this period it was only the skill of individual
artists which prevented German books from being as dull and
uninteresting as they soon afterwards became.

Books of devotion in Germany never attained to the beauty of the
French _Horae_, but they did not remain uninfluenced by them. In or
before 1496 we find a _Nouum B. Mariae Virginis Psalterium_ printed at
Zinna, near Magdeburg, with very beautiful, though florid, borders. In
1513 there appeared at Augsburg a German prayer-book, entitled _Via
Felicitatis_, with thirty cuts, all with rich conventional borders,
probably by Hans Schäufelein, and we have already seen that in the
same year Dürer himself designed borders for the Emperor's own
_Gebetbuch_. In 1515, again, Burgkmair had contributed a series of
designs, many of which had rich architectural borders, to a _Leiden
Christi_, published by Schoensperger at Augsburg. In 1520 the same
artist designed another set of illustrations, with very richly
ornamented borders of flowers and animals, for the _Devotissimae
Meditationes de vita beneficiis et passione Jesu Christi_, printed by
Grimm. The use of borders soon became a common feature in German
title-pages, especially in the small quartos in which the Lutherans
and anti-Lutherans carried on their controversies; but it cannot be
said that they often exhibit much beauty.

The innumerable translations of the Bible, which were another result
of the Lutheran controversy, also provided plenty of work for the
illustrators. The two Augsburg editions of the New Testament in 1523
were both illustrated, the younger Schoensperger's by Schäufelein,
Silvan Othmar's by Burgkmair. Burgkmair also issued a series of
twenty-one illustrations to the Apocalypse, for which Othmar had not
had the patience to wait.

[Illustration: Border attributed to Lucas Cranach.]

At Wittenberg the most important works issued were the repeated
editions of Luther's translation of the Bible. Here also Lucas
Cranach, who had previously (in 1509) designed the cuts for what was
known as the _Wittenberger Heiligthumsbuch_, in 1521 produced his
_Passional Christi und Antichristi_, in which, page by page, the
sufferings and humility of Christ were contrasted with the luxury and
arrogance of the Pope. At Wittenberg, too, the thin quartos with
woodcut borders to their title-pages were peculiarly in vogue, the
majority of the designs being poor enough, but some few having
considerable beauty, especially those of Lucas Cranach, of which an
example is here given. Meanwhile, at Strassburg, Hans Grüninger and
Martin Flach and his son continued to print numerous illustrated
works, largely from designs by Hans Baldung Grün, and a still more
famous publisher had arisen in the person of Johann Knoblouch, who for
some of his books secured the help of Urs Graf, an artist whose work
preserved some of the old-fashioned simplicity of treatment. At
Nuremberg illustrated books after Koburger's death proceeded chiefly
from the presses of Jobst Gutknecht and Peypus, for the latter of whom
Hans Springinklee, one of the minor artists employed on the
_Weisskunig_, occasionally drew designs. At Basel Michael Furter
continued to issue illustrated books for the first fifteen years of
the new century, Johann Amorbach adorned with woodcuts his editions of
ecclesiastical statutes and constitutions, and Adam Petri issued a
whole series of illustrated books, chiefly of religion and theology.
To Basel Urs Graf gave the most and the best of his work, and there
the young Hans Holbein designed in rapid succession the cuts for the
New Testament of 1522, for an _Apocalypse_, two editions of the
Pentateuch, and a Vulgate, besides numerous ornamental borders. Some
of these merely imitate the rather tasteless designs of Urs Graf, in
which the ground plan is architectural, and relief is given by a
profusion of naked children, not always in very graceful attitudes.
Holbein's best designs are far lighter and prettier. The foot of the
border is usually occupied by some historical scene, the death of John
the Baptist, Mucius Scævola and Porsenna, the death of Cleopatra, the
leap of Curtius, or Hercules and Orpheus. In a title-page to the
_Tabula Cebetis_ he shows the whole course of man's life--little
children crowding through the gate, which is guarded by their
'genius,' and the fortune, sorrow, luxury, penitence, virtue, and
happiness which awaits them. The two well-known borders for the top
and bottom of a page, illustrating peasants chasing a thieving fox and
their return dancing, were designed for Andreas Cratander, for whom
also, as for Valentine Curio, Holbein drew printers' devices.
Ambrosius Holbein also illustrated a few books, the most noteworthy in
the eyes of Englishmen being the 1518 edition of More's _Utopia_,
printed by Froben. His picture of Hercules Gallicus, dragging along
the captives of his eloquence, part of a border designed for an
_Aulus Gellius_ published by Cratander in 1519, is worthy of Hans
himself. While the German printers degenerated ever more and more,
those of Basel and Zurich maintained a much higher standard of
press-work, and from 1540 to 1560, when the demand for illustrated
books had somewhat lessened, produced a series of classical editions
in tall folios, well printed and on good paper, which at least command
respect. They abound with elaborate initial letters, which are,
however, too deliberately pictorial to be in good taste. In Germany
itself by the middle of the sixteenth century the artistic impulse had
died away, or survived only in books like those of Jost Amman, in
which the text merely explains the illustrations. It is a pleasure to
go back some seventy or eighty years and turn our attention to the
beginning of book-illustration in Italy.

       *       *       *       *       *

[7] Dr. Lippmann was of opinion that the map of Venice was adapted
from Reuwich's; that of Florence from a large woodcut, printed at
Florence between 1486 and 1490, of which the unique example is at
Berlin; and that of Rome from a similar map, now lost, which served
also as a model for the cut in the edition of the _Supplementum
Chronicarum_, printed at Venice in 1490.

[8] Burgkmair had already done work for the printers, notably for an
edition of Jornandes _De Rebus Gothorum_, printed in 1516, on the
first page of which King Alewinus and King Athanaricus are shown in
conversation, the title of the book being given in a shield hung over
their heads.



CHAPTER V

ITALY--I

THE FIRST ILLUSTRATED BOOKS AND THOSE OF VENICE


Surrounded by pictures and frescoes, and accustomed to the utmost
beauty in their manuscripts, the Italians did not feel the need of the
cheaper arts, and for the first quarter of a century after the
introduction of printing into their country, the use of engraved
borders, initial letters, and illustrations was only occasional and
sporadic. Perhaps not very long after the middle of the century an
Italian block-book of the Passion had been issued, probably at Venice,
as it was there that most of the cuts were used again in 1487 for an
edition of the _Devote Meditatione_, attributed to S. Bonaventura. A
copy of this is in the British Museum; of the block-book eighteen
leaves are preserved at Berlin. Despite some ungainliness in the
figures and rather coarse cutting, the pictures are vigorous and
effective, but quite unlike any later Venetian work. Something of the
same kind may be said of those in an edition of the _Meditationes_ of
Cardinal Turrecremata, printed by Ulrich Hahn at Rome in 1467, the
first work printed in Italy with movable type, in which woodcut
illustrations were used. The cuts are thirty-four in number, and
professed to illustrate the same subjects as the frescoes recently
painted by the cardinal's order in the Church of San Maria di Minerva
at Rome.[9] The execution is so rude, that it is impossible to say
whether they are the work of a German influenced by Italian models, or
of an Italian working to please a German master, nor is the point of
the slightest importance. Thirty-three of the cuts were used again in
the editions printed at Rome in 1473 and 1478, and it is from the 1473
edition that the accompanying illustration of the Flight into Egypt is
taken. This in its original size is one of the best of the series, but
the reduction necessary for its appearance on one of our pages has had
a more than usually unfortunate effect, both on the cut itself and on
the printer's type which appears below it.

[Illustration: From the _Meditationes_ of Turrecremata, Rome, 1473.]

In 1481, the courtier-printer, Joannes Philippus de Lignamine, issued
an edition of the _Opuscula_ of Philippus de Barberiis adorned with
twenty-nine cuts representing twelve prophets, twelve sibyls, St. John
the Baptist, the Holy Family, Christ with the Emblems of His Passion,
the virgin Proba, and the philosopher Plato. Plato, Malachi, and Hosea
are all represented by the same cut, another serves for both Jeremiah
and Zechariah, and two of the Sibyls are also made to merge their
individualities. With the exception of the figure of Christ, which is
merely painful, the cuts are pleasantly and even ludicrously rude.
Nevertheless, they are not without vigour, and are, to my thinking,
greatly preferable to the more conventional figures of the twelve
Sibyls and Proba which appeared shortly afterwards in an undated
edition of the same book, printed by Sixtus Riessinger. In this
edition the figures are surrounded by architectural borders, and we
have also a border to the first page and several large initial
letters, all in exact imitation of the interlacement work, which is
the commonest form of decoration in Italian manuscripts of the time.
Riessinger's mark, a girl holding a black shield with a white arrow on
it, and a scroll with the letters S.R.D.A. (Sixtus Riessinger de
Argentina), is found in the 'register' at the end of the book. To
Riessinger we also owe a _Cheiromantia_, with figures of hands, which
I have not seen, while from Lignamine's press there was issued an
edition of the _Herbarium_ of Apuleius Barbarus (who was, of course,
confused with his famous namesake), which has rude botanical figures
and, at the end of the book, a most man-like portrait of a mandrake,
with a dog duly tugging at one of his fibrous legs. The list of
illustrated books printed at Rome before 1490 also includes[10] some
little editions, mostly by Silber or Plannck, of the _Mirabilia
Romae_, a guidebook to the antiquities of the city, in which there are
a few cuts of pilgrims gazing at the cloth of S. Veronica, of SS.
Peter and Paul, of Romulus and Remus, and other miscellaneous
subjects. The interest of all these books is purely antiquarian.

If we turn from Rome to the neighbouring city of Naples, we shall find
evidence of much more artistic work. In 1478 Sixtus Riessinger printed
there for Francesco Tuppo an edition of Boccaccio's _Libro di florio e
di bianzefiore_, or _Philocolo_, illustrated with forty-one woodcuts,
of no great technical merit, but by no means without charm. Two years
later a representation of the supposed origin of music by the figures
of five blacksmiths working at an anvil occurs in an edition of the
_Musices Theoria_ of Francesco Gafori, printed in 1480 by Francesco di
Dino. Much more important than this is a handsome edition of _Æsop_
published in 1485 by Francesco Tuppo, and printed for him by an
anonymous firm known to bibliographers as the 'Germain fidelissimi.'
This contains eighty-seven large cuts heavily cut, but well drawn and
with a massive vigour, one of which, representing the death of Æsop,
occupies a full page. The cuts illustrating the fabulist's life have
rather commonplace borders to them, but when the fables themselves are
reached, these are replaced by much more important ones. Into an upper
compartment are introduced figures of Hercules wrestling with Antæus,
Hercules riding on a lion, and a combat between mounted pigmies. The
fables have also a large border surrounding the first page of text,
used again in the Hebrew Bible of 1488. The ground-work of all the
borders is black, but this has not always enabled them to escape the
hand of the colourist. The book is also adorned by two large and two
smaller printed initials. To the same artist as the illustrator of the
_Æsop_ must be attributed the title-cut of Granollach's _Astrologia_,
issued in or about the same year. In 1486, again, Matthias Moravus
printed one of the few Italian _Horae_, a charming little book, three
inches by two, with sixteen lines of very pretty Gothic type, printed
in red and black, to each of its tiny pages, and four little woodcuts,
which in the only copy I have seen have been painted over. A daintier
prayer-book can hardly be conceived.

When we turn from the south to the north of Italy, we find that an
Italian printer at Verona had preceded the German immigrants in
issuing an important work with really fine woodcuts as early in 1472.
This is the _De Re Militari_ of Robertus Valturius, written some few
years previously, and dedicated to Sigismund Malatesta. In this fine
book, printed by John of Verona, there are eighty-two woodcuts
representing various military operations and engines, all drawn in
firm and graceful outline, which could hardly be bettered. The designs
for these cuts have been attributed to the artist Matteo de' Pasti,
whose skill as a painter, sculptor, and engraver, Valturius had
himself commended in a letter written in the name of Malatesta to
Mahomet II. The conjecture rests solely on this commendation, but
seems intrinsically probable. The book has no other adornment save
these woodcuts and its fine type. Another edition was printed in the
same town eleven years later by Boninus de Boninis.

Besides the _Valturius_, the only other early Verona book with
illustrations known to me is an edition of _Æsop_ in the Italian
version of Accio Zucco, printed by Giovanni Alvisio in 1479. This has
a frontispiece in which the translator is seen presenting his book to
a laurel-crowned person sitting in a portico, through which there is a
distant view. This is followed by a page of majuscules containing the
title of the book, but ending with a 'foeliciter incipit.' On the back
of this is a tomb-like erection, bearing the inscription 'Lepidissimi
Æsopi Fabellae,' which gives it the rank of the second ornamental
title-page (see p. 32 for the first). Facing this is a page surrounded
by an ornamental border, at the foot of which is the usual shield
supported by the usual naked boys. Within the border are Latin verses
beginning:

    "Vt iuuet et prosit conatum pagina praesens
        Dulcius arrident seria picta iocis,"

the lines being spaced out with fragments from the ornamental borders
which surround each of the pictures in the body of the book. These, on
the whole, are not so good as those in the Naples edition of 1485, but
were helped out, at least in some copies, by rather pretty colouring.
The chief feature in the book is the care bestowed upon the
preliminary leaves.

In Florence, before 1490, we have no example of wood-engraving
employed in book illustration, but in 1477, Nicolaus Lorenz of Breslau
issued there the first of three books with illustrations engraved on
copper. This is an edition of Bettini's _Monte Santo di Dio_ with
three plates, representing respectively (1) the Holy Mountain, up
which a man is climbing by the aid of a ladder of virtues; (2) Christ
standing in a 'mandorla' or almond-shaped halo formed by the heads of
cherubs; and (3) the torments of Hell. This was followed in 1481 by a
_Dante_ with the commentary of Landino, with engravings illustrating
the first eighteen cantos. Spaces were left for engravings at the head
of the other cantos, but the plan was too ambitious, and they were
never filled up. Some copies of the book have no engravings at all,
others only two, those prefixed to Cantos 1 and 3, the first of which
is most inartistically introduced on the lower margin of the page,
tempting mutilation by the binder's shears. The other venture of
Nicolaus Lorenz, which has engraved work, is the _Sette Giornate della
Geographia_ of Berlinghieri, in which he introduces numerous maps.

At Milan only two illustrated books are known to have been issued
before 1490, both of which appeared in 1479. The rarer of these, which
is seldom found in perfect condition, is the _Summula di pacifica
Conscientia_ of Fra Pacifico di Novara, printed by Philippus de
Lavagna, and illustrated with three copper-plates, one of which
represents the virtues of the Madonna, the others containing diagrams
exhibiting the prohibited degrees of consanguinity. The other book is
a _Breviarium totius juris canonici_, printed by Leonard Pachel and
Ulrich Scinzenceller, with a woodcut portrait of its author, 'Magister
Paulus Florentinus ordinis Sancti Spiritus,' otherwise Paolo
Attavanti.

The illustrated books printed in Italy which we have hitherto noticed
are of great individual interest, but they led to the establishment of
no school of book-illustration, and the value of wood engravings was
as yet so little understood that the cuts in them often failed to
escape the hands of the colourists. At Venice, on the other hand,
where Bernhard Maler and Erhard Ratdolt introduced the use of printed
initials and borders in 1476, we find a continuous progress to the
record of which we must now turn. The border to the title-page of the
Kalendars of 1476 has already been noticed: both the Latin and the
Italian editions also contained printed initials of a rustic shape,
resembling those in some early books in Ulm, but larger and better.
The next year the partners made a great step in advance in the
initials and borders of an _Appian_, and an edition of Cepio's _Gesta
Petri Mocenici_. These were followed by an edition of _Dionysius
Periegetes_, and in 1478 by the _Cosmographia_ of Pomponius Mela.
Three distinct borders are used in these books, all of them with light
and graceful floral patterns in relief on a black ground. The large
initials are of the same character, and both these and the borders are
unmistakably Italian. In 1478 Ratdolt lost the aid of Bernhard Maler,
who up to that date seems to have been the leading spirit of the firm,
and the books subsequently issued are much less decorative. In 1479
another German, Georg Walch, issued an edition of the _Fasciculus
Temporum_ with illustrations mostly poor enough, but with a quaint
little attempt at realism in one of Venice. These cuts of Walch's, and
also a decorative initial, Ratdolt was content to copy on a slightly
larger scale in an edition of his own the next year. He also printed
an undated _Chiromantia_, with twenty-one figures of heads, a reprint
of which bearing his name and that of Mattheus Cerdonis de
Windischgretz was issued at Padua in 1484. In 1482, came the _Poetica
Astronomica_ of Hyginus, with numerous woodcuts of the astronomical
powers, those of Mercury (here very slightly reduced) and Sol being
perhaps the best. To the same year belongs a reprint of the
_Cosmographia_ of Pomponius Mela with a curious map and a few good
initials, also a _Euclid_ with mathematical diagrams and a border and
initials from the _Appian_ of 1477.

[Illustration: From the _Hyginus_ of 1482.]

After 1482 Ratdolt does not seem to have printed any new illustrated
books, and in 1486 he ceased printing at Venice and returned, as we
have seen, to Augsburg. Subject to the doubt as to whether he has not
been credited with praise which really belongs to Bernhard Maler, his
brief Italian career entitles him to a place of some importance among
the decorators of books, for though his illustrations were
unimportant, his borders and initials are among the best of the
fifteenth century.

In 1482 Octavianus Scotus printed three Missals with a rude cut of the
Crucifixion, and these were imitated by other printers in 1483, 1485,
and 1487.

The year 1486 was marked by the publication, by Bernardino de
Benaliis, of an edition of the _Supplementum Chronicarum_ of Giovanni
Philippo Foresti of Bergamo, with numerous outline woodcuts of cities,
for the most part purely imaginary and conventional, the same cuts
being used over and over again for different places. Four years later
a new edition was printed by Bernardino de Novara, in which more
accurate pictures were substituted in the case of some of the more
important towns, notably Florence and Rome. In both issues the first
three cuts, representing the Creation, the Fall, and the sacrifice of
Cain and Abel, are copied from those in the Cologne Bible.

The year after his edition of the _Supplementum_, Bernardinus de
Benaliis printed an _Æsop_ with sixty-one woodcuts adapted from those
in the Veronese edition of 1479. Of this edition Dr. Lippmann, who
had the only known copy under his charge at Berlin, remarks that 'the
style of engraving is, to a large extent, cramped and angular, and the
entire appearance of the work is that of a genuine chapbook.'

[Illustration: From the _Devote Meditatione_, Venice, 1508 [1489].]

In 1488 we arrive at the first of the numerous illustrated editions of
the _Trionfi_ of Petrarch. This was printed by Bernardino de Novara,
and has six full-page cuts, measuring some ten inches by six, and
illustrating the triumphs of Love, of Chastity, Death, Fame, and Time,
and of the true Divinity over the false gods. The designs are
excellent, but the engraver had very imperfect control over his point,
and his treatment of the eyes of the figures introduced is by itself
sufficient to spoil the pictures. Curiously enough, the ornamental
border of white figures on a black ground is certainly better cut than
the pictures themselves.

The same inferiority of the engraver to the designer is seen in the
illustrations to the 1489 edition of the _Deuote Meditatione sopra la
passione del nostro signore_ attributed to S. Bonaventura. The first
illustrated edition of this book, with eleven illustrations taken
(slightly cut down) from the block book of the Passion already
mentioned, had been printed in 1487 by Ieronimo de Santis. The 1489
edition was printed by Matteo di Codecha (or Capcasa) of Parma, who
republished the book no less than six times during the next five
years, after which the cuts were used by other printers,--_e.g._ by
Gregorio di Rusconi, from whose edition in 1508 our illustration of
the mocking of Christ is taken. It is interesting to compare this
Venetian series with the Florentine edition published a little later
by Antonio Mischomini, whose engraver, while taking many hints from
the designs of his predecessor, greatly improved on them. The next
year witnessed the first Venetian edition of another work in which
the artists of the two cities were to be matched together. This is the
_Fior di Virtù_, whose title-cut of Fra Cherubino da Spoleto gathering
flowers in the convent garden shows a great advance on previous
Venetian work. Unfortunately the British Museum copy has been slightly
injured, so that I am obliged to take my reproduction from the second
of two similar editions published by Matteo Codecha in 1492, 1493.
These have each thirty-six vignettes in the text, illustrating the
examples in the animal world of the virtues which the author desired
to inculcate.

[Illustration: From the _Fior di Virtù_, Venice, 1493.]

We must now turn to the first illustrated edition of Malermi's Italian
version of the Bible, printed in 1490. After the woodcut basis for the
six little illuminations in the Spencer copy of Adam of Ammergau's
edition of 1471, the first Biblical woodcuts at Venice are a series of
thirty-eight small vignettes which decorate an edition of the
_Postilla_ or sermons, of Nicolaus de Lyra, printed for Octavianus
Scotus in 1489. In the Bible itself, printed the next year by Giovanni
Ragazzo for Lucantonio Giunta, the illustrations are on a very lavish
scale, numbering in all three hundred and eighty-three, of which a few
are duplicates, and about a fourth are adapted in miniature from the
cuts in the Cologne Bibles, which formed a model for so many other
editions. Some of the best cuts in this and other Venetian books are
signed with a small _b_, which by some writers has been supposed to
stand for the name of the artist who designed them, but is more
probably to be referred to the workshop at which they were engraved.
The craftsmen employed on the New Testament were quite unskilled, but
many of the illustrations to the Old Testament are delightful. The
first page of the Bible is occupied by six somewhat larger cuts,
illustrating the days of Creation, joined together within an
architectural border. Other editions containing the same cuts, with
additions from other books, were issued in 1494, 1498, and 1502. A
rival edition, printed by Guglielmo de Monteferrato, with a new set of
cuts of a similar character appeared in 1493.

These three religious works, the _Meditatione_, the _Postilla_, and
the Malermi Bible thoroughly established the use of vignettes, or
small cuts worked into the text, as an alternative to full-page
illustrations, like those in the _Petrarch_, and it was natural that
this method of decoration should soon be applied to the greatest of
Italian works, the _Divina Commedia_. In producing an illustrated
Dante, Venice had been anticipated not only by the Florentine edition
of 1481, though the engravings in this are only found in the first few
cantos, but by a very curious edition published at Brescia in 1487,
with full-page cuts, surrounded by a black border with white
arabesques. These large cuts, which measure ten inches by six, are
very coarsely executed, and have no merit save what the earlier ones
derive from their imitation of those in the Florentine edition. In the
course of the year 1491 two illustrated _Dantes_ were published at
Venice, the first on March 3rd by Bernardino Benali and Matteo
[Codecha] da Parma, the second on November 18th by Pietro Cremonese.
The earlier edition has a fine woodcut frontispiece illustrating the
first canto, but the vignettes which succeed it are so badly cut as to
lose all their beauty. In the later edition the same designs appear to
have been followed, but the vignettes are larger and much better cut,
so that they are at least somewhat less unworthy of their subject.
Both editions have printed initials, but of the poorest kind, and in
both the text is hidden away amid the laborious commentary of Landino.

After Dante's _Divina Commedia_ it is natural to expect an edition of
Boccaccio's _Decamerone_, and this duly followed the next year from
the press of Gregorius de Gregoriis. The first page is occupied by a
woodcut of the ten fine ladies and gentlemen who tell the stories,
seated in the beautiful garden to which they had retired from the
plague which was raging around them. Beneath this are seventeen lines
of text, with a blank left for an initial H, and woodcut and text are
surrounded by an architectural border, at the foot of whose columns
little boys standing on the heads of lions are blowing horns, while in
the lower section of the design the usual blank shield is approached
from either side by cupids riding on rams. The blank for the initial
is a great blot on the page, as any coloured letter would have
destroyed the delicacy of the whole design. In the body of the work
each of the ten books is headed by a double cut, in one part of which
the company of narrators is standing in front of a gateway, while one
of their number is playing a guitar; in the other they are all seated
before a fountain, presided over by a wreath-crowned master of the
story-telling. The vignettes which illustrate the different tales vary
very much in quality, though some, like the little cut of the Marquis
and his friends approaching Griselda as she brings water from the
well, could hardly be bettered.

The _Boccaccio_ of 1492 heralded a long series of illustrated books
from the press of Gregorius de Gregoriis and his brother John. Most of
these were devotional in their character, _e.g._ the _Zardine de
Oratione_, the _Monte dell' Oratione_, the _Vita e Miracoli del Sancto
Antonio di Padova_, the _Passione di Cristo_, &c. The _Novellino_ of
Masuccio Salernitano formed a pendant to the _Boccaccio_, and was
published in the same year. To the Gregorii we also owe the
magnificent border, in white relief on a black ground, to the Latin
_Herodotus_ of 1494, repeated again in the second volume of the works
of S. Jerome published in 1497-98. Equally famous with any of these is
the same printer's series of editions of the _Fascicolo de Medicina_
of Johannes Ketham. In the first of these, printed in 1491, the
illustrations are confined to cuts of various dreadful-looking
surgical instruments; but in 1493 large pictures were added, each
occupying the whole of a folio page, and representing a dissection, a
consultation of physicians, the bedside of a man struck down by the
plague. The dissection was printed in several colours, but this
experiment was abandoned, and a new block was cut for the subsequent
editions. In some of his later books Gregorius repaired the mistake of
the _Boccaccio_, and used excellent woodcut initials.

The _Herodotus_ of 1494 has only its magnificent border by way of
illustration, but other classical authors received much more generous
treatment during this decade. An Italian _Livy_, with numerous
vignettes, was printed in 1493 by Giovanni di Vercelli, and a Latin
one in 1495 by P. Pincio, Lucantonio Giunta in each case acting as
publisher.[11] In 1497 Lazarus de Soardis printed for Simon de Luere a
_Terence_ with numerous vignettes; and in the same year there appeared
an illustrated edition, several times reprinted, of the
_Metamorphoses_ of Ovid, the printer being Giovanni Rossi and the
publisher once more Lucantonio Giunta. The cuts in this work measure
something over three inches by five, and have little borders on each
side of them; but the fineness of the designs is lost by poor
engraving. Some of them are signed _ia_, others N.

We now approach one of the most famous books in the annals of Venetian
printing, the _Hypnerotomachia Poliphili_ printed by Aldus in 1499, at
the expense of a certain Leonardo Crasso of Verona, 'artium et iuris
Pontificis consultus,' by whom it was dedicated to Guidobaldo, Duke of
Urbino. The author of the book was Francesco Colonna, a Dominican
friar, who had been a teacher of rhetoric at Treviso and Padua, and
was now spending his old age in the convent of SS. Giovanni e Paolo in
Venice, his native city. Colonna's authorship of the romance is
revealed in an acrostic formed by the initial letters of the
successive chapters, which make up the sentence, 'Poliam Frater
Franciscus Columna peramavit': 'Brother Francesco Colonna greatly
loved Polia.' Who Polia was is a little uncertain. In the opening
chapter she tells her nymphs that her real name was Lucretia, but she
has been identified with a Hippolita Lelio, daughter of a jurisconsult
at Treviso, who entered a convent after having been attacked by the
plague, which visited Treviso from 1464 to 1468. On the other hand, it
is plausibly suggested that Polia ([Greek: polia]), 'the grey-haired
lady,' is only a symbol of Antiquity, and at the beginning of the book
there is at least a pretence of an allegory, though this is not
carried very far.

[Illustration: From the _Hypnerotomachia_, Venice, 1499.]

In the story Polifilo, a name intended to mean 'the lover of Polia,'
imagines himself in his dream as passing through a dark wood till he
reaches a little stream, by which he rests. The valley through which
it runs is filled with fragments of ancient architecture, which form
the subjects of many illustrations. As he comes to a great gate he is
frightened by a dragon. Escaping from this, he meets five nymphs (the
five senses), and is brought to the court of Queen Eleuterylida (Free
Will). Then follows a description of the ornaments of her palace and
of four magnificent processions, the triumphs of Europa, Leda, and
Danaë, and the festival of Bacchus. After this we have a triumph of
Vertumnus and Pomona, and a picture of nymphs and men sacrificing
before a terminal figure of Priapus. Meanwhile Polifilo has met the
fair Polia, and together they witness some of the ceremonies in the
Temple of Venus, and view its ornaments and those of the gardens round
it. The first book, which is illustrated with one hundred and
fifty-one cuts, now comes to an end. Book II describes how the
beautiful Polia, after an attack of the plague, had taken refuge in a
temple of Diana; how, while there, she dreamt a terrifying dream of
the anger of Cupid, so that she was moved to let her lover embrace
her, and was driven from Diana's temple with thick sticks; lastly, of
how Venus took the lovers under her protection, and at the prayer of
Polifilo caused Cupid to pierce an image of Polia with his dart,
thereby fixing her affections as firmly on Polifilo as he could
wish--if only it were not all a dream! This second book is illustrated
with only seventeen woodcuts, but as these are not interrupted by any
wearisome architectural designs, their cumulative effect is far more
impressive than those of the first, though many of the pictures in
this--notably those of Polifilo in the wood and by the river, his
presentation to Eleuterylida, the scenes of his first meeting with
Polia, and some of the incidents of the triumphs--are quite equal to
them. Unfortunately, the best pictures in both books are nearly
square, so that it is impossible to reproduce them in an octavo except
greatly reduced.

The woodcuts of the _Polifilo_ have been ascribed to nearly a dozen
artists, but in every case on the very slenderest grounds. Some of the
cuts, like some of those in the Mallermi Bible, are marked with a
little _b_; but this, as has been said, is almost certainly indicative
of the engraver's workshop from which they proceeded, rather than of
the artist who drew the designs. The edition of 1499 is a handsome
folio; the text is printed in fine Roman type, with three or four
different varieties of beautiful initial letters. The title and
headings are printed in the delicate majuscules which belong to the
type, and have a very graceful appearance. A second edition of the
_Polifilo_ was published in 1545, with, for the most part, the same
cuts. This was followed in the next year by a French translation by
Jean Martin, printed at Paris by Jacques Kerver, and republished three
times during the century. For the French editions the cuts were freely
imitated, the rather short, plump Italian women reappearing as ladies
of even excessive height. In England in 1592 Simon Waterson printed an
abridged translation with the pretty title, _Hypnerotomachia, or the
Strife of Love in a Dreame_, with a few cuts copied from the Italian
originals. The book, now extremely rare, was apparently not well
received, for Waterson, abandoning all hope of a second edition,
speedily parted with his wood-blocks. Four of the cuts are found amid
the most incongruous surroundings in the _Strange and wonderful
tidings happened to Richard Hasleton, borne at Braintree in Essex, in
his ten yeares trauailes in many forraine countries_, though this
egregious work was printed by A. I. for William Barley in 1595, only
three years after the _Strife of Love in a Dreame_.

As we have noted, Aldus printed the _Hypnerotomachia_ on commission,
and save for two discreditably bad cuts in his _Musaeus_ and a rather
fine portrait of S. Catherine of Siena in his edition of her Letters
printed in 1500, he troubled himself with no other illustrations. In
his larger works he revived the memory of the stately folios of
Jenson, and in his popular editions sought no other adornment than the
beauty of his italic type. If pictures were needed to make a book more
acceptable to a rich patron, he did not disdain to have recourse to
the illuminator. Some of his Greek books have most beautiful initial
letters, and in the Aristotle of 1497 he employs good head-pieces,
though these fall far short of the large oriental design, printed in
red, placed by his friendly rival, Zacharias Kaliergos, at the top of
the first page of the _Commentary_ of Simplicius on Aristotle of 1499.

[Illustration]

The influence of Aldus certainly helped to widen the gulf which
already existed between the finely printed works intended for scholars
and wealthy book-lovers and the cheaper and more popular ones in which
woodcuts formed an addition very attractive to the humbler
book-buyers. Perhaps this in part accounts for the great deterioration
in Italian illustrated books after the close of the fifteenth century.
The delicate vignettes and outline cuts only appear in reprints, and
in new works their place is taken by heavily shaded engravings, mostly
of very little charm. The numerous liturgical works published by
Lucantonio Giunta and his successors perhaps show this work at its
best. They are mostly printed in Gothic type with an abundant use of
red ink, and the heaviness of the illustrations is thus all the better
carried off. But as the century advanced Venetian printing
deteriorated more and more rapidly: partly from excessive competition;
partly, as Mr. Brown has shown in his _The Venetian Printing Press_,
from too much interference on the part of the Government; partly, we
must suppose, simply from the decline of good taste, though it is
noticeable that between 1540 and 1560, when the insides of books had
become merely dull, is a brilliant period in the history of Venetian
binding. Whatever the cause, within a few years after the close of the
fifteenth century the glories of Venetian printing had disappeared.

[Illustration: From the _Epistole_ of Pulci, Florence, _c._ 1495.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[9] The title of the book, printed in red, beneath the first woodcut,
reads: 'Meditationes Rever[=e]dissimi patris dñi Johannis de turre
cremata sacros[~c]e Romane eccl'ie cardinalis posite & depicte de
ipsius m[~a]dato [~i] eccl'ie ambitu Marie de Minerva, Rome.'

[10] Maps hardly come under the head of illustrations, but we may note
the appearance in 1478 of the edition of Ptolemy's _Cosmographia_, by
Arnold Buckinck, with maps engraved by Conrad Sweynheim, the partner
of Pannartz.

[11] In the intervening year Giunta had published the _Santa
Catharina_, printed by Matteo Codecha, some copies of which have the
false date MCCCCLXXXIII.



CHAPTER VI

ITALY--II

FLORENCE AND MILAN--ITALIAN PRINTERS' MARKS


We must now return from Venice to Florence, where, after the
experiments with engravings on copper in 1477 and 1481, no illustrated
books had been published until on March 27, 1490, Francesco di Dino
(whom we have already seen at work at Naples ten years earlier)
brought out an edition of the _Specchio di Croce_ of Domenico Cavalca,
with a frontispiece representing the Crucifixion. In September of the
same year an edition of the _Laudi_ of Jacopone da Todi (the
Franciscan author of the _Stabat Mater_), was printed by Francesco
Buonaccorsi, which contains on the verso of its eighth leaf a most
beautiful outline woodcut,[12] St. Jacopone kneeling by a little
lectern, his book on the ground, while above him is a vision of the
Madonna enshrined in a 'mandorla,' supported below by three cherubs
and above by four maturer angels. In 1491 we make the acquaintance of
Lorenzo di Morgiani and Giovanni Tedesco da Maganza, or Johann Petri
of Mainz, from whose press some of the most important of the
Florentine illustrated books were issued. The first result of their
activity was a new edition of Bettini's _Monte Santo di Dio_, in which
the three copperplates of the edition of 1477 were freely imitated
upon wood. In the same year they printed a little treatise on
Arithmetic, written by Philippo Calandro and dedicated to Giuliano dei
Medici. This is the most delightful of all arithmetic books. It has a
title-cut of 'Pictagoras Arithmetice Introductor,' and the earlier
pages of the book are surrounded by a characteristic Renaissance
border. Towards the end of the work there is a series of illustrated
problems, only a little more absurd than those which still occur in
children's school-books. One of these, however, is so good that we
must permit ourselves a little digression to quote it in a free
translation:--

    "A squirrel flying from a cat climbed to the top of a tree 26-3/4
    arm's-lengths (_braccia_) in height. The cat, wanting to seize the
    squirrel, began to climb the tree, and each day leaped up half an
    arm's length, and each night descended a third of one. The squirrel,
    on its part, believing that the cat had gone away, wanted to get
    down from the tree, and each day descended a quarter of an arm's
    length, and each night went back one-fifth of one: I want to know in
    how many days the cat will reach the said squirrel?"

The answer is 121 days; but the picture must have been taken on the
first or second, for the cat is still very plump, and so large in
proportion to the tree that if he had but stood on his hind legs he
ought to have reached the top! Others of the pictures are without this
charming touch of absurdity, perhaps the most perfect being a little
cut of a traveller on horseback, as to the expenses of whose journey
the teacher was anxious for some information from his young friends.
These little cuts are all about an inch square, and drawn in outline.
Another edition of the Arithmetic, in Roman type instead of black
letter, but otherwise very similar, was issued in 1518 by Bernardo
Zucchetta.

With the year 1492 we come to the first dated editions of the
illustrated Savonarola tracts, which play no inconsiderable part in
the history of book illustration in Italy. Their existence is in
itself the best refutation of the popular belief that the reformer's
influence was wholly hostile to the interests of art, though the
number of artists who reckoned themselves, formally or informally,
among his followers should have sufficed to prevent the belief growing
up. These tracts, save for the cuts with which they are adorned, are
insignificant in appearance, being for the most part badly printed,
and with few and poor initial letters. The woodcuts, seldom more than
two in a tract, are, however, charming, and have won for them much
attention.

[Illustration: From an undated Savonarola tract, Florence, _c._ 1495.]

The first publisher of these tracts seems to have been Antonio
Mischomini, who on June 26, 1492, issued a

                Trac
                tato
                dello
  Amore  Di  Iesu  Christo  Composto
   da frate Hieronymo da Ferrara del
               l'ordine
               de frati
               predica
               tori pri
              ore di San
              Marcho  di
            F I R E N Z E

with the title arranged cross-wise, as here shown. On the back of the
title is a picture of the Crucifixion, with the Blessed Virgin and S.
John standing by the Cross. This was followed on June 30th by the
_Tractato della humilta_, with a large title-cut representing the dead
Christ before His Cross, an angel supporting each arm. Neither of
these cuts shows typical Florentine work, for the blank spaces have
all to be cleared away by the engraver, and there is an abundance of
shading. The first design was clearly spoilt in the cutting, the
second is of great beauty. The typical Florentine work, in which white
lines are cut out from a black ground, as well as black lines from a
white, appears in the _Tractato ouero Sermone della oratione_,
finished by Mischomini on October 20th. Here the title-cut shows the
scene at Gethsemane: the three disciples asleep in the foreground,
Christ in prayer, and the hands of an angel holding a cup appearing
in a corner above. The picture, as always in distinctively Florentine
work, is surrounded by a little border or frame, in which a small
white pattern is picked out from a black ground.

The other illustrated Savonarola tracts bearing an early date, with
which I am acquainted, are the _De Simplicitate Christianae Vitae_,
printed 'impensis Ser Petri Pacini,' August 28th, 1496, and the
_Predica dell arte del bene Morire_, preached on Nov. 2 of that year,
taken down at the time by Ser Lorenzo Violi, and doubtless published
immediately afterwards. The _De Simplicitate_ has on its first page a
picture of a Dominican friar writing in his cell, a sand-glass at his
side, a crucifix in front of his desk, and books and his gown
scattered on a table. The illustrations to the _Arte del bene Morire_
comprise a hideous outline cut of Death, scythe on shoulder, flying
over ground strewn with corpses (this is enclosed in a large black
border used by Mischomini in 1492), and cuts of Death showing a young
man Heaven and Hell,[13] of a sick man with his good and bad angels
watching him and Death standing without the door, and of a dying man
attended by a friar, Death sitting now at his bed's foot, and the
angels watching as before.

Turning now to the undated tracts, we find that the _Expositione del
Pater Noster_ contains (1) a very beautiful variant of the
representation of the scene on Gethsemane, the angel appearing on the
left instead of the right,[14] (2) a cut of S. James writing at a
table, (3) a small cut of David in prayer, and some still smaller
pictures of prophets and of the Crucifixion. At the end of the book is
an _Epistola a una devota donna Bolognose_, which is headed and ended
by a cut of a Dominican preaching in the open air to a congregation of
nuns. An undated edition of the _Tractato della Humilta_ has Images of
Pity at the beginning and end, the former surrounded by a black
border. Yet another edition has an outline cut of Christ holding His
Cross, while blood streams from His hand into a chalice. An edition of
the _Tractato dello Amore di Iesu_ has two outline cuts, one large,
one small, showing the Blessed Virgin and S. John standing by the
Cross. A tract on self-examination, addressed to the Abbess of the
Convent of the Murate at Florence, shows an aged friar being welcomed
at the convent. Other tracts have pictures of a priest elevating the
Host, a man praying before an altar, a man and woman praying, &c. One
of the rarest is the superb cut to the _Dyalogo della Verita
prophetica_, in which a friar is preaching to seven questioners
arranged in a half-circle under a tree, a view of Florence occupying
the background. Cuts in other books show Savonarola meeting a devil
and an astrologer, and represent him preaching to an intent
congregation. With these tracts we must join the defence of Savonarola
by his follower Domenico Benivieni, who appears in the title-cut in
earnest disputation with a group of Florentines, while later on in the
book there is a full-page illustration of the reformer's vision of the
regeneration of the world and the Church, in which the stream of
Christ's blood as He hangs on the Cross is being literally used for
the washing away of sins. This book was published by Francesco
Buonaccorsi in 1496.

[Illustration: From Savonarola's _Operetta sopra i dieci commandamenti
di Dio_, 1495.]

Florentine book-illustration reached its highest in an edition of the
_Epistole e Evangelii_,[15] or liturgical Gospels and Epistles,
printed in 1495 by Lorenzo Morgiani and Johann Petri at the instance
of the Ser Piero Pacini da Pescia, who for the next fourteen or
fifteen years seems to have been an active promoter of illustrated
books. Only two copies of the edition of the _Epistole e Evangelii_
are known to exist, but the owner of one of them, Mr. C. W. Dyson
Perrins, has reproduced all the woodcuts in it in very finely executed
facsimile, together with a reprint of the text, for presentation to
the Roxburghe Club, so that the illustrator's work can now be studied
with comparative ease. The title-page shows S. Peter and S. Paul
standing in a circle enclosed in an arabesque border of white floral
ornaments and dolphins on a black ground. At the corners of the border
are figures of the four Evangelists. In the text there are twelve
dozen large woodcuts and two dozen half-length figures of prophets,
evangelists, and epistle-writers. Of the larger cuts eleven represent
S. Paul writing and one S. Peter, most of the rest scenes from the
life of Christ, several of those representing the Passion having
previously appeared in an undated edition of the _Meditatione_
attributed to S. Bonaventura from the press of Mischomini. The cuts
form a treasure-house of Florentine art, and were frequently drawn
upon by the printers of the later _Rappresentationi_, at which we
shall soon have to look.

[Illustration: From the _Giuocho delli Scacchi_, Florence, 1493.]

We must return now to Antonio Mischomini, who published many other
illustrated books besides the Savonarola tracts. In 1492 he printed an
edition of Cristoforo Landino's _Formulare di lettere e di orationi
uolgari_, with a large title-cut of a very young teacher addressing a
class, and at the end of the book his mark (a cross-surmounted M
within two squares and a circle), surrounded by the arabesque border
which we have already noticed in the _Arte del bene Morire_ of 1496.
The next year (_i.e._ 1493) he printed the _Libro di Giuocho delli
Scacchi_ of Jacobus de Cessolis, with a large title-cut (repeated at
the end of the book) representing courtiers playing in the presence of
a king, and thirteen smaller cuts personifying the various pieces.
These comprise a king and queen, a judge, a knight, a 'rook,' or vicar
of the king to visit in his stead all parts of the realm, and the
eight 'popolari' or pawns, a labourer, smith, wool-merchant,
money-changer, physician, tavern-keeper (here shown), city-guard, and
a runner to be at the rook's service. Chess-players may be interested
to know that the pawns actually in use in 1493, as shown on the board
in the title-cut, had already lost this excessive individuality, and
resemble those of our own day.

[Illustration: From the _Fior di Virtù_, Florence, 1498.]

In 1494 Mischomini printed the commentary on the Ten Commandments by
Frate Marco dal Monte Sancta Maria, which has a title-cut of the friar
preaching, and three full-page allegorical illustrations freely copied
from those in an edition printed at Venice. The first of these
represents 'la figura della vita eterna' by a picture of the glories
of heaven,[16] and the earthly devotions by which they are to be
attained; the second, which is in three divisions, the traversing of
the Desert of Sin; and the third, Mount Sinai, up which Moses is seen
climbing. In the same year, 1494, Mischomini also published a
catechism known as the _Lucidario_, to which he prefixed a title-cut
showing Damocles at his feast, the sword hanging over his head, and in
another compartment some little rabbits running happily in a wood.
Damocles and the rabbits have nothing whatever to do with the
Catechism, and the occurrence of the cut proves that before this date
Mischomini must have printed an edition of the _Fior di Virtù_, to
which it rightfully belongs. We have already looked at the Venetian
editions of this book, and shall not be surprised to find that the
Florentine printers had the good sense to copy their charming
title-cut, though they did not improve it by their addition of an
incongruous border of pilasters, a vernicle, and an Image of Pity. The
first Florentine edition of this book, with which I am acquainted, has
a fitfully rhyming colophon, adapted from that of the Venetian edition
of 1493, showing that it was printed at Florence in 1498, and ought,
at any rate, to be read on feast-days. To entice readers to persevere
in this task, there are thirty-five illustrations, some of which, like
the one in the _Lucidario_, are divided into two parts, so as to
secure a contrast or comparison between an animal and a man--as, for
example, between a humble sheep and a proud general riding in triumph,
or, as shown in our illustration, between the constancy of the
ph[oe]nix, who permits herself to be burnt to ashes rather than quit
her nest, and that of an Emperor Constantine who (by a gross
plagiarism upon Solon) quitted his country for ever, after making his
counsellors swear to observe his laws unaltered until his return. The
book was printed yet a third time, probably about 1515, by Gian
Stephano da Pavia, at the request of Bernardo Pacini. The printer of
the 1498 edition is not known; it cannot have been Mischomini, who
seems to have brought his brilliant career to a close about 1495. The
foregoing notice of his illustrated books is by no means exhaustive.
Passing mention has been made in the chapter on Venice of one other
important one, the undated _Meditatione_, attributed to S.
Bonaventura, with cuts of peculiar interest, from the opportunity they
afford of comparing the different styles in vogue in the two cities.

Three other Florentine books issued during the fifteenth century
remain to be mentioned, none of which I have seen. The first of these,
an undated edition of Domenico Capranica's _Arte di bene Morire_ (not
to be confounded with Savonarola's), published by Morgiani and Johann
Petri about 1495, contains twelve large cuts and twenty-two small
ones. The larger cuts are interesting, because ten of them are based
on those found in the old block books of the _Ars Moriendi_, the other
two coming from Savonarola's book of the same name. The smaller ones
seem brought together rather at haphazard. The other two books, an
_Æsop_, printed in 1495 by Francesco Buonaccorsi for Piero Pacini, and
the _Morgante Maggiore_ (a long poem on the adventures of Orlando) of
Ludovico Pulci, printed in 1500, both exist only in single copies in
foreign libraries, but a good many illustrations from both have been
reproduced by Dr. Kristeller.

[Illustration]

Of illustrated books printed at Florence after 1500, the most
important is an edition of the _Quatriregio del decorso della vita
humana_ of Federico Frezzi, printed, this also, 'ad petitione di Ser
Piero Pacini di Pescia,' as late as 1508, though there is ground for
believing that this may really be a reprint from a fifteenth century
edition now no longer extant. Like the author of the
_Hypnerotomachia_, Frezzi was a Dominican, and was consecrated Bishop
of Foligno, his native place, in 1403. He attended the Council of
Constance, and died there in 1416. He was a man of great learning and
a book-collector, but rather a dull poet. His _Quatriregio_ is an
imitation of Dante's _Divina Commedia_, and is divided into four books
treating successively of the kingdoms 'of the god Cupid,' 'of Satan,'
'of the Vices,' and 'of the goddess Minerva and of Virtue.' It was
first printed in 1481, and went through three other editions before
it was honoured with illustrations. The importance of this illustrated
edition has perhaps been overrated. Taken individually, the best of
the cuts are not superior to those in earlier Florentine books of less
pretensions, while the cumulative effect of the series of one hundred
and twenty-six (several of which, it should be said, are duplicates)
is seriously diminished, partly by the monotonous recurrence of the
same figure in every cut, partly by the coarseness and angularity with
which most of the blocks have been engraved. It must be mentioned that
the cut on the first page of the poem is signed with the initials L.
V., which were at one time interpreted as standing for Luca Egidio di
Venturi, _i.e._ Luca Signorelli, whose recognised signature, however,
was L. C. (Luca di Cortona).

Two other great series of Florentine illustrated books still remain to
be considered. The first of these is the _Rappresentazioni_, sacred
and secular, which enjoyed a life extending over two centuries, and
must be reckoned as the most artistic of chapbooks. In 1852 M. Colomb
de Batines published at Florence a bibliography of these 'Antiche
Rappresentazioni Italiane,' to which I am indebted for the following
details concerning their chief authors. The plays are almost uniformly
written in _ottava rima_, and poorly printed in double columns. A
large number of them, at least a score, were written and printed
during the fifteenth century, but these earliest editions are, as a
rule, not illustrated. Maffeo Belcari (1410-1484) apparently was the
first author who obtained the honours of print. His play of _Abraham_
appeared in 1485, after which it was reprinted some twenty times, the
latest known edition belonging to the eighteenth century. Belcari also
wrote on the Annunciation, on S. John the Baptist visited by Christ in
the Desert, and on S. Panuntius. Lorenzo de' Medici himself wrote a
play of S. John and S. Paul, Bernardo Pulci (d. 1501) produced one on
the legend of Barlaam and Josaphat, while his wife Antonia was quite a
prolific dramatist, claiming as her own plays on S. Domitilla, S.
Guglielma, the Patriarch Joseph, S. Francis, and the Prodigal Son.
During the fifteenth century anonymous plays were written on the
Nativity, on the life of Queen Hester, on the Angel Raphael, on the
conversion of three robbers by S. Francis, and on S. Eustachio, S.
Antony, and S. Antonia. Plays on the Last Judgment, on S. Agatha, S.
Agnes, S. Catharine, S. Cecilia, S. Christina, &c., also appeared at
an early date. An angel, as a rule, acts as Prologue, and the action
of the drama is divided between numerous characters. Most of the plays
were, doubtless, intended to be acted on the feast-day of the Saint
whose life they celebrate, and in a church bearing the Saint's name,
but the multiplicity of the editions show that they also won the
favour of a reading public.

A few undated editions of these little books, from the types used in
their press work, may be assigned to the end of the fifteenth
century. The first printer who is known to have made a specialty of
the _Rappresentazioni_ is Francesco Benvenuto, who began printing them
in 1516, and enjoyed a career of thirty years. M. Colomb de Batines
mentions several of his editions, but they are very scarce, and I have
only myself seen a _Raphael_ of 1516 with a title-cut of Tobit and the
Angel enclosed in a border, partly the same as that of the _Fior di
Virtù_ of 1498, a _Barlaam_ and _Josafat_, also of 1516, with six
illustrations (including our friend Damocles and the Rabbit, whose
fate seems to have been to be lugged in inappropriately), and a
_Miracolo di Tre Peregrini che andauano a sancto Iacopo di Galitia_,
with a solitary cut of the Saint rescuing one of the pilgrims who is
being unjustly hanged. The great majority of the extant
_Rappresentazioni_ were printed between 1550 and 1580, mostly
anonymously, though Giovanni Baleni and a printer 'Alle Scale di
Badia' were responsible for a great many of them. Of course, in many
cases the cuts were sadly the worse for wear, but they held on
wonderfully, and even in the seventeenth century editions a tolerable
impression is sometimes met with. Many of them, also, were recut,
sometimes skilfully, so that it is not uncommon to find a better
example in a later edition than in an earlier. The illustrations here
shown are from an undated edition of Lorenzo de' Medici's
_Rappresentatione di San Giovanni e Paulo_, the careful printing of
which is an argument for its belonging to the beginning of the
sixteenth century, and a picture of the martyrdom of S. Dorothea from
an edition of her _Rappresentatione_ printed in 1555.

[Illustration: Martyrdom of S. Dorothea.]

With these religious _Rappresentazioni_ M. Colomb de Batines joins a
few secular poems, whose title to be considered dramatic is not very
clear. Of those which he mentions, the earliest is the _Favola d'
Orfeo_, by Angelo Politiano, which forms part of _La Giostra di
Giuliano di Medici_, printed without name or date, probably about
1495, with ten excellent cuts, that of Aristeo pursuing the flying
Eurydice being, perhaps, the best. _La Giostra di Lorenzo di Medici_,
celebrated by Luigi Pulci, has only a single cut, but that a fine
one--a meeting of knights in an amphitheatre. Among other secular
chapbooks which enjoyed a long popularity was a series of
'contrasti,'[17] the contrast of Carnival and Lent, of Men and Women,
of the Living and the Dead, of the Blonde and the Brunette, and of
Riches and Poverty. I give here the first of the two cuts of the
_Contrasto di Carnesciale e la Quaresima_, undated, but probably
early. With these little poems we must join the metrical _Novelle_ and
_Istorie_, now chiefly known through the discovery in the University
Library at Erlangen of a little collection of twenty-one tracts, all
undated, and without any indication of their printers, but which may
mostly be assigned to the end of the fifteenth century. Among them are
the _Novella di Gualtieri e Griselda_, the _Novella di due Preti et un
Cherico_, the _Novella della Figliuola del Mercatante_, &c.

[Illustration]

The charm of these little Florentine books is so great, and of late
years has won such steadily increasing recognition, that I do not
think an apology is needed for the length at which they have here been
treated. None the less, we must remember that they were essentially
popular books, and that the wealthy book lovers of the time probably
regarded them very slightly. Mischomini himself did not turn his
attention to them till he had been printing nearly a dozen years, and
even after 1492 his more expensive books, the great _Plotinus_, for
instance, issued in that year, kept strictly to the traditions of
twenty years earlier, and were wholly destitute of ornament, even of
printed initials. The two classes of books--those on good paper and in
a large handsome type, and those on poor paper with small type
carelessly printed, but with delightful woodcuts--were issued side by
side, but the beauties of the two were never combined, and the
Florentine printers would doubtless have been greatly surprised if
they had been told that it was the chapbooks which were to win the
day. Even in the little italic editions issued by the Giuntas, in
imitation of Aldus, which appealed to an intermediate class of
purchasers, woodcuts occur but rarely, and the only instance I can
call to mind is a _Dante_, printed by Philippo Giunta in 1506, which,
besides some plans of the _Inferno_, &c., has a single cut
illustrating the first canto.

We have devoted so much space to Venice and Florence that the
illustrated books of other towns must be noticed with rather unfair
brevity. Brescia may be taken as an example of a town at which the
native artist did his best. We have already remarked the publication
there of a _Dante_ in 1487. The same year witnessed the appearance of
an _Æsop_, rudely imitated from the Verona edition, and in 1491
Baptista da Farfengo printed another book in which we have been
interested, a _Fior di Virtù_, with a title-cut of a student, head on
hand, reading at a desk. On a ledge on the wall are two flower-pots,
the flowers in which reach up to a very decorative ceiling. This is
quite a nice example of Brescian art, but the productions of the town
have not been specially studied, and further research might show that
they deserve more serious praise. At Ferrara artists of the schools of
Venice and Florence appear to have combined in the production of some
very notable books. Two of these were published by Lorenzo di Rossi in
1497. The first is an edition of the Epistles of S. Jerome, with
numerous vignettes and three frontispieces, the third of which,
somewhat in the style of the Venetian Boccaccio, bears the date 1493,
divided between its two columns. This frontispiece appears also in
the other work, the _De pluribus claris selectisque mulieribus_ of
Philippus Bergomensis, the illustrations in the text of which show
Florentine influence in their black backgrounds. This book has a
title-page printed in large Gothic letters cut in wood, similar to
that of the _Nuremberg Chronicle_.

No illustrated books appear to have been issued at Milan during the
eighties, but in 1492 Philippo Mantegazza printed the _Theorica
Musice_ of Gafori with some coarse cuts, and this was followed in 1494
by the _Triumfi_ of Petrarch, printed by Antonio Zaroto with the usual
six full-page illustrations. As befits the reputation of Milan as a
musical centre, the works of Gafori were often printed there. In 1496
Guillaume Le Signerre of Rouen printed there the first edition of the
_Practica Musice_, with a curious title-page representing the
relations of the Muses and the heavenly bodies, and fine ornamental
borders to two pages of text. At the base of one of these are little
scenes of choir-boys practising and a music-mistress giving a lesson.
The style of the borders is distinctly Venetian. In another work of
Gafori's printed at Milan, the _De Harmonia Instrumentorum_ of 1518
(reprinted two years later at Turin), the cuts exhibit the heavy
Milanese shading, one of them representing a lesson on the organ, and
the other a performer playing.

In 1496 Le Signerre printed a devotional work, the _Specchio di Anima_
of Besalii, with seventy-eight full-sized cuts to its eighty-eight
pages. Most of the cuts relate to the passion of Christ, and they are
described by Dr. Lippmann as 'vigorously executed in coarse thick
outlines, with scarcely any shading.' Some of these cuts reappear
three years later in the same printer's _Tesauro Spirituale_, of which
the unique copy is in the Berlin Print-Room. In 1498 Le Signerre
printed an _Æsop_, the cuts in which are surrounded by small black
borders relieved in white. The illustrations themselves are poor. At
the end of the book is the printer's mark, a crowned stork in a shield
within a circle, on either side of which stand a fox and a monkey. In
this same year Le Signerre transferred his press to Saluzzo, where in
1499 he issued the _Tesauro Spirituale_, and four years later an
edition of the _De Veritate Contricionis_ of Vivaldus, with a fine
frontispiece representing S. Jerome in the desert. The border shows
typical Milanese ornament, and recalls the illumination to the
_Sforziada_, mentioned in our first chapter. In 1507 a still finer
work, an edition of the _Opus Regale_, also by Vivaldus, was printed
at Saluzzo by Jacobus de Circis. This contains a fine picture of Saint
Louis of France in prayer, and also a large portrait of the Marquis
of Saluzzo, Louis II., whose taste has won for the town its little
niche in the history of printing.

[Illustration: Mark of Bazalerius de Bazaleriis.]

[Illustration: Mark of Stephanus Guillireti.]

[Illustration: Mark of Francis de Mazalis.]

Italian printers' devices are very decorative and interesting, and may
now be studied in Dr. Paul Kristeller's 'Die italienischen
Buchdrucker- und Verlegerzeichen,' which gives nearly a complete
collection of those in use before 1525, to the number of between three
and four hundred. In the great majority of devices the ground is
black, with a simple design, mostly including a circle and a cross,
outlined in white. The mark of Bazalerius de Bazaleriis of Bologna and
Reggio, taken from a copy of the _Epistolae_ of Philelphus, printed by
him in 1489, shows this class of design in almost its simplest form.
In that of Stephanus Guillireti, who printed at Rome from 1506 to
1524, we have the addition of a shield (the arms on which, unluckily,
have not been identified) and floral sprays. These floral sprays
become the chief feature in the design of Franciscus de Mazalis of
Reggio, who printed from 1493 to 1504; though the initials, circle,
and cross of the simpler devices are all retained. An even more
beautiful example of this class of mark was used by Egmont and
Barrevelt, the printers of the Sarum Missal, who added to its
attractiveness by the use of red ink, instead of black. Red ink also
adds immensely to the effect of the well-known mark of Nikolaos
Blastos, which occurs in a copy of the Commentary of Simplicius upon
Aristotle, printed by Zacharias Kaliergos at Venice in 1499. The
delicate tracery of this design is unsurpassed by any work of the
time. The mark of Nicolaus Gorgonzola, who printed at Milan from 1504
to 1533, in its floral ornaments, is very similar in style to those of
Mazalis and Egmont, but, as in the mark of Blastos, the cross and
circle have disappeared, and the name is set out in full, instead of
by its initials.

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

[Illustration: Mark of Niccolo Zoppino.]

Purely ornamental designs, of the styles illustrated in these five
examples, form the majority among Italian devices, but more pictorial
ones were by no means unknown. One of the best of these was that used
by 'Simon de Gabiis dictus Bevilaqua,' who printed at Venice from 1485
to about 1512. Another good device is that of Ser Piero di Pacini of
Pescia, the publisher of so many of the Florentine illustrated books.
This consists of a crowned dolphin on a black ground, with sometimes a
smaller device of a bird, placed on each side of it.

[Illustration: Mark of Hieronymus Francisci Baldassaris.]

As examples of later styles, though not very beautiful in themselves,
we add here the rather clumsy woodcut of S. Nicholas adopted by
Niccolò d'Aristotele da Ferrara, called 'il Zoppino,' who printed at
Venice from 1508 to about 1536, and the very florid device of
Hieronymus Francisci Baldassaris, a printer at Perugia from about 1526
to 1550. The arms there shown are those of the city of Perugia, while
the F. and the cross above it reproduce the mark used by the printer's
father, Francesco, the founder of the firm. The Aldine anchor and the
_fleur-de-lys_ of Lucantonio Giunta and his successors are too well
known to need reproduction or comment, though both stand rather apart
from the ordinary run of Italian marks.

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *

[12] This, and nearly all the Florentine illustrations mentioned here,
will be found reproduced in Dr. Paul Kristeller's _Early Florentine
Woodcuts_, published in 1897, after this chapter was written.

[13] There are two variants of this cut, the smaller introducing a
little landscape background.

[14] There is yet a third variant, which may be recognised by the
angel appearing on the right, but showing his whole body, not the
hands only, as in the 1492 cut.

[15] A reprint was issued in 1515.

[16] In contrast to the prevailing anthropomorphism of the time, the
First Person of the Trinity is represented by a 'loco tondo et vacuo,'
a blank circle, with a halo of angels round it. On either side of this
circle stand Christ and the Blessed Virgin.

[17] El Contrasto di Carnesciale e la Quaresima; El Contrasto degli
Huomini e delle Donne; El Contrasto del Vivo e del Morto; El Contrasto
della Bianca e della Brunetta; La Contenzione della Poverta contra la
Richezza, &c.



CHAPTER VII

FRANCE--FIFTEENTH CENTURY


The earliest productions of the French press will not bear comparison
with those of either the German or the Italian: they have neither the
massive dignity of the one, nor the artistic grace of the other. The
worthy professors at the Sorbonne, who called to their aid the Swiss
or German printers, Crantz Gering and Friburger, bestowed, as we have
seen in our first chapter, considerable trouble on the decoration by
hand of special copies for presentation to influential friends or
patrons, but in other respects, their books were wholly destitute of
ornament. When, after little more than two years, they gave up their
press, the three printers started again on their own account with a
rather ugly gothic type, nor did Gering, who afterwards worked both by
himself and in combination with other printers, produce a really
handsome book until about 1480. The semi-gothic types of another firm
of German printers in Paris, Peter Caesaris and Stoll, are much more
attractive, but the average French work during the seventies is dull.

The first attempt at decoration appears to have been made, not at the
capital, but at Lyons, where, in August 1478, an anonymous printer,
probably Martin Husz, completed a double-column edition of _Le Miroir
de la redemption humaine_, translated from the Latin by Julien Macho,
with cuts previously used in a German edition of the _Speculum_,
printed at Basel in 1476. In 1478, also, Barthélemy Buyer printed an
edition of the romance of _Baudoin, Comte de Flandre_, with no cuts,
but with rude printed initials. In an edition of _Les Quatre Filz
Aymon_, unsigned and undated, but printed at Lyons about 1480, the
first page bears four grotesque woodcuts representing the reception of
the youths by Charlemagne, the buffet which the Emperor's son gave one
of them over a game of chess, the fatal blow with the golden
chess-board by which the buffet was returned, and then the four youths
fighting amid a crowd. On the next page a larger picture shows their
expulsion from Charlemagne's court. Throughout the book are curious
woodcut initials, interwoven with grotesque faces. About 1481 Ortuin
and Schenck produced (anonymously) an edition of the _Roman de la
Rose_ with eighty-six small woodcuts, which were imitated in later
editions both at Lyons and Paris, and were not without a certain rude
merit. In 1483 Mathieu Husz and Pierre Hongre issued a _Légende
dorée_, with large pictures of Christ in Glory on the Last Day, and of
the Crucifixion, and numerous very rough cuts at the head of the
different chapters. In the same year, Husz published, in conjunction
with Jean Schabeler, an illustrated translation of Boccaccio's _De
Casibus illustrium virorum_ ('Du dechier des nobles hommes et
femmes'). Meanwhile, at Albi, in Languedoc, of all places in the
world, Neumeister had reprinted in 1481 an illustrated edition of the
_Meditationes_ of Turrecremata, which he had produced two years
previously at Mainz. In 1484 we hear of illustrated books in three
other towns. At Rennes, Pierre Bellescullée and Josses printed the
_Coutumes de Bretagne_, with a woodcut of the arms of Brittany, used
again the next year in the same printers' _Floret en francoys_, a book
noticeable for having a woodcut title printed in white on a black
ground. At Vienne, Pierre Schenck printed another edition, in
double-columns, of _L'Abuzé en court_, with small cuts at the chapter
headings. At Chambéry, Antoine Neyret finished, on July 6th, an
edition of the _Exposition des Évangiles en romant_ of Maurice de
Sully, and in the following November the romance of _Baudoin comte de
Flandre_. The Bishop's sermons have, on the first page, a large
initial I and a very rough cut of the disciples loosing the ass and
her colt for Christ's use. With their other illustrations I am not
acquainted. The romance of Count Baldwin has a full-page cut of the
Count riding on a gaily-decked charger, and thirteen smaller
illustrations of his adventures, of which, however, several are
repeated. The execution of them all is as rude as can well be
conceived. Two years later, Neyret printed the first edition of a very
famous book, _Le Livre du Roi Modus et de la reine Ratio_, 'lequel
fait mencion commant on doit deviser de toutes manières de chasses.'
The cuts in this are numerous, and their representations of the
various hunting scenes are more than sufficiently grotesque.

The list of books we have named could certainly be extended,
especially as regards those printed at Lyons, but it is sufficiently
full to enable us to draw some useful conclusions from it. The
illustrations are, almost without exception, poor in design and badly
cut, and are mostly accompanied by inferior types and press-work. Some
of them are imitated from the books of foreign printers, and they
contain little evidence of the growth of any French school of
illustrators. On the other hand, they testify to the spread of a
demand for illustrated books, at least in the provinces, which local
printers were doing their best to satisfy. At Paris the demand,
apparently, had not yet arisen. In the first dated book which bears
the name of Jean du Pré, a _Missale ad usum ecclesiae Parisiensis_,
printed by him in conjunction with Didier Huym in September 1481,
there is a large woodcut of God the Father and the Crucifixion,
illustrating the Canon. Two months later Du Pré printed a Verdun
missal with a really fine metal cut of a priest at Mass, and a little
figure rising up to represent his soul in prayer. In February 1483-4
appeared his first illustrated secular work, _De la ruine des nobles
hommes_, another translation from Boccaccio's _De Casibus_, with a
woodcut of varying merit at the head of each book. These have a
special interest for English students, as some years later they were
borrowed by Pynson to illustrate his edition of Lydgate's version of
the same work.

In May 1484 Jacques Bonhomme issued Millet's _L'Histoire de la
destruction de Troye la Grant_, with numerous woodcuts of battles,
frequently used in later works; and the following year Guyot Marchant
produced the first of numerous editions of a _Danse Macabre_
illustrated with a wonderful series of pictures, full of grotesque
vigour and skilfully cut, showing Death as a grinning skeleton seizing
on his prey in every class of society. Marchant followed this up with
a _Danse Macabre des femmes_ (somewhat less good) in 1491, and also
with a _Compost et Calendrier des Bergers_, which was no less
successful.

Meanwhile the greatest Paris publisher of the century, Antoine Vérard,
had come on the scene. Although some of the innumerable works which
bear his name are said to have been printed '_par_ Antoine Vérard,' it
is clear that the expression must not be taken too literally, and that
he was a 'libraire,' _i.e._ a bookseller or publisher, rather than a
printer. His first dated book is an edition, enriched with a single
woodcut, of Laurent du Premier Fait's French version of the
_Decamerone_, and the colophon tells us that it was printed for
Antoine Vérard, 'libraire, demeurant sur le Pont Notre Dame, à l'image
de Saint Jean l'Evangéliste,' on November 22, 1485. The types used in
the book have been identified as belonging to Jean du Pré, and the
association of the two men seems to have led to important results. The
next year we find Du Pré printing an edition of S. Jerome's _Vie des
anciens saintz Pères_, with a delightful frontispiece of the saint
preaching from a lectern in the open air, numerous smaller cuts, and
initial letters with interwoven faces. During 1486 also, he assisted
Pierre Gérard (who earlier in the year had printed by himself an
edition of Boutillier's _La Somme Rurale_ with a single cut), in
producing at Abbeville the first really magnificent French illustrated
book, S. Augustine's _Cité de Dieu_, in which paper and print and
woodcuts of artistic value all harmonise.[18] Two years later he
joined with another provincial printer, Jean le Bourgeois, in
producing a still more splendid book, the romance of _Lancelot du
Lac_, the first volume of which was finished by Le Bourgeois at Rouen
on November 24th, and the second by Du Pré at Paris on September 16th.
In 1488 also, Du Pré produced his first 'Book of Hours,' but the
French _Horae_ form so important an episode in the history of the
decoration of books, that we must reserve their treatment for a
separate chapter, in which, besides those of Du Pré and Vérard, we
shall have to speak of the long series inaugurated by Philippe
Pigouchet and Simon Vostre in 1491.

At starting, Vérard's resources were probably small, and for a year or
two he produced little beyond his _Horae_. In 1487, however, he
published a French _Livy_, with four small cuts, representing a
battle, a siege, a king and his court, and some riders, whose hats
have a very ecclesiastical shape, entering a town. The next year
produced a work entitled _L'art de Chevalerie selon Végèce_, really an
edition of the _Faits d'arme et de chevalerie_ of Christine de Pisan.
This has a single large cut representing a king and his court. The
_Livre de Politiques d'Aristote_, published in 1489, has a large
frontispiece of the translator, Nicholas Oresme, presenting his book
to Charles VIII, in which the characteristic style of Vérard's artist
is fully developed. In 1490, an edition of _Lucain, Suetone et
Saluste_, which I have not seen, was printed for Vérard by Pierre Le
Rouge. To 1491 probably belongs his French _Seneca_, and in this year
he must have obtained the aid of the king or of some very rich patron,
for his activity from 1492 to the end of the century is quite amazing.
It is from about 1493, also, that we may date the production of those
magnificent special copies on vellum, enriched with elaborate, if not
very artistic, miniatures, to which we have already alluded in our
first chapter.

The chief book of 1492 was undoubtedly the series of treatises making
up the _Art de bien vivre et de bien mourir_, of which a detailed
description will be given later on. These treatises were printed for
Vérard by Cousteau and Menard, the first part being finished on July
18th, the last on December 19th. Next to them in importance is a
_Josephus de la bataille judaique_, one of Vérard's large folios, with
columns of printed text, not reckoning any margin, nearly twelve
inches long. The frontispiece is a fine cut of a triumphal entry of a
king who should be French, since he wears the lilies. The design,
however, must have been made for this book, for a label in the middle
of the picture bears the name 'Josephus,' while in the _Gestes
Romaines_ and _Lancelot_, in both of which the cut reappears, the
label is left blank. The 'Entry' is also used again, three times in
the _Josephus_ itself, at the beginning of the fourth, fifth, and
seventh books. An entry of a different kind, that of Joshua and his
staff into Jericho, is depicted in the cut (here reproduced) which
heads the prologue. This is faced by the first page of text, headed by
a cut of an author presenting his book to an ecclesiastic. Both pages
are surrounded by fine borders of flowers, women, and shield. The
head-cut to the second book shows a monk handing a book to a king;
that used for the third and sixth (repeated again in the _Lancelot_ of
1494) shows a king on his throne surrounded by his courtiers, a sword
of justice is in his hand, and a suppliant kneels before him. Small
cuts, fitting into the columns, head the different chapters in each
book, but are of no great merit. Occasionally a border about an inch
wide runs up the side of one of the columns of text, usually on the
outer margin, but sometimes on the inner. Altogether the book is a
very notable one.

[Illustration: From Vérard's _Josephus_, 1492. (Much reduced.)]

In 1493, Vérard's activity was still on the increase, and we have at
least eight illustrated books of his bearing the date of this year. In
the romance of _Le Jouvencel_ and Bonnor's _Arbre des Batailles_, both
in 4to, the cuts, all of them small, are nearly identical, and are
repeated again and again in each book. Much more important than these
are the editions of the _Chronicques de France_ (printed for Vérard by
Jehan Maurand), and a translation of the Metamorphoses of Ovid, issued
under the very taking title of _La Bible des Poetes_. This is another
of Vérard's great folios, with profuse illustrations, large and small,
and in its vellum edition is a very gaudy and magnificent book. In
1494 Vérard published his _Lancelot_; and in 1495, a _Légende Dorée_
and S. Jerome's _Vie des Pères en françois_. This last book was
finished on October 15, but its appearance was preceded by that of the
first volume of the publisher's most ambitious undertaking, an edition
of the _Miroir Historial_ of Vincent de Beauvais. This enormous
chronicle is in thirty-two books, which Vérard divided between five
great folio volumes, averaging about three hundred and twenty
leaves, printed in long double columns. The whole work thus contains
about the same amount of matter as some fifty volumes of the present
series, yet it was faultlessly printed on the finest vellum, and with
innumerable woodcuts, subsequently coloured, in considerably less than
a year. The first volume was finished on September 29, 1495, and the
colophon which announces the completion of the last, 'à l'honneur et
louenge de nostre seigneur iesucrist et de sa glorieuse et sacrée mere
et de la court celeste de paradis,' bears date May 7th, 1496. In the
face of such activity and enterprise, I feel ashamed of having girded
at the good man for having used some of the _Ovid_ cuts as a basis to
his illuminations in this gigantic work.

After 1496 to the end of the century, Vérard's dated books are very
few. The only one I have met with myself is a _Merlin_ of 1498. It is
possible that he produced less (the _Miroir_ may not have proved a
financial success), but it is quite as likely that he merely
discontinued his wholesome practice of dating his books, and that the
_Boethius_, the _Roman de la Rose_, the _Gestes Romaines_, the
romances of _Tristram_ and _Gyron_, and other undated works, whose
colophons show that they were printed while the Pont Notre Dame was
still standing, _i.e._ before October 25th, 1499, belong to these
years. After 1500 Vérard's enterprise certainly seems less. He
continued to issue editions of poets and romances, but they are much
less sumptuous than of yore, and in place of his great folios we have
a series of small octavos, mostly of works of devotion, with no other
ornament than the strange twists of the initial L, which adorns their
title-pages. The example here given is from an undated and unsigned
edition of the _Livre du Faulcon_, but the letter itself frequently
occurs in Vérard's undoubted books. The first hint for this grotesque
form of ornament may have been found in the small initials of Du Pré's
1486 edition of S. Jerome's _Vie des anciens saintz Pères_, and
variants of the L were used by other publishers besides Vérard, _e.g._
by Jacques Maillet at Lyons, and Pierre Le Rouge and Michel Le Noir at
Paris. The most noticeable examples of the L, besides the one here
given, are the man-at-arms L of the 1488 edition of the _Mer des
Histoires_ (P. Lerouge), the monkey-and-bagpipes L, here shown, from
Maillet's 1494 edition of the _Recueil des Histoires Troyennes_, a St.
George-and-the-Dragon L in a Lyons reprint of the _Mer des Histoires_,
and the January-and-May L which, I believe, was first used by Vérard
for a 1492 edition of the _Matheolus_, or 'quinze joies du mariage,'
but of which a counterpart existed at Lyons.

[Illustration: Initial L used by Vérard.]

[Illustration: Initial L used by Maillet.]

It seems probable that the attention which Vérard paid to his vellum
editions, in which the woodcuts were only useful as guides to the
illustrator, made him less careful than he would otherwise have been
to secure the best possible work in his ordinary books. Certainly I
think his most interesting cuts are to be found not in his later
books but in the collection of six treatises which he had printed by
Gillet Cousteau and Jehan Menard in 1492, and republished, somewhat
less sumptuously, the next year, under the collective title _L'art de
bien vivre et de bien mourir_, the reprint coming from the press of
Pierre Le Rouge. The cuts in this collection have a special interest
for us, because some of them were afterwards used in English books,
and we may therefore be allowed to examine them at some length.

[Illustration: From Vérard's _Art de bien vivre_. (Reduced.)]

In the 1492 edition the first title-page _Le liure intitule lart de
bien mourir_ heralds only the first work, an adaptation of the old
_Ars Moriendi_ showing the struggle between good and bad angels for
the possession of the dying soul. The devils tempt the sufferer to
hasten his end ('interficias teipsum' one of them is saying, the words
being printed on a label), they remind him of his sins ('periuratus
es'), tempt him to worldly thoughts ('intende thesauro'), persuade his
physicians to over-commiseration ('Ecce quantam penam patitur'), or
flatter him with undeserved praise ('coronam meruisti'). To each of
these assaults his good angels have a 'bonne inspiracion' by way of
answer, and the devils have to confess 'spes nobis nulla' and to see
the little figure of the soul received into heaven. The second
treatise is called at the beginning _L'eguyllon de crainte divine pour
bien mourir_, but on the title-page placed on the back of the last
leaf 'les paines denfer et les paines de purgatoire.' Its
illustrations consist of large cuts in which devils are inflicting
excruciating and revolting tortures on their victims. Its colophon
gives the printers' names and the date July 18, 1492. The next three
parts of the book are _Le Traité de l'avenement de l'Antechrist, Les
Quinze Signes_, or Fifteen Tokens of Judgment, and _Les Joies du
Paradis_. The printing of these was finished on October 28. Only the
middle treatise is much illustrated, but here the artist had full play
for his powers in representing the fish swimming on the hills, the
seas falling into the abyss, the sea-monsters covering the earth, the
flames of the sea, the trees wet with blood, the crumbling of cities,
the stones fighting among themselves, and the other signs of the Last
Day. Perhaps the best of this set of cuts is that representing the
'esbahissement' or astonishment of the men and women who had hidden
themselves in holes in the earth, when at last they ventured forth.
But in the last treatise, the _Art de bien vivre_, quaintness and
horror are replaced by really beautiful work. The cuts here are
intended to illustrate the Ave Maria, Lord's Prayer, Creed, Ten
Commandments, and Seven Sacraments. Those in the last series are the
largest in the book, each of them occupying a full page. The Creed has
a series of smaller cuts of inferior work. But the picture which
precedes this, representing the twelve apostles, and the pictures of
the Angelic Salutation, of the Pope invoking the Blessed Virgin (here
shown), and of Christ teaching the Apostles, show the finest work,
outside the _Horae_, in any French books during the fifteenth century.
These blocks appear also in two English books printed at Paris, in
1503, _The Traytte of god lyuyng and good deyng_, and _The Kalendayr
of Shyppars_, and in many of the English editions of the latter work
from Pynson's in 1506 onward.

Pierre Lerouge, one of Vérard's printers, produced at least one fine
book quite independently of him. This is the first illustrated edition
of _La Mer des Hystoires_, the French version of the _Rudimentum
Noviciorum_ (see p. 50), the general plan of which it follows, though
not slavishly. Pierre Lerouge printed his edition for a publisher
named Vincent Commin. It is in two tall folios, with the man-at-arms
L to decorate its title-pages, and splendid initials P, I, and S, the
first having within it a figure of a scribe at work, the S being
twisted into the form of a scaly snake, and the body of the I
containing a figure of Christ. The cuts and borders of the book are
not very remarkable. In 1498 Vérard published a new edition of it,
having obtained the use of the old blocks. A Lyons reprint was issued
about 1500, and other editions during the sixteenth century. Two other
printers who cannot be said to have learnt anything from Vérard are
Jean Bonhomme, who as early as 1486 printed an illustrated edition of
a very popular book, _Le livre des profits champêtres_, translated
from the Latin of Petrus Crescentius, and Germain Bineaut, who in 1490
printed a _Pathelin le grant et le petit_ which is said to have
woodcuts. Guyot Marchant's series of editions of the _Danse Macabre_
or 'danse des Morts,' has been already mentioned. An edition of the
same work, printed at Lyons, February 18, 1499 (no printer's name), a
copy of which is among the books which entered the British Museum
under the bequest of Mr. Alfred Huth, is especially interesting as
containing cuts of the shops of a printer and a bookseller, at both of
which Death is at work.

[Illustration: From a Lyons _Danse Macabre_, 1499. (Much reduced.)]

Another edition of the _Danse_ was printed by Nicole de la Barre at
Paris in 1500, and others of the same character in the early years of
the next century. We shall have to recur to the book again both with
reference to the _Horae_ and for the later Lyons editions, the cuts in
which followed designs by Holbein.

The only other Paris printer whom we have space here to mention is
Jean Trepperel, whose career began in 1492, in which year, according
to Hain, he issued a _Histoire de Pierre de Provence et de la belle
Maguelonne_, probably illustrated. In 1493 he published an edition of
the _Chroniques de France_, with four cuts, one of the founding of a
town, another of an assault, and two battle scenes. They are good of
their kind, especially that which serves for all the founders of
cities from Æneas and Romulus to S. Louis, but their repetition
becomes a little wearisome. In an undated issue of Jehan Quentin's
_Orologe de Devotion_ the cuts are all different, but fall into two
series, one badly drawn and infamously engraved, the other showing
really fine work, and having all the appearance of having been
originally designed for a Book of Hours.

The only other fifteenth century book of Trepperel's with which I am
acquainted is a charming quarto edition of the romance of _Paris et
Vienne_, a copy of which is in the Morgan collection. It is undated,
but was printed while the Pont Notre Dame was still standing. The
title-cut shows signs of breakage, and may possibly have been designed
for the earlier edition by Denis Meslier mentioned by Brunet as having
a single cut. The rest of the large cuts in the book have all the
appearance of having been specially designed for the new edition, and
are equal to the best work in the _Horae_. Meanwhile at Lyons the rude
cuts of the books which heralded illustrated work in France had been
replaced by far more artistic productions. In 1488 Michelet Topie de
Pymont and Jacques Herrnberg produced a French version (by Nicole Le
Huen) of Breydenbach's _Peregrinatio_ (see p. 57) with copies of some
of the original cuts, the smaller ones cut on wood, the large maps
engraved on copper. The next year Jacques Maillet brought out a rival
version (by Frere Jehan de Hersin) for which he acquired the original
Mainz woodblocks themselves. To Maillet, also, we owe passable
imitations of some of the less sumptuous books of Vérard's. Lastly,
Jean Trechsel struck out a new line in a profusely illustrated
_Terence_ of 1493. At Rouen the Missal and Breviary printed by Martin
Morin were adorned with a curious initial M and B in the same style as
some of the more frequent Ls, and Pierre Regnault did work which
Vérard found worthy of his vellum. Paris, however, having once gained
the predominance in illustrated work, had as yet no difficulty in
maintaining her position.

It remains for us to notice briefly the printers' devices in early
French books. These are so numerous that it is possible to divide them
into rough classes. The largest of these is formed by the marks which
have as their central ornament a tree with a shield or label hung on
the trunk, with supporters varied according to the owner's fancy, and
which are not always easy to assign to their right place in the animal
creation. Durand Gerlier preferred rams, Michel Tholoze wild men,
Denys Janot a creature which looks like a kangaroo, Hemon Le Fevre
dancing bears duly muzzled and chained, Simon Vostre leopards,
Thielmann Kerver unicorns, Felix Baligault rabbits, Robert Gourmont
winged stags, Jehan Guyart of Bordeaux dolphins. Most of these devices
have a dotted background, and they are sometimes found printed in red
ink, which adds greatly to their decorative effect. Another class, to
which Vérard's well-known device belongs, showed in their upper part
the French lilies crowned and supported by angels. Jean Le Forestier
combined this with the tree of knowledge, choosing lions as its
supporters, but adding also the sacred lamb (for his name 'Jean'), and
similar variations were adopted by other printers. In another large
class the French printers, especially those of Lyons, followed the
simple cross and circle so common in Italy. This was mostly printed in
white on a black ground, as by Pierre Levet, Matthieu Vivian of
Orleans, and Le Tailleur. Less often, as in the marks of Berthold
Rembolt and Georges Wolf, the ground is white and the design black.
Guillaume Balsarin who, as was very common, had two devices, had one
of each kind. Outside these classes the special designs are too many
to be enumerated. The successive Le Noirs punned on their names in at
least six different devices of black heads, and Deny de Harsy with
less obvious appropriateness selected two black men with white
waistbands to uphold his shields. Guyot Marchant's shoemakers, with
the bar of music to complete his pious motto _Sola fides sufficit_,
form one of the earliest and best known of French marks. Pierre
Regnault showed excellent taste in his flower-surrounded P, in which
the letters of his surname may also be deciphered. The scholar-printer
Badius Ascensius chose a useful, if not very pretty, design of
printers at work, the two variants of which first appear respectively
in 1507 and 1521. All these devices and countless others will be found
roughly figured in Silvestre's _Marques Typographiques_, many of them
appear also in Brunet's _Manuel du Libraire_, and those of the chief
fifteenth century printers have been reproduced with absolute fidelity
in M. Thierry-Poux's _Monuments de l'imprimerie française_. Only the
mark of Du Pré and one of those used by Caillaut are therefore given
here, the first (on p. 141) in honour of a pioneer in French
illustration, the second, as perhaps the most beautiful of any which
the present writer has seen.

[Illustration: Mark of Antoine Caillaut.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The first Greek book printed in France appeared in 1507, and the
awakening of classical feeling was accompanied, as in other countries,
by the putting away of the last remnants of mediæval art and
literature as childish things. The old romances continued to be
published, chiefly by the Lenoirs, but in a smaller and cheaper form,
and for the most part with old cuts. Vérard diminished his output, and
the publishers of the _Horae_ turned in despair to German designs in
place of the now despised native work. Soon only some little octavos
remained to show that there was still an unclassical public to be
catered for. These were chiefly printed by Galliot du Pré, with titles
in red and black, and sometimes with little architectural borders in
imitation of the more ambitious German ones. When they disappear we
say farewell to the richness and colour which distinguishes the best
French books of the end of the fifteenth century. Instead of the black
letter and quaint cuts we have graceful but cold Roman types, or
pretty but thin italics, with good initial letters, sometimes with
good head-and tail-pieces, but with few pictures, and with only a neat
allegoric device on the title-page instead of the rich designs used by
the earlier printers.

Geoffroy Tory of Bourges was the first important printer of the new
school. His earliest connection with publishing was as the editor of
various classical works, but he returned from a visit to Italy full of
artistic theories as to book-making, which he proceeded to carry out,
partly in alliance with Simon Colines, for whom he designed a new
device representing Time with his scythe. Tory's own device of the
'pot cassé,' a broken vase pierced by a _toret_ or auger, is said to
refer to his desolation on the death of his only daughter. Devices of
other printers have been ascribed to him on the ground of the
appearance in them of the little cross of Lorraine, which is found in
some of Tory's undoubted works. It is certain, however, that the cross
was not his individual signature, but only that of his studio.

After the _Horae_, which we shall notice in our next chapter, Tory's
most famous book was his own _Champfleury_, 'auquel est contenu l'art
et science de la vraie proportion des lettres antiques,' printed in
1529. This is a fantastic work, interesting for the prelude in which
he speaks of his connection with the famous Grolier, and for the few
illustrations scattered about the text. The best of these are the
vignettes of 'Hercules Gallicus,' leading in chains the captives of
his eloquence, and of the Triumphs of Apollo and the Muses. The
specimen alphabets at the end of the book also deserve notice. They
show that Tory was better than his theories, for his attempt to prove,
by far-fetched analogies and derivations, that there is an ideal shape
for every letter, is as bad in art as it is false in history.

Tory was succeeded in his office of royal printer by Robert Estienne,
and during the rest of the century the classical editions of this
family of great printers form the chief glories of the French press.
Their books, both large and small, are admirably printed, and in
excellent taste, though with no other ornaments than their printer's
device, and good initials and head-pieces. But it must be owned that
from the reign of Francis I. onwards, the decoration of the text of
most French books is far less interesting than the superb bindings on
which the kings and their favourites began to lavish so much expense.

Only two more Paris books need here be mentioned, both of them printed
in 1546, and both with cuts imitated from the Italian--Jacques
Gohary's translation of the _Hypnerotomachia Poliphili_ and the _Amour
de Cupido et de Psiché_ translated from Apuleius. The first of these
was published by Jacques Kerver, the second by Jeanne de Marnef. Of
original Paris work of any eminence we have no record after the death
of Tory.

Meanwhile at Lyons a new school of book-illustration was springing up.
From the beginning of the century the Lyons printers had imitated, or
pirated, the delicate italic books printed by Aldus. The luckless
Étienne Dolet added something to the classical reputation of the town,
and by the middle of the century the printers there were turning out
numerous pocket editions of the classics, which they sold to their
customers in 'trade bindings' of calf stamped with gold, and often
painted over with many-coloured interlacements. The fashion for small
books was set, and when illustrations were fitted to them the result
was singularly dainty.

Before considering the editions of Jean de Tournes and his rivals we
must stop to notice the appearance at Lyons in 1538 of the belated
first edition of Holbein's _Dance of Death_, the woodcuts for which,
the work of H. L., whose identity with Hans Lützelburger has been
sufficiently established, are known to have been in existence as early
as 1527, and were probably executed two or three years before that
date. Several sets of proofs from the woodcuts are in existence, with
lettering said to be in the types of Froben of Basel, who may have
abandoned the idea of publishing them because of the vigour of their
satire on the nobles and well-to-do. The Trechsels, the printers of
the French edition, are known to have had dealings with a Basel
woodcutter with initials H. L., who died before June 1526, and may
have purchased the blocks directly from him, or at a later date from
Froben. In 1538 they issued forty-one woodcuts with a dedication by
Jean de Vauzelles, and a French quatrain to each cut either by him or
by Gilles Corrozet, giving to the book the title _Les Simulachres et
historiees faces de la mort_. Its success was as great as it deserved,
and ten more cuts were added in subsequent editions.

In the same year as the _Dance of Death_ the Trechsels issued another
series of upwards of a hundred cuts after designs by Holbein, the
_Historiarum Veteris Testamenti Icones_, with explanatory verses by
Gilles Corrozet. These, though scarcely less beautiful, and at the
time almost as successful as those in the _Dance of Death_, are not
quite so well known, and I therefore select one of them, taken from
the reprint of the following year, as an illustration.

[Illustration: From _Historiarum Veteris Testamenti Icones_, Lyons,
1539.]

The success of these two books invited imitation, and during the next
twenty years many dainty illustrated books were issued by Franciscus
Gryphius, Macé Bonhomme, Guillaume Roville, and Jean de Tournes. In
1540 Gryphius issued a little Latin Testament, with thirty-four lines
of dainty Roman type to a page, which only measures 3-1/2 in. × 2, and
in which are set charming cuts. Bonhomme's chief success was an
edition, printed in 1556, of the first three books of the
_Metamorphoses_ translated into French verse by Clément Marot and
Barthélemy Aneau. This has borders to every page, and numerous
vignettes measuring only 1-1/2 in. × 2. In the following year this was
capped by Jean de Tournes with another version of the _Metamorphoses_,
with borders and vignettes attributed to Bernard Salomon, usually
called 'le petit Bernard,' and the success of the book caused it to be
re-issued in Dutch and Italian. The borders are wonderfully varied,
some of them containing little grotesque figures worthy of our own
Doyle, others dainty lacework, and others less pleasing architectural
essays. This, like most of the best books of its kind, was printed
throughout in italics, and the attempt about this time of Robert
Granjon, another Lyons printer, to supersede the italic by a type
modelled on the French cursive hand, the 'caractères de civilité,' was
only partially successful. In 1563, and possibly in other years,
Jean de Tournes published an almanack and engagement-book, a
_Calendrier historial_, with tiny vignettes representing the
occupations appropriate to the seasons, and alternate pages for the
entry of notes by any purchasers barbarous enough to deface so
charming a book with their hasty handwriting. When the brief blaze of
pretty books at Lyons died out, French printing fast sinks into
dulness, and the attempt of a Frenchman at Antwerp to revive its
glories was only partially successful, though he has left behind him a
great name. Jean Plantin was born at Tours in 1514, and after trying
to earn a living first at Paris and then at Caen, set up a
bookseller's shop at Antwerp in 1549, and six years later printed his
first book, the _Institution d'une fille de noble maison_. He was soon
in a position to give commissions to good artists, Luc de Heere,
Pierre Huys, Godefroid Ballain, and others, and issued the _Devises
Héroiques_ of Claude Paradin (1562), and the _Emblems_ of Sambucus
(1564), of Hadrianus Junius (1565), and Alciati (1566), with
illustrations from their designs. His _Horae_, printed in 1566 and
1575, with florid borders, and his _Psalter_ of 1571, attempted to
revive a class of book then going out of fashion. Besides the great
Antwerp Polyglott, whose printing occupied him from 1568 to 1573, and
nearly brought him to ruin, Plantin printed some other Bibles, one in
Flemish in 1566, and a 'Bible royale' in 1570, being noticeable for
their ambitious decoration. He published also some great folio
missals, more imposing than elegant. He had numerous sets of large
initials, one specially designed for music books being really
graceful, and a long array of variations on the device of the hand and
compass which he adopted as his mark. The title-pages of his larger
books are surrounded with heavy architectural borders, some of which
were engraved on copper. At his death, in 1589, he had attained
_labore et constantia_, as his motto phrased it, to a foremost
position among the printers of his day, but his florid illustrated
books have very little real beauty, and mark the beginning of a
century and a half of bad taste from which only the microscopic
editions of the Elzevirs are wholly free.

       *       *       *       *       *

[18] The only other Abbeville illustrated book is the 1487 _Triomphe
des Neuf Preux_, with conventional portraits of most of the heroes
(their legs wide apart), and a bullet-headed Du Guesclin, based on
authentic tradition. In a 1508 reprint by Michel le Noir at Paris,
while some of the old cuts were retained this Du Guesclin was replaced
by a much more showy figure.



CHAPTER VIII

THE FRENCH BOOKS OF HOURS


In the course of the fourteenth century the Hours of the Blessed
Virgin superseded the Psalter as the popular book of devotions for lay
use. Throughout the fifteenth century magnificently illuminated
manuscript copies were produced in France in great numbers, and it is
thus not surprising that it was in illustrated editions of this book
that French printers and publishers achieved their most noteworthy
success.

Each of the Hours, we are told, had its mystical reference to some
event in the lives of the Blessed Virgin and our Lord. Lauds referred
to the visit of Mary to Elizabeth, Prime to the Nativity, Terce to the
Angels' Message to the Shepherds, Sext to the Adoration by the Magi,
Nones to the Circumcision, Vespers to the Flight into Egypt, Compline
to the Assumption of the Virgin. The subsidiary Hours of the Passion
naturally suggested the Crucifixion or, less frequently, the Invention
or finding of the Cross by the Emperor Constantine, and those of the
Holy Spirit the Day of Pentecost. We have here the subjects for nine
pictures, which were almost invariably heralded by one of the
Annunciation, and might easily be increased by a representation of
the Adoration by the Shepherds, of the Murder of the Innocents, and
the Death of the Virgin. Moreover, the contents of Books of Hours were
gradually enlarged till they deserved the title, which has been given
them, of the Lay-Folk's Prayer-Book. A typical Book of Hours would
contain--

    (i.) A Kalendar (one picture).

    (ii.) Passages from the Gospels on the Passion of Christ. (One to
        three pictures.)

    (iii.) Private Prayers.

    (iv.) The Hours themselves--Horae intemeratae beatae Mariae
        Virginis--with the subsidiary Hours of the Passion and of the
        Holy Ghost. (Nine to thirteen pictures.)

    (v.) The Seven Penitential Psalms. (One or two pictures.)

    (vi.) The Litany of the Saints.

    (vii.) The Vigils of the Dead. (One to four pictures.)

    (viii.) Seven Psalms on Christ's Passion.

The Kalendar usually contained poetical directions for the
preservation of health, and was therefore preluded by a rather ghastly
anatomical picture of a man. The passages from the Gospel, which began
with the first chapter of S. John, were illustrated by a picture of
the evangelist's martyrdom, and the Passion by one of the Kiss of
Judas, or of the Crucifixion. To the Penitential Psalms were sometimes
prefixed pictures of Bathsheba bathing on her housetop, and of the
death of Uriah, or, more rarely, of an angel appearing to David with
weapons in his hand, signifying the three punishments between which he
must choose for his sin in numbering the people. The Litany of the
Saints offered too wide a field for full-page cuts to be assigned it,
but was often illustrated by smaller ones set in the text. To the
Vigils of the Dead the commonest illustrations at first were those of
'Les Trois Vifs et Les Trois Morts,' three gay cavaliers meeting their
own grinning corpses. 'Dives and Lazarus' was first joined with these
and afterwards superseded them. We also find pictures of the Day of
Judgment, the Entombment, and in one instance of a funeral. Two
illustrations in honour of the Eucharist are also of common
occurrence--one of angels upholding a chalice,[19] the other of the
Vision of S. Gregory, when he saw the crucified Christ appearing on
the altar. If we add to these a picture of the Tree of Jesse, and
another of the Church in heaven and on earth, we shall have exhausted
the list of subjects which appear with any frequency, though pictures
of the Creation and Fall, of David and Goliath, of the Descent from
the Cross, and perhaps one or two others may occasionally be found. It
should be mentioned that the illustrations to the Psalms on the
Passion are usually repeated from others previously used, but putting
these on one side, it will be found that we have accounted for the
subjects of some five-and-twenty pictures, and this is in excess of
the number found in any one book, which varies from six to twenty-two.

In some of the earlier _Horae_, as we shall see, the printers
contented themselves with these large illustrations, and in others
surrounded the text with purely decorative borders of flowers and
birds. But in a typical edition the borders consist of a number of
small blocks or plates, the figures in which reinforced the teaching
of the main illustrations. In an edition printed by Jean Du Pré in
February 1488-9, five pages are devoted to an explanation of these
vignettes, and it will not be a waste of space to quote a few lines:

    ¶Cest le repertoire des histoires & figures de la bible tant du
        vieilz testame_n_t q_ue_ du nouueau _con_tenues dedens les
        vignettes de ces presentes heures imprimees en cuyure. En
        chascune desq_ue_lles vignettes so_n_t contenues deux figures du
        vieilz testame_n_t signifia_n_s une vraye histoire du nouueau.
        Co_m_me il appert par les chapitres cottez et alleguez au propos
        tant en latin que fra_n_coys en chascune desd_its_ figures et
        histoires. ¶Et premierement en la pagee [_sic_] ensuyuante
        listoire de lannu_n_ciation est p_re_figuree la natiuite nostre
        dame. com_m_e il appert par les deux figures de iesse et balaan.
        prouue par le liure de isaye, xi chapitre et des no_m_bres
        xxiiii. chap. ¶Item en lautre pagee ensuyua_n_te p_ar_ Rebecca
        et Sara est ente_n_du co_m_me nostre dame fut espousee a ioseph.
        ai_n_si q_u_'on lit en genese xxiiii. c. & tho. vi.

Thus we see that, as first planned, the border vignettes formed a
continuous series illustrating historically the teaching of the
_Horae_ by reference to Old Testament types, with chapter and verse
for their significance. It will be noticed also that it is distinctly
stated that the vignettes in this edition were 'imprimées en cuyvre,'
printed on copper. Two months later, in an edition published by
Antoine Vérard (April 5, 1489), the same table was reproduced with
very slight alterations. The words 'en cuyvre' were then omitted, but
'imprimées' was left in, awkwardly enough. There can be no doubt that
the omission was deliberate, and we have thus two statements which
reinforce the opinion of the best experts, that both wood and copper
were employed in engraving different editions of these designs.

These Old Testament types do not appear to have long retained their
popularity, and were soon superseded by a less continuous form of
illustration. The Calendar offered an excuse for introducing one
series of vignettes of the sports and occupations of each month,
another of the signs of the zodiac, and a third giving pictures of the
saints in connection with the days on which they were commemorated.
The Gospels of the Passion were illustrated by vignettes on the same
subject; the Hours themselves by a long series on the lives of Christ
and of the Blessed Virgin. The Dance of Death was brought in to
illustrate the Vigils of the Dead, and relief was given by some
charming scenes of hunting and rural life, which formed the border to
the Private Prayers and the Litany of the Saints. In addition to
these, we have representations of the Prophets and Sibyls, of the
Cardinal Virtues, and the Lives of the Saints, and an admixture of
purely decorative or grotesque designs. Between the vignettes spaces
were often left, which were filled in, sometimes with illustrative
texts, sometimes with a continuous prayer or exhortation, either in
French or Latin. Thus in the preliminary leaves of some of the _Horae_
the text read:

    Tout bon loyal et vaillant catholique qui commencer aucune euure
        ymagine doit inuoquer en toute sa pratique premierement la
        puissance diuine par ce beau nom iesus qui illumine tout cueur
        humain & tout entendement. Cest en tout fait ung beau
        commencement:

and when we turn to the Gospels of the Passion we find a prayer
beginning 'Protecteur des bons catholiques donne nous croire tellement
les paroles euangeliques,' &c. In Vérard's earlier editions the book
would have to be turned round to read the words on the lower border,
but in Pigouchet's this defect was remedied, so that we are left free
to imagine that the prayer was meant for devotional use, and not
merely as a decoration.

The chief firms employed in the production of these beautiful
prayer-books during the fifteenth century were (i.) Jean du Pré; (ii.)
Antoine Vérard; (iii.) Philippe Pigouchet, working chiefly for Simon
Vostre, a publisher, but also for De Marnef, Laurens Philippe, and
occasionally on his own account; (iv.) Thielman Kerver. The proportion
of dated and undated editions is about equal, and with careful study
it ought to be possible to trace the career of each of the important
firms, noting when each new illustration or vignette makes its first
appearance. Unfortunately great confusion has been introduced into the
bibliography of _Horae_ by the presence in them of calendars, mostly
for twenty years, giving the dates of the moveable feasts. All that
these calendars show is that the edition in which they occur must have
been printed before, probably at least five or six years before, the
last year for which they are reckoned. The fact that, _e.g._, the
editions printed by Pigouchet in August and September 1498 have the
1488 to 1508 calendar is by itself sufficient to prove that they
cannot do more than this. Unluckily a connection has often been
assumed between the first year of the calendar and the year of
publication--_e.g._ undated _Horae_ with the calendar for 1488-1508
are frequently ascribed on that ground only to 1488, or with perverse
ingenuity to 1487; as if a calendar of the moveable feasts were like
an annual almanac, and must necessarily be printed in readiness for
the new year. Great confusion has thus been caused, so that it is
impossible to trust any conjectural date for an _Horae_ unless we know
the grounds on which it is based.

The earliest dated French _Horae_ was finished by Antoine Vérard on
August 21, 1486, and followed by another the next year dated July 7,
1487; but the cuts in both of these are small and rude, mere guides to
an illuminator, and as Vérard's later editions bring him into
connection with other publishers, it will be convenient to consider
first three editions by Jean Du Pré, all of which are of great
interest. The one which we must rank as the earliest is an undated
_Hore ad vsum Romanum_, signed 'Jo. de Prato' (_i.e._ J. Du Pré) which
can be shown to have been issued some little time before Feb. 19,
1488-9, the date of a Psalter printed by Antoine Cayllaut in which one
of the cuts appears in a more worn condition. The text measures 4-1/2
in. by 3-1/4. This is the only one of the three which was known to
Brunet, whose list of _Horae_ in the fifth volume of his _Manuel du
Libraire_, long as it is, is very incomplete. Its text, including the
borders, measures 5-5/8 in. by 3-5/8, and in addition to Du Pré's mark
and the anatomical man is illustrated by nineteen engravings. Nine of
these are the usual illustrations to the Hours themselves, and the
subsidiary Hours of the Passion and of the Holy Ghost. The Penitential
Psalms are illustrated by David's Bathsheba and the Death of Uriah,
and the Vigils of the Dead by a figure of Death. In addition to these
we have the Fall of Lucifer, Descent from the Cross, with emblems of
the four evangelists, a figure of the Trinity, the Virgin and Child in
glory, S. Christopher, S. Mary Magdalen, and the Vision of S.
Gregory, with small pictures from the life of Christ and figures of
the Saints. The borders carry out the plan of the table of vignettes,
containing three scenes from the Bible and three heads, with
explanatory text, on each page throughout the greater part of the
book. Towards the end these are replaced by figures of saints and
angels. The artist's designs have been rather spoilt by the engraver,
whose strokes are frequently much too black.

The second of Du Pré's editions is a very interesting book, for the
illustrations are printed in three colours--blue, red, and green. It
is dated 1490, but without the mention of any month. It has some
unusual illustrations--_e.g._ the three Maries with the body of
Christ, David and Goliath, Lazarus in Abraham's bosom and Dives in
torment, and S. Christopher. Many of the pages are without vignettes,
and where these occur they are not joined neatly together to form a
continuous border, but set, rather at haphazard, about the margin.
Pictures and vignettes are printed sometimes in the same, sometimes in
different colours. The page of text measures 5-1/2 in. by 4, or
without borders, 4 by 2-1/2.

The last edition known to me by Du Pré is undated, and has a Latin
title-page, _Hore ad usum Romanum. Jo. de Prato._ The text with
borders measures 4-1/2 in. by 3-1/2. Its borders are similar to those
of the large folios of the period, having a floral groundwork, into
which birds, figures of men and women, angels and grotesques are
introduced. To make up for the lack of vignettes there are seven small
illustrations of the Passion set in the text. For the larger
illustrations, which appear to be woodcuts, Du Pré again varied his
subjects, introducing for the only time in these three editions _Les
Trois Vifs et Les Trois Morts_, reduced reproductions of which are
here given.

[Illustration: _Les Trois Vifs._

From a _Horae_ of Jean Du Pré. (Reduced.)]

[Illustration: _Les Trois Morts._

From a _Horae_ of Jean Du Pré. (Reduced.)]

It was not to be expected that so enterprising a publisher as Vérard
would rest content with the very unpretentious _Horae_ he produced in
1486 and 1487, but the precise date at which he first made a more
ambitious essay is not easy to fix. The undated edition of his
_Grandes Heures_ for the use of Rome is constantly assigned to 1488,
for no other reason than that it contains the 1488-1508 Almanac,
though the breaks in the borders suffice to show that this was not the
first appearance of the blocks. At the library at Toulouse there is
said to be a Vérard _Horae ad usum Romanum_ dated April 3, 1488, that
is, as the French year at this time began, at Easter, 1489, and this
may be the first of Vérard's new editions. This was followed the next
year by the first edition of his _Grandes Heures_, with thirteen
woodcuts and a frontispiece. I have not been fortunate enough to see a
copy of either of these editions, but three undated _Horae_ in the
British Museum, printed by Vérard, seem to belong to the same type as
the _Grandes Heures_. In addition to a poorly cut Vision of Heaven,
the Anatomical Man, and the Chalice, they contain, in varying order,
fourteen large woodcuts--(i.) The Fall of Lucifer; (ii.) the history
of Adam and Eve; (iii.) a double picture, the upper half showing the
strife between Mercy, Justice, Peace, and Reason in the presence of
God, and the lower half the Annunciation, which followed the triumph
of Mercy; (iv.) the Marriage of Joseph and Mary; (v.) the Invention of
the Cross; (vi.) the Gift of the Spirit; (vii.) a double picture of
the Nativity and the Adoration by the Shepherds; (viii.) the Adoration
by the Magi; (ix.) a double picture of the Annunciation to the
Shepherds and of peasants dancing round a tree; (x.) the Circumcision;
(xi.) the Killing of the Innocents; (xii.) the Crowning of the Virgin;
(xiii.) David entering a castle, with the words 'Tibi soli
peccavi,'--against Thee only have I sinned,--issuing from his mouth;
(xiv.) a funeral service, the hearse standing before the altar. The
cut of the Message to the Shepherds here shown will give a fair idea
of the characteristics of this series, as well as of the borders by
which they were accompanied.[20] A full list of the larger subjects
has been given because some of them often occur in later editions
joined with other pictures of the school of Pigouchet, and it is
useful to be able to fix their origin at a glance.[21] Six of them
form the only large illustrations in the little _Horae_, printed for
Vérard, April 5, 1489, in which, as we have already noted, the words
'on copper' appear to have been deliberately omitted from the table of
the vignettes. The size of the _Grandes Heures_ is 8 in. by 5, that of
the edition of April 1489, 6 in. by 4. Brunet enumerates altogether
thirty editions of _Horae_ printed by Vérard, the last of which
bearing a date belongs to the year 1510. So far as I am acquainted
with them these later editions have few distinguishing
characteristics, but are mostly made up with illustrations designed
for other firms.

[Illustration: From a _Grandes Heures_ of Antoine Vérard.]

We come now to the most celebrated of all the series of _Horae_, those
printed by Pigouchet, chiefly for Simon Vostre. Brunet in his list
rightly discredits the existence of an edition by this printer dated
as early as January 5, 1486. He accepts, however, and briefly
describes as if he had himself seen, one of September 16, 1488, and
mentions also an edition printed April 8, 1488-9. No copy of either of
these editions has come to light during the twenty years in which the
present writer has been interested in _Horae_, and it seems fairly
certain that Pigouchet's first illustrated work is to be found in an
edition _Ad usum Parisiensem_, dated December 1, 1491. The large cuts
in this are fairly good, but a little stiff; the small border-cuts
include a long set of incidents in the life of Christ with Old
Testament types after the manner of the _Biblia Pauperum_. A _Horae_
of May 8, 1492, substitutes floral borders for these little pictures.
In another set of editions in which Pigouchet was concerned,
apparently between 1493 and 1495, the borders are made up of vignettes
of very varying size, which may be recognised by many of them being
marked with Gothic letters, mostly large minuscules. Sometimes one,
sometimes two, vignettes thus lettered occur on a page, and we may
presume that the lettering, which is certainly a disfigurement, was
intended to facilitate the arrangement of the borders. In these
_Horae_, also, the designs are comparatively coarse and poor. Some of
the large illustrations are divided into an upper compartment,
containing the main subject, and two lower compartments, containing
its 'types.'

[Illustration: Dives and Lazarus, from Pigouchet's _Horae_, 1498.
(Reduced.)]

Certainly by 1496, and possibly in earlier editions which I have not
seen, Pigouchet had arrived at his typical style, of which a good
specimen-page is given in our illustration from the edition of August
22, 1498. His original idea appears to have been for editions with a
page of text measuring 5-1/2 in. by 3-1/2, such as he issued on April
17, 1496, and January 18, 1496-97. But at least as early as November
4, 1497, he added another inch both to the height and breadth of his
page by the insertion of the little figures, which will be noticed at
the left of the lower corner and on the right at the top. The extra
inch was valuable, for it enabled him to surround his large
illustrations with vignettes, but the borders themselves are not
improved by them, for they mar the rich effect of the best work in
which the backgrounds are of black with pricks of white.

These same dotted backgrounds, which we have already noticed as
present in some of the finest of the printers' marks, appear also in
three plates, which are found in the 1498 editions, and thenceforward,
but, as far as I can ascertain, not earlier. These three plates
illustrate (i.) the Tree of Jesse; (ii.) the Church Militant and
Triumphant; (iii.) the Adoration of the Shepherds. All three plates
are of great beauty, and the last is noticeable for the
names--'Mahault,' 'Aloris,' 'Alison,' 'Gobin le Gay,' and 'le beau
Roger'--which are assigned to the shepherds and their wives, and which
are the same as those by which they are known in the French
mystery-plays. The artists who used these dotted backgrounds evidently
viewed the _Horae_ rather from the mystery-play standpoint. They cared
little for the 'types' which Vérard and Du Pré so carefully explained
in their early editions, but delighted in the Dance of Death and in
scenes of hunting and rural life, or failing these in grotesques. They
placed their talents at the disposal of religion, but they bargained
to be allowed to introduce a good deal of humour as well.

The best French _Horae_ were all published within about ten years.
During this decade, which just overlaps the fifteenth century, the
only serious rival of Pigouchet was Thielman Kerver, who began
printing in 1497, and by dint of close imitation approached very near
indeed to Pigouchet's success. With the lessening of Pigouchet's
activity about 1505, there came an after-flood of bad taste, which
swept everything before it. The old French designs were displaced by
reproductions of German work utterly unsuited to the French types and
ornaments, and along with these there came an equally disastrous
substitution of florid Renaissance borders of pillars and cherubs for
Pigouchet's charming vignettes and hunting scenes. Thielman Kerver,
who had begun with better things, soon made his surrender to the new
fashion, and his firm continued to print _Horae_, for which it is
difficult to find a good word until about 1556. His activity was more
than equalled by Gilles Hardouyn, who with his successors was
responsible for some seventy editions during the first half of the
sixteenth century. Guillaume Eustace, Guillaume Godard, and François
Regnault were less formidable competitors, and besides these some
thirty or forty editions are attributable to other printers.

On January 16th (or to use the affected style of the colophon itself,
'xvii. Kal. Febr.'), 1525, Geoffroy Tory, the scholar, artist, and
printer, in conjunction with his friend Simon Colines, brought out a
_Horae_, which is certainly not open to the charge of bad taste. The
printed page measures 6-1/4 in. by 3-3/4, the type used is a delicate
Roman letter with a slight employment of red ink, but no hand work,
the borders are in the most delicate style of the Renaissance. The
illustrations number twelve, of which one, that of the Annunciation,
occupies two pages. There are no unusual subjects, except that in the
picture of the Crucifixion Tory displays his classical pedantry by
surrounding the central picture with four vignettes illustrating
Virgil's 'Sic vos non vobis' quatrain, on the sheep, the bees, the
birds, and the oxen, whose life enriches others but not themselves. In
the picture of the Adoration by the Magi, here given, Tory obtains an
unusually rich effect by the figure of the negro. He repeats this, on
a smaller scale, in the black raven, croaking _Cras, Cras_, in the
picture of the Triumph of Death. The tone of the other illustrations
is rather thin, and the length of the faces and slight angularity in
the figures (effects which Tory, the most affected of artists, no
doubt deliberately sought for) cause them just to fall short of
beauty. Compared, however, with the contemporary editions of other
printers, Tory's _Horae_ seem possessed of every beauty. We know of
five editions before his death or retirement in 1533, and of some
seven others before the close of the half century. After 1550 the
publication of _Horae_ in France almost entirely ceased, but some
pretty editions were issued at Antwerp by the French printer
Christopher Plantin in 1565 and 1575, and perhaps in other years. The
decree of Pope Pius V. making the use of the Office no longer
obligatory on the clergy seems to have been preceded by a great
falling off of the popularity of the Hours among the laity, in whom
the booksellers had found their chief customers, and after 1568 a very
few editions sufficed to supply the demand of those who were still
wedded to their use.

[Illustration: From Tory's _Horae_, 1525. (Reduced.)]

       *       *       *       *       *

[19] I join this with the other illustration as having a Eucharistic
significance, but in one of Vérard's editions the full explanation is
given: 'Cest la mesure de la playe du coste de notre seigneur
iesucrist qui fut apportee de Constantinople au noble empereur Saint
Charlemaine afin que nulz ennemys ne luy peussent nuire en bataille.'

[20] The defects in this reproduction appear also in the original,
from which it is reduced.

[21] _e.g._, in an edition printed by Jean Poitevin, May 15, 1498, the
illustrations for Terce, Sext, Nones, Vespers, and Compline are from
Vérard; the others, including the printer's device, were imitated from
Pigouchet.



CHAPTER IX

HOLLAND


Thirty years ago, under the title _The Woodcutters of the Netherlands_
(a little suggestive of a story for boys on life in a Dutch forest)
Sir Martin Conway wrote a treatise on the early book-illustrations of
the Low Countries, which is still the standard work on the subject,
and only needed plenty of facsimiles to make it completely
illuminating. Unfortunately in 1884 the process block was still in its
infancy, and in the absence of this cheap method of reproduction the
book was issued without a single picture. Written some nine years
later the present chapter epitomises so much of Sir Martin's treatise
as the rather scanty stock of Low Country illustrated books in England
enabled me to visualise, and for lack of an intervening pilgrimage to
Dutch libraries comparatively little can now be added to it.

Sir Martin Conway divided his book into three parts, the first giving
the history of the woodcutters, the second a catalogue of the cuts,
and the third a list of the books containing them. Putting on one side
the blocks imported or directly copied from France and Germany, he
attributes the illustrations in fifteenth century Dutch books to some
five-and-twenty different workmen and their apprentices. His first
group is formed of--

(i.) A Louvain woodcutter who worked for John and Conrad de
Westphalia, for whom he cut two capital little vignette portraits of
themselves, and for Veldener, for whom he executed the nine
illustrations in an edition of the _Fasciculus Temporum_, published on
December 29, 1475.

(ii.) A Utrecht woodcutter, whose most important works are a set of
cuts to illustrate the _Boeck des gulden throens_, published by a
mysterious printer, Gl., in 1480, some additional cuts for a new
edition by Veldener of the _Fasciculus Temporum_, and a set of
thirty-nine cuts, chiefly on the life of Christ, for the same
printer's _Epistolen ende ewangelien_ of 1481.

(iii.) A Bruges woodcutter, possibly the printer himself, who
illustrated Colard Mansion's French edition of the _Metamorphoses_ of
Ovid (1484); and

(iv.) A Gouda woodcutter, by whose aid Gerard Leeu started on his
career as a printer of illustrated books with the _Dialogus
Creaturarum_ (of which he printed six editions between June 3, 1480,
and August 31, 1482), and the _Gesten van Romen_, _Vier Uterste_, and
_Historia Septem Sapientum_.

Of these books, whose illustrations are grouped together as all
executed in pure line work, the most interesting to us are the
_Metamorphoses_ and the _Dialogus_. The former is handsomely printed
in red and black in Mansion's large type, and has seventeen
single-column cuts of gods and goddesses and as many double-column
ones illustrating the Metamorphoses themselves. The larger cuts are
the more successful, and are certainly superior to the average French
work of the day, to which they bear a considerable resemblance.
Uncouth as they are, they were thought good enough by Antoine Vérard
to serve as models for his own edition of 1493. The _Metamorphoses_,
Mansion's first illustrated book, was also the last work issued from
his press; and part of the edition was not published till after his
disappearance from Bruges. The hundred and twenty-one cuts in Leeu's
_Dialogus Creaturarum_ are the work of a far more inspired, if very
child-like, artist. With a minimum of strokes the creatures about whom
the text tells its wonderful stories are drawn so as to be easily
recognisable, and we have no reason to suppose that the humour which
pervades them was otherwise than intentional.

We come now to the best period of Dutch illustration, which centres
round the presses of Leeu at Gouda and Antwerp, and of Jacob Bellaert
at Haarlem, whose business was probably only a branch of Leeu's.
During his stay at Gouda, Leeu commissioned an important set of
sixty-eight blocks, thirty-two of which were used in the _Lijden ons
Heeren_ of 1482, and the whole set in a _Devote Ghetiden_, which Sir
Martin Conway conjectures to have been published just after the
printer's removal to Antwerp in the summer of 1484. Fifty-two of them
were used again, in conjunction with other cuts, in the _Boeck vanden
leven Christi_ of Ludolphus in 1487, and the history of many of them
can be traced in other books to as late as 1510. Thus they were
evidently popular, though neither their design nor their cutting calls
for much praise. Another set of seven cuts, to each of which is joined
a sidepiece showing a teacher and a scholar, appears in Leeu's last
Gouda book, the _Van den Seven Sacramenten_ of June 19, 1484, and
evinces a much greater mastery over his tools on the part of the
engraver. The little sidepiece, which was added to bring the breadth
of the cuts up to that of Leeu's folio page (5-1/2 in.), is
particularly good.

After Leeu's removal to Antwerp his activity as a printer of
illustrated books suffered a temporary check, and our interest is
transferred to the office of Jacob Bellaert at Haarlem, who, after
borrowing some of Leeu's cuts for a _Lijden ons Heeren_, issued in
December 1483, in the following February had printed under the name of
_Der Sonderen troest_ a Dutch version of the _Belial_ of Jacobus de
Theramo. This has altogether thirty-two cuts, the first of which
occupies a full page, and represents in its different parts the fall
of Lucifer and of Adam and Eve, the Flood, the Passage of the Red Sea,
and the Baptism of Christ. Six half-page cuts represent incidents of
the Harrowing of Hell, the Ascension, and the Day of Pentecost. The
other illustrations at a hasty glance seem to be of the same size (5
in. by 3-3/4), but are soon discovered to be separable into different
blocks, usually three in number. Eight blocks of 2-1/2 in. each, and
seventeen of half this width, are thus arranged in a series of
dramatic combinations. Thus we are first shown the different persons
who answer the citation of Solomon, whose judgment hall is the central
block in thirteen illustrations; then the controversy in heaven before
Christ as the judge; then scenes in a Royal Council Chamber, &c. Our
illustration is taken from the opening of Solomon's Court, with Belial
appearing to plead on one side, and Christ answering the summons of
the messenger, Azahel, on the other.

[Illustration: From Leeu's edition of _Der Sonderen troest_, Antwerp,
1484.]

In October of the same year, 1484, Bellaert printed an edition of the
_Boeck des gulden throens_, in which four cuts, representing the soul,
depicted as a woman with flowing hair, being instructed by an elder,
serve as illustrations to all the twenty-four discourses. In 1485 we
have first of all two romances, the _Historie vanden vromen ridder
Jason_ and the _Vergaderinge der Historien van Troyen_, both
translated from Raoul le Fèvre, and illustrated with half-folio cuts,
which I have not seen. At the end of the year came a translation of
Glanville's _De Proprietatibus Rerum_, with eleven folio cuts, of
which the most interesting are the first, which shows the Almighty
seated in glory within a circle thrown up by a black background, and
the sixth, which contains twelve little medallions, representing the
pleasures and occupations of the different months. During 1486
Bellaert printed three illustrated books, an _Epistelen ende
Euangelien_, Pierre Michault's _Doctrinael des tyts_, an allegory, in
which Virtue exhibits to the author the schools of Vice, and a Dutch
version of Deguileville's _Pélerinage de la vie humaine_. The ten cuts
in the second of these three books are described by Sir Martin Conway
as carefully drawn, the more numerous illustrations in the others
showing hasty work, probably produced by an inferior artist.

After 1486 Bellaert disappears, and most of his cuts and types are
found in the possession of Gerard Leeu, who, since his removal to
Antwerp, had lacked the help of a good engraver. He apparently secured
the services of Bellaert's artist, and now printed French and Dutch
editions of the romance of _Paris and Vienne_ (May 1487), an edition
of _Reynard the Fox_, of which only a fragment remains, the
already-mentioned edition of _Ludolphus_, for which he used cuts both
new and old, a _Kintscheyt Jhesu_ (1488), Dutch and Latin versions of
the story of the Seven Wise Men of Rome, who saved the young prince
from the wiles of his step-mother, and numerous religious works. At
the time of his death, in 1493, he was engaged on an edition of the
_Cronycles of England_, which has on its title-page a fine quarto cut
showing the shield of England supported by angels.

In 1485 Leeu had copied (Sir Martin Conway says, 'borrowed,' but this
is a mistake) blocks from Anton Sorg, of Augsburg, for an edition of
_Æsop_, and in 1491, in his _Duytsche Ghetiden_, he employed a set of
woodcuts imitated from those in use in the French _Horae_. Sir Martin
assigns these directly to a French wood-cutter, but the work, both in
the cuts and the borders, appears to me sufficiently distinctive to be
set down rather as an imitation than as produced by a foreign artist.
Its success was immediate, and the designs appear in half a dozen
books printed by Leeu during the next two years, and in nine others
issued by Lieseveldt, their purchaser, between 1493 and the end of the
century.

We must now look very briefly at some of the illustrated books printed
in other Dutch towns. At Zwolle, from 1484 onwards, Peter van Os
issued a large number of devotional works, the cuts in many of which
were copied from sets made for Leeu. This, however, is not the case
with a folio cut of the Virgin manifesting herself to S. Bernard,
which is given as a frontispiece to three editions of the Saint's
_Sermons_ (1484, &c.), and is of great beauty. At Delft, Jacob van der
Meer also copied Leeu's books; in 1483 he produced an original set of
illustrations to the ever-popular _Scaeckspul_ of Jacobus de Cessolis,
and three years later, a _Passionael_, with upwards of ninety cuts,
which were used again and again in more than a score of similar works
or editions. He was succeeded by Christian Snellaert, who, in 1491,
endeavoured to imitate Leeu's French cuts in an edition of the
_Kerstenen Spieghel_. John de Westphalia continued to work at Louvain
until 1496, but his illustrated books were few and unimportant. At
Gouda, Gotfrid de Os, after borrowing blocks from Leeu, when the
latter had departed for Antwerp, issued a few books with woodcuts,
notably the romance of Godfrey of Boulogne (_Historie hertoghe
Godeuaerts van Boloen_), and _Le Chevalier Délibéré_ by Olivier de
Lamarche, with sixteen large and very striking woodcuts, which have
been reproduced in facsimile by the Bibliographical Society from the
reprint issued about the end of the century at Schiedam.

At Deventer, Jacobus de Breda and Richard Paffroet, from 1486 onwards,
printed a large number of books with single cuts, none of any great
importance. In the last decade of the century, Hugo Janszoen
commissioned several sets of crude religious cuts, while the
illustrated books issued at Antwerp by Godfrey Back, who had married
the widow of an earlier printer, Mathias van der Goes, do not seem to
have been much better. This decline of good work Sir Martin Conway
attributes chiefly to the influence of the French woodcuts introduced
by Leeu. 'The characteristic quality,' he says, 'of the French cuts is
the large mass of delicately cut shade lines which they contain. The
workmen of the Low Countries finding these foreign cuts rapidly
becoming popular, endeavoured to imitate them, but without bestowing
upon their work that care by which alone any semblance of French
delicacy could be attained. From the year 1490 onwards, Dutch and
Flemish cuts always contain large masses of clumsily cut shade. The
outlines are rude; the old childishness is gone; thus the last decade
of the fifteenth century is a decade of decline.'

When we pass from the illustrations to the other decorations in early
Dutch books, we find that large borders of foliage, boldly but rather
coarsely treated, were used by Veldener in his _Fasciculus Temporum_
of 1480, and in Gerard Leeu's edition of the _Dyalogus Creaturarum_
the following year. Veldener's is accompanied by a fine initial O, in
which the design of the border is carried on. Leeu's page contains a
rather heavy S, and the woodcut of the faces of the sun and moon.

In 1491, as we have seen, Leeu printed a _Psalter of the Blessed
Virgin_, by S. Bernard, in imitation of the French _Horae_. This has
very graceful little floral borders in small patterns on grounds
alternately black and white. After Leeu's death, they passed into the
possession of Adrian van Lieseveldt, who used them for a _Duytsche
Ghetyden_ in 1495.

The most noteworthy initial letters are the five alphabets, printed in
red, used by John of Westphalia. In the smallest the letters are a
third of an inch square, in the largest about an inch and a quarter.
This and the next size are picked out with white scroll-work, somewhat
in the same way as Schoeffer's. Peter van Os at Zwolle used a large N,
four inches square, with intertwining foliage. He had also a fount of
rustic capitals, almost undecipherable. Leeu, besides his large S, had
several good alphabets of initials. A very beautiful D, reproduced by
Holtrop from the _Vier Uterste_ (Quatuor novissima) of 1488, is much
the most graceful letter in any Dutch book. No other initials of the
same style have been found. Eckert van Hombergh also had some good
initials, in which the ground is completely covered with a light
floral design. Gotfrid van Os at Gouda, M. van der Goes at Antwerp,
Jacob Jacobsoen at Delft, and Lud. de Ravescoet at Louvain, were the
chief other possessors of initials, the use of which continued for a
long time to be very partial.

[Illustration: Mark of Jacob Bellaert.]

Several of the devices of the Dutch printers are very splendid. The
borders which surrounded the unicorn of H. Eckert van Hombergh and the
eagle of Jacob Bellaert give them special magnificence. The Castle at
Antwerp was used as a device by Gerard Leeu, and subsequently by
Thierry Martens, and a printer at Gouda placed a similar erection on
an elephant, perhaps as a pun between _howdah_ and Gouda. Peter van Os
at Zwolle had a large device of an angel holding a shield; M. van der
Goes at Antwerp a still larger one of a ragged man flourishing a club,
while his shield displays a white lion on a black ground. Another
Antwerp printer, G. Back, used several varieties of bird-cages as his
marks, in one of which the Antwerp castle is introduced on a shield
hanging from the cage. Several printers--_e.g._ Colard Mansion at
Bruges, Jacob Jacobsoen at Delft, and Gerard Leeu at Gouda, contented
themselves with small devices of a pair of shields braced together.
Leeu, however, while at Gouda, used also a large device of a helmeted
shield supported by two lions.

[Illustration: From the romance of _Tirant lo Blanch_, Valentia,
1490.]



CHAPTER X

SPAIN


Since the first edition of this book appeared knowledge both of
Spanish incunabula and the types in which they are printed has been
greatly increased, thanks to the researches of Professor Haebler.
These have dealt incidentally, but only incidentally, with the
illustration and decoration of early Spanish books, and the present
writer must still confine himself mainly to the little handful of
illustrated books which have come under his own notice.

The book-hand in use in Spain's manuscripts during the fifteenth
century was unusually massive and handsome, and the same
characteristics naturally reappear in the majority of the types used
by the early printers in Spain. A considerable proportion of these
were Germans, whose tradition of good press-work was very fairly
maintained by their immediate successors, so that throughout a great
part of the sixteenth century Spanish books retain much of the
primitive dignity which we are wont to associate only with
'incunabula.' From a very early period, also, they are distinguished
by the excellence of their initial letters, which are almost as
plentiful as they are good; the great majority of books printed after
1485, which I have seen, being fully provided with them. The
prevailing form of initial exhibits very delicate white tracery on a
black ground. In a few instances, as in a _Seneca_ printed by Meinardo
Ungut and Stanislao Polono, at Seville, in 1491, some of the initials
are in red, and have a very decorative effect. A fine capital L and A
appear in a work of Jean de Mena, issued by these printers in 1499,
and a good M in their _Claros Varones_ of Pulgar in the following
year. A _Consolat_, printed, it is said, by Pedro Posa at Barcelona in
1494, is very remarkable for its profusion of fine initials. Engraved
borders are not of common occurrence in Spanish books, though I shall
have to notice two striking instances of their use in books printed at
Zamora and Valencia. Borders are found, also, on the title-pages of
various laws printed at Barcelona during the reign of Ferdinand and
Isabella, but these are of no great beauty, and some of the pieces of
which they are composed are poor copies from the French _Horae_.

As a rule, Spanish title-pages are handsome and imposing. During the
last few years of the fifteenth century and the beginning of its
successor, the titles of books were often printed in large woodcut
letters. A Spanish _Livy_, printed at Salamanca in 1497, a
_Vocabulary_ of Antonio Lebrixa, printed by Kromberger at Seville in
1506, and a _Mar de Istorias_ printed at Valladolid in 1512, supply
examples of this practice. In an _Obra a llaors del benauenturat lo
senyor sant Cristofol_, printed at Valencia in 1498, the woodcut title
is in white on a black ground, which is also relieved by a medallion
of the saint fording the stream. Pictures were also used in connection
with the more ordinary woodcut titles in black--_e.g._ in Juan de
Lucena's _Tratado de la vita beata_, printed by Juan de Burgos in
1502, we have a cut of a king, bearing his sword of justice and
surrounded by his counsellors; and in a _Libro de Consolat tractant
dels fets maritims_ of the same year, printed by Johan Luschner at
Barcelona, beneath the woodcut title there is a large figure of a ship
up whose masts sailors are climbing, apparently in quest of a very
prominent moon.

Woodcut pictures of the hero decorate the title-pages of the romances
of Spain as of other countries, and these pictorial title-pages are
found also, though less frequently, in works of devotion and in plays.
Such pictures are less common in Spain than elsewhere, because of the
great popularity there of the heraldic title-page, in which the arms
of the country, or of the hero or patron of the work, form a
singularly successful method of ornament. These heraldic title-pages
are found in a few books, printed before 1500, and were in common use
throughout the sixteenth century.

The earliest Spanish illustrated book with which I am acquainted is
the _Libro delos Trabajos de Hercules_ of the Marquis Enrique de
Villena, printed by Antonio de Centenera at Zamora, on January 15th,
1483 (1484). This has eleven woodcuts, illustrating the hero's
exploits, and so rudely executed that they are plainly the work of a
native artist. Far more interesting than these 'prentice cuts are the
illustrative initials, apparently engraved on soft metal, in a
_Copilacion de Leyes_, promulgated in 1485, and supposed to have been
printed by Centenera in the same year. These initials are nine in
number, and must have been designed and executed by finished artists,
whose work is so fine that the printer in most instances has failed to
do justice to it. On the first page of text an initial P contains
within it figures of a king and queen, Ferdinand and Isabella. This
page has at its foot a border containing a hunting scene, with a blank
shield in its centre. The rest of the page is surrounded by a text,
printed decoratively, so as to form an open-work border. The first
section of the laws, treating of 'la Santa Fe,' has an initial E,
showing God the Father upholding the crucified Christ. The second
section sets forth the duty of the king to hear causes two days a
week, and begins with an L, here reproduced, in which the king is
unpleasantly close pressed by the litigants.

[Illustration: Initial L from a _Copilacion de Leyes_, Zamora, _c._
1485.]

Two knights spurring from the different sides of an S head the laws of
chivalry; a Canonist and his scholars in an A preside over Matrimony;
money-changers in a D over Commerce, while a luckless wretch being
hanged in the midst of a T warns evil-doers of what they may expect
under the criminal law. The pages containing these initials are
enriched also by a border in two pieces, the lower part of which shows
a shield, with a device of trees, supported by kneeling youths. The
perpendicular piece running up the outer margin bears a floral design.
All the letters, while directly illustrating the subjects of the
chapters which they begin, are at the same time essentially
decorative, and they are certainly the best pictorial initials I have
ever seen, though it must be reckoned against them that they were
unduly difficult to print with the text.

The page here reproduced, unfortunately only about one-third of its
original size, from the famous romance of _Tirant lo Blanch_, gives us
another example of this peculiar style of engraving. It is taken from
the edition printed at Valencia in 1490, and may fairly be reckoned as
one of the most decorative pages in any fifteenth-century book. The
rest of the volume has no other ornament than some good initials.

The first Spanish book with woodcuts of any artistic merit with which
I am acquainted is an edition of Diego de San Pedro's _Carcel d'Amor_,
printed at Barcelona in 1493. This has sixteen different cuts, some of
which are several times repeated. The title-cut, showing love's
prison, is here reproduced, and gives a very good idea of a
characteristic Spanish woodcut. The other illustrations show the lover
in various attitudes before his lady, a meeting in a street, the
author at work on his book, &c. Another edition of the _Carcel
d'Amor_, with the same woodcuts, was printed at Burgos in 1496 by
Fadrique Aleman.

[Illustration: Title-page of Diego de San Pedro's _Carcel d'Amor_,
Barcelona, 1493.]

Most of the other Spanish incunabula with woodcuts, which I have seen,
were printed at Seville by Meinardo Ungut and Stanislao Polono. The
first of these, Gorricio's _Contemplaciones sobre el Rosario de
nuestra señora_, issued in 1495, has some good initials, two large
cuts nearly the full size of the quarto page, and fifteen smaller
ones, with graceful borders mostly on a black ground. The small cuts
illustrate the life of Christ and of the B. Virgin, and are, to some
extent, modelled on the pictures in the French _Horae_. In the same
year, the same printers published Ayala's _Chronica del Rey don
Pedro_, with a title-cut of a young king, seated on his throne, and
also the _Lilio de Medicina_ of B. de Gordonio with a title-cut of
lilies. In 1496, a firm of four printers, 'Paulo de Colonia, Juan
Pegnicer de Nuremberg, Magno y Thomas,' published an edition of Juan
de Mena's _Labirinto_ or _Las CCC_ (so called from the number of
stanzas in which it is written) with a title-cut of the author (?)
kneeling before a king. Three years later, still at Seville, Pedro
Brun printed in quarto the romance of the Emperor _Vespasian_, with
fourteen full-page cuts of sea voyages, sieges, the death of Pilate,
&c. Against these books printed at Seville, during the last decade of
the century, I have only notes of one or two books issued at
Salamanca, Valencia, and Barcelona, with unimportant title-cuts, and a
reprint at Burgos of the _Trabajos de Hercules_ (1499) with poor
illustrations fitted into the columns of a folio page. But it is quite
possible that my knowledge is as one-sided as it is limited, and I
must, therefore, refrain from building up any theory that Seville,
rather than any other town, was the chief home of illustrated books in
Spain. After 1500 the Spanish books which I have met have no important
illustrations beyond the cuts which appear on some of their
title-pages. But here, also, I should be sorry to make my small
experience the basis of a general statement.

The devices of the Spanish printers were greatly influenced by those
of their compeers of Italy and France. The simple circle and cross, in
white on a black ground, with the printer's initials in the
semicircles, is fairly common, while Diego de Gumiel and Arnaldo
Guillermo Brocar varied it, according to the best Italian fashion,
with very beautiful floral tracery. The tree of knowledge and pendant
shields, beloved of the French printers, appear in the marks of
Meinardo Ungut and Stanislao Polono, and of Juan de Rosembach. Arnaldo
Guillermo had another and very elaborate mark, showing a man kneeling
before the emblems of the Passion, and two angels supporting a shield
with a device of a porcupine. One of the quaintest of all printers'
marks was used by a later printer of the name Juan Brocar, whose motto
'legitime certanti' is illustrated by a mail-clad soldier grasping a
lady's hair while he himself is being seized by the devil!

[Illustration: From the _Canterbury Tales_, 2nd edition.]



CHAPTER XI

ENGLAND

_By_ E. GORDON DUFF


The art of the wood-engraver may almost be said to have had no
existence in England before the introduction of printing, for there
are not probably more than half a dozen cuts now known, if indeed so
many, that are of an earlier date. The few that exist are devotional
prints of the type known as the 'Image of Pity,' in which a
half-length figure of Christ on the cross stands surrounded with the
emblems of the Passion.

It may be taken, I think, for granted that at the time Caxton set up
his press at Westminster, that is, in the year 1476, there was no
wood-engraver competent to undertake the work of illustrating his
books. We see, for instance, that in the first edition of the
_Canterbury Tales_ there are no woodcuts, while they appear in the
second edition; and it is not likely that Caxton would have left a
book so eminently suited for illustration without some such adornment
had the necessary craftsmen been available. As it was, it was not till
1480 that woodcuts first appeared in an English printed book, the
_Mirror of the World_. In this there are two series of cuts. One,
consisting of diagrams, is found in most of the MSS. of the book; the
other, which represents masters teaching their scholars or at work
alone, was a new departure of Caxton's. It is quite probable that they
were intended for general use in books, indeed we find some used in
the _Cato_, but they do not appear to have been employed elsewhere.
The diagrams are meagre and difficult to understand, so much so that
the printer has printed several in their wrong places. The necessary
letterpress occurring within them is not printed (Caxton had not then
a small enough type), but is written in by hand, and it is worth
noticing that this is done in all copies in the same hand, and so must
have been done in Caxton's office, some are fond enough to suppose by
Caxton himself.

In the next year appeared the second edition of the _Game of Chesse_,
with a number of woodcuts. The first edition, printed at Bruges by
Caxton and Mansion, had no illustrations. The cuts are coarsely
designed and roughly cut, but serve their purpose; indeed, they are
evidently intended as illustrations rather than ornaments. Some
controversy has at different times arisen as to whether these cuts
were executed in England or abroad, but Mr. Linton has very justly
decided in favour of England. The work, he says, is so poor that any
one who could hold a knife could cut them, therefore there was no
necessity to send abroad.

About 1484 we have two important illustrated books, the _Canterbury
Tales_ and the _Æsop_; the former with 28 illustrations, the latter
with 186.

The cuts of the _Canterbury Tales_ depict for the most part the
various individuals of the Pilgrimage, and there is also a bird's-eye
view of all the pilgrims seated at an immense round table at supper,
which was used afterwards by Wynkyn de Worde for the 'Assembly of
Gods.' The copies of German cuts in the _Æsop_, with the exception of
the full-page frontispiece (known only in the copy in the Windsor
Library), are smaller, and are the work of two, if not three,
engravers. One cut seems to have been hurriedly executed in a
different manner to the rest, perhaps to take the place of one injured
at the last moment. It is not worked in the usual manner with the
outlines in black--_i.e._ raised lines on the wood-block, but a
certain amount of the effect has been produced by a white line on a
black ground--_i.e._ by the cut-away lines of the wood-block.

The _Golden Legend_, which was the next illustrated book to appear,
contains the most ambitious woodcuts which Caxton used. Those in the
earlier part are the full width of a large folio page, and show,
especially in their backgrounds, a certain amount of technical skill.
The later part of the book contains a number of small cuts of saints
very coarsely executed, and the same cut is used over and over again
for different saints.

In 1487 Caxton first used his large woodcut device, which is
probably, though the contrary is often asserted, of English
workmanship. It is entirely un-French in style and execution, and was
probably cut to print on the Missal printed by Maynyal for Caxton in
order that the publisher might be brought prominently into notice.

About this time (1487-88) two more illustrated books were issued,--the
_Royal Book_ and the _Speculum Vite Christi_. The series cut for the
_Speculum_ are of very good workmanship, though the designs are poor,
but all of them were not used in the book. One or two appear later in
books printed by W. de Worde, manifestly from the same series. The
_Royal Book_ contains only seven cuts, six of which are from the
_Speculum_. Some of the cuts occur also in the _Doctrinal of Sapience_
and the _Book of Divers Ghostly Matters_.

It is impossible not to think when examining Caxton's books that the
use of woodcuts was rather forced upon him by the necessities of his
business, than deliberately preferred by himself. He seems to have
wished to popularise the more generally known books, and only to have
used woodcuts when the book absolutely needed them. He did not, as
some later printers did, simply use woodcuts to attract the unwary
purchaser.

What cuts Caxton possessed at the end of his career it is hard to
determine. The set of large _Horae_ cuts which W. de Worde used must
have been Caxton's, for we find one of them, the Crucifixion, used in
the _Fifteen O'es_, which was itself intended as a supplement to a
_Horae_, now unknown. In the same way there must have been a number of
cuts for use in the 8vo _Horae_, but as that is known only from a
small fragment, we cannot identify them. From similarity of style and
identity of measurement we can pick out a few from Wynkyn de Worde's
later editions, but many must be passed over.

On turning to examine the presses at work at the same time as Caxton's
one cannot but be struck by the scarcity of illustrations. Lettou and
Machlinia, though they produced over thirty books, had no ornaments
that we know of beyond a border which was used in their edition of the
_Horae ad usum Sarum_, and passed into the hands of Pynson. They seem
to have been without everything except type, not having even initial
letters.

The St. Alban's press was a step in advance. A few cuts were used in
the _Chronicles_, and the _Book of St. Alban's_ contains coats of
arms, produced by a combination of wood-cutting and printing in
colour.

The Oxford press was the most ambitious, and was in possession of two
sets of cuts, in neither case intended for the books in which they
were used. One set was prepared for a _Golden Legend_, but no such
book is known to have been issued at the Oxford press. One of these
cuts appears as a frontispiece to Lyndewode's _Constitutions_. It
represents Jacobus de Voragine writing the _Golden Legend_, so that
it did equally well for Lyndewode writing his law-book. Others of the
series are used in the _Liber Festialis_ of 1486, but as that was a
small folio and the cuts were large, the ends were cut off, and they
are all printed in a mutilated condition. The other cuts used in the
_Festial_ are small, and form part of a set for a _Horae_, but no
_Horae_ is known to have been printed at the Oxford press. It would be
natural to suppose in this case that these cuts had been procured from
some other printer who had used them in the production of the books
for which they were intended; but the most careful search has failed
to find them in any other book. Besides these cuts the Oxford press
owned a very beautiful border, which was used in the commentary on the
_De Anima_ of Aristotle by Alexander de Hales and the commentary on
the _Lamentations of Jeremiah_ by John Lattebury, printed in 1481 and
1482. The printers owned nothing else for the adornment of their books
but a rudely cut capital G, which we find used many times in the
_Festial_.

The poverty of ornamental letters and borders is very noticeable in
all the English presses of the fifteenth century. Caxton possessed one
ambitious letter, a capital A, which was used first in the _Order of
Chivalry_, and a series of eight borders, each made up of four pieces,
and found for the first time in the _Fifteen O'es_. They are of little
merit, and compare very unfavourably with French work of the period.
The best set of borders used in England belonged to Notary and his
partners when they started in London about 1496. They are in the usual
style, with dotted backgrounds, and may very likely have been brought
from France. Pynson's borders, which he used in a _Horae_ about 1495,
are much more English in style, but are not good enough to make the
page really attractive; in fact almost the only fine specimens of
English printing with borders are to be found in the Morton _Missal_,
which he printed in 1500. In this book also there are fine initial
letters, often printed in red. It is hard to understand why, as a
rule, English initial letters were so very bad; it certainly was not
from the want of excellent models, for those in the Sarum missals,
printed at Venice by Hertzog in 1494, and sold in England by Frederic
Egmont, contain most beautifully designed initials, as good as can be
found in any early printed book.

Wynkyn de Worde, when he succeeded in 1491 to Caxton's business, found
himself in possession of a large number of cuts, a considerably larger
number than ever appeared in the books of Caxton's that now remain to
us. The first illustrated book he issued was a new edition of the
_Golden Legend_, in which the old cuts were utilised. This was printed
in 1493. In 1494 a new edition of the _Speculum Vite Christi_ was
issued, of which only one complete copy is known, that in the library
at Holkham. It probably contains only the series of cuts used by
Caxton in his edition, for the few leaves to be found in other
libraries have no new illustrations. About the same time (1494) De
Worde issued several editions of the _Horae ad usum Sarum_, one in
octavo (known from a few leaves discovered in the binding of a book in
the library of Corpus Christi College, Oxford) and the rest in quarto.
In the quarto editions we find the large series of pictures, among
which are the three rioters and three skeletons, the tree of Jesse,
and the Crucifixion, which occur in Caxton's _Fifteen O'es_. It is
extremely probable that all the cuts in these editions had belonged to
Caxton. The two cuts in the fragment of the octavo edition, however,
are of quite a different class, evidently newly cut, and much superior
in style and simplicity to Caxton's. It is much to be regretted that
no complete copy of the book exists, for the neat small cuts and bold
red and black printing form a very tasteful page.

A curious specimen of engraving is to be found in the _Scala
Perfectionis_, by Walter Hylton, also printed in 1494. It represents
the Virgin and Child seated under an architectural canopy, and below
this are the words of the antiphon beginning, 'Sit dulce nomen
d[=n]i.' These words are not printed from type, but cut on the block,
and the engraver seems to have treated them simply as part of the
decoration, for many of the words are by themselves quite unreadable
and bear only a superficial resemblance to the inscription from which
they were copied.

An edition of Bartholomaeus' _De proprietatibus rerum_ issued about
this time has a number of cuts, not of very great interest; and the
_Book of St. Albans_ of 1496 has an extra chapter on fishing,
illustrated with a picture of an angler at work, with a tub, in the
German fashion, to put his fish into. It has also a curiously modern
diagram of the sizes of hooks. In 1498 De Worde issued an illustrated
edition of Malory's _Morte d'Arthur_. The cuts are very ambitious, but
badly executed, and the hand of the engraver who cut them may be
traced in several books. In 1499 an edition of _Mandeville_ was
issued, ornamented with a number of small cuts, and about this time
several small books were issued having cuts on the title-page.

Richard Pynson's first illustrated book was an edition of the
_Canterbury Tales_, printed some time before 1492. At the head of each
tale is a rudely executed cut of the pilgrim who narrates it. These
cuts were made for this edition, and were in some cases altered while
the book was going through the press to serve for different
characters: the Squire and the Manciple, the Sergeant and Doctor of
Physic, are from the same blocks with slight alterations. In 1494 came
an edition of Lydgate's _Falle of Princis_, a translation from the _De
Casibus virorum et feminarum illustrium_ of Boccaccio, illustrated
with the cuts used by Jean Dupré in his Paris edition of a French
version of the same work in 1483. One of the neatest of these,
depicting Marcus Manlius thrown into the Tiber, is here shown. About
1497 an edition of the _Speculum Vite Christi_ was issued, with a
number of neatly executed small cuts, and in 1500 Pynson printed the
beautiful Sarum Missal, known as the _Morton Missal_. Special borders
and ornaments, introducing a rebus on the name of Morton, were
engraved for this, and a full-page cut of the prelate's coat of arms
appears at the commencement of the book.

[Illustration: The Death of Marcus Manlius. From Lydgate's _The Falle
of Princis_, Pynson, 1494. (Reduced.)]

After the year 1500 almost every book issued by W. de Worde, who was
pre-eminently the popular publisher, had an illustration on the
title-page. This was not always cut for the book, nor indeed always
very applicable to the letterpress, and the cuts can almost all be
arranged into series made for more important books. There were,
however, a few stock cuts: a schoolmaster with a gigantic birch for
grammars, a learned man seated at a desk for works of more advanced
scholarship, and lively pictures of hell for theological treatises.
The title-page was formed on a fixed plan. At the top, printed inside
a wood-cut ribbon, was placed the title, below this the cut.

Pynson, who was the Royal printer, and a publisher of learned works,
disdained such attempts to catch the more vulgar buyers. His
title-pages rarely have cuts, and these are only used on such few
popular books as he issued. Both he and De Worde had a set of narrow
upright cuts of men and women with blank labels over their heads,
which could be used for any purpose, and have the names printed in
type in the label above.

Foreign competition was also at this time making its influence felt on
English book-illustration. W. de Worde had led the way by purchasing
from Godfried van Os, about 1492, some type initial letters, and at
least one woodcut. Pynson, early in the sixteenth century, obtained
some cuts from Vérard, which he used in his edition of the _Kalendar
of Shepherdes_, 1506, and Julian Notary, who began printing about
1496, seems to have made use of a miscellaneous collection of cuts
obtained from various quarters. He had, amongst other curious things,
part of a set of metal cuts executed in the _manière criblée_, which
have not been traced to any other book, but appear to have passed at a
considerably later date into the hands of Wyer, who commenced to print
before 1524. When W. de Worde left Westminster in 1500 to settle in
Fleet Street, he parted with some of his old woodcuts to
Notary,--woodcuts which had been used in the _Horae_ of 1494, and had
originally belonged to Caxton. All these miscellaneous cuts appear in
his _Golden Legend_ of 1503, and the large cut of the 'Assembly of
Saints' on the title-page seems also to have been borrowed. It was
used by Hopyl at Paris in 1505 for his edition of the _Golden Legend_
in Dutch, and passed afterwards with Hopyl's business to his
son-in-law Prevost, who used it in a theological work of John Major's.
The engraved metal ornamental initials were obtained from André
Bocard.

Some time before 1510 an extremely curious book, entitled the _Passion
of our Lorde Jesu_, was printed abroad, probably in Paris. The
uncouthness of the language seems to have brought about its
destruction; for, though many fragments have been found in bindings,
only one perfect copy, now in the Bodleian, is known. It contains a
number of large cuts of a very German appearance and quite unlike any
others of the period. Some are used also in the York _Manual_ printed
for De Worde in 1509.

About this time too a number of popular books in English, some adorned
with rude woodcuts, were issued by John of Doesborch, a printer in
Antwerp. Among them may be mentioned _The wonderful shape and nature
of man, beasts, serpents, &c._, the _Fifteen Tokens_, the _Story of
the Parson of Kalenbrowe_, and the _Life of Virgilius_. A still
earlier Antwerp cut, which had been used by Gerard Leeu for the
title-page of his English _Solomon and Marcolphus_, found its way to
England and was used by Copland.

In the last years of Henry VII.'s reign, from 1501 to 1509, a few
books may be mentioned as particularly interesting from their
illustrations. In 1502 De Worde printed the _Ordinary of Chrysten
Men_, a large book with a block-printed title. It was reprinted in
1506. In 1503 appeared the _Recuyles of y^e Hystoryes of Troye_, a
typical example of an illustrated book of the period. There are about
seventy cuts of all kinds, of which twelve were specially cut for the
book: many others were used in the _Morte d'Arthur_, and the rest are
miscellaneous. In 1505 we have the '_Craft to live and die well_,' of
which there is another edition in the following year. In 1506 appears
the _Castle of Labour_, one of the few books entirely illustrated with
cuts specially made for it; in 1508 the _Kalendar of Shepherdes_. The
cuts in these last three books were all ultimately derived from French
originals. An edition of the _Seven Wise Masters of Rome_, of which
the only known copy is imperfect, appeared about 1506, though the cuts
which illustrate it were made before 1500. The fragment contains seven
cuts, but the set must have consisted of eleven. They are very careful
copies of those used by Gerard Leeu in his edition of 1490, and have
lost none of the feeling of the originals.

Three books only of Pynson's production during this period call for
special notice. About 1505 he issued an edition of the _Castle of
Labour_, with very well-cut illustrations closely copied from the
French edition. In 1506 appeared his edition of the _Kalendar of
Shepherdes_, which is illustrated for the most part with cuts obtained
from Vérard, and in 1507 an edition of the _Golden Legend_. Of each of
these books but one copy is known.

For some unknown reason, the accession of Henry VII. acted in the most
extraordinary way upon the English presses, which in that year issued
a very large number of books. Perhaps the influx of visitors to London
on that occasion made an unusual demand; but at any rate a number of
popular books were then issued. Amongst them are _Rychard Cuer de
Lyon_, the _Fiftene Joyes of Maryage_, the _Convercyon of Swerers_,
the _Parliament of Devils_, and many others. Besides these there were,
of course, a number of funeral sermons on Henry VII., many of which
have curious frontispieces. One of these was used again a little
later, for the funeral sermon of the King's mother, the Lady Margaret,
the royal pall and effigy on it being cut out and replaced by an
ordinary pall. This method of inserting new pieces into old blocks,
technically termed plugging, was not much used at this period when
wood-engraving was so cheap. An excellent example, however, will be
found in the books printed for William Bretton, which contain a large
coat of arms. A mistake was made in the cutting of the arms, and a new
shield was inserted, the mantling and supporters being untouched.
Another notable book of that period is Barclay's _Ship of Fools_,
issued by Pynson in 1509. It contains one hundred and eighteen cuts,
the first being a full-page illustration of the printer's coat of
arms. The rest are copies, roughly executed, of those in the original
edition. Another version of this book, translated by Henry Watson, was
issued the same year by Wynkyn de Worde. It is illustrated with a
special series of cuts, which are used again in the later editions. Of
the original edition of 1509 only one copy is known, printed on vellum
and preserved in the Bibliothèque Nationale. Stray cuts from this
series are found in several of De Worde's other books, but may be at
once recognised from the occurrence of the 'fool' in his typical cap
and bells.

About this time and a little earlier the title was very often cut
entire on a block. The _De Proprietatibus_ of _c._ 1496 contains the
first and the most elaborate specimen, in which the words
'Bartholomeus de proprietatibus rerum' are cut in enormous letters on
a wooden board; indeed the whole block was so large that hardly any
copy contains the whole. Faques, Pynson, and others used similar
blocks, in which the letters were white and the background black (one
of Pynson's printed in red is to be found in the _Ortus Vocabulorum_
of 1509), but their uncouthness soon led to their disuse. Numbers of
service books were issued by Pynson and Wynkyn de Worde, profusely
illustrated with small cuts, most of which appear to have been of home
manufacture, though unoriginal in design. It is worth noticing one
difference in the cuts of the two printers. Pynson's small cuts have
generally an open or white background, De Worde's are, as a rule,
dotted in the French style. Since in some of their service books these
two printers used exactly similar founts of type the identification of
their cuts is of particular value. But these service books almost from
the first began to deteriorate. The use of borders was abandoned, and
little care was given to keeping sets of cuts together, or using those
of similar styles in one book. We find the archaic cuts of Caxton, the
delicate pictures copied from French models, and roughly designed and
executed English blocks all used together, sometimes even on the same
page. The same thing is noticeable in all the illustrated books of the
period. De Worde used Caxton's cuts up to the very end of his career,
though in many cases the blocks were worm-eaten or broken. The
peculiar mixture of cuts is very striking in some books. Take as an
example the edition of _Robert the Devil_, published about 1514. No
cut used in it is original: one is from a book on good living and
dying, another from the _Ship of Fools_,[22] a third is from a
devotional book of the previous century, and so on. In the _Oliver of
Castile_ of 1518, though there are over sixty illustrations, not more
than three or four are specially cut for it, but come from the _Morte
d'Arthur_, the _Gesta Romanorum_, _Helias Knight of the Swan_, the
_Body of Policy_, _Richard Cuer de Lion_, the _Book of Carving_, and
so on, and perhaps many are used in several. Indeed, W. de Worde
minded as little about using the same illustrations over and over
again as some of our modern publishers.

For all books issued in the early years of the sixteenth century it
was thought necessary to have at least an illustration on the
title-page, so that practically an examination of the illustrated
books of the period means almost an examination of the entire produce
of the printing press. In time, when the subject has been thoroughly
studied, it will be possible to separate all the cuts into series cut
for some special purpose.

A rather important influence was introduced into the history of
English book illustration about 1518, when Pynson obtained a series of
borders and other material, closely imitated from the designs made by
Holbein for Froben.[23] They are the first important examples of
'renaissance' design used in English books, and their effect was rapid
and marked. Wynkyn de Worde, who in his devices had hitherto been
content to use Caxton's trade-mark with some few extra ornaments,
introduced a hideous parody of one of Froben's devices, poor in
design, and wretched in execution. The series of borders used by
Pynson were good in execution, and their style harmonised with the
Roman type used by him at that time, but with other books it was
different. The heavy English black letter required something bolder,
and unless these borders were heavily cut, they looked particularly
meagre. A very beautiful title-page of this type (here somewhat
reduced) is that in Sir Thomas Elyot's _Image of Governance_, printed
by Thomas Berthelet at London in 1540-41.

[Illustration]

[Illustration: Device of Thomas Berthelet.]

The illustrated books of this period offer a curious mixture of
styles, for nothing could be more opposed in feeling than the early
school of English cuts and the newly introduced Renaissance designs.
The outsides of the books underwent exactly the same change, for in
place of the old pictorial blocks with which the stationers had
heretofore stamped their bindings, they used hideous combinations of
medallions and pillars.

The device of Berthelet is an excellent specimen of the new style.
Despising good old English names and signs, he carried on business at
the sign of Lucretia Romana in Fleet Street, and his device depicts
that person in the act of thrusting a sword into her bosom. In the
background is a classical landscape, and on either side pillars. Above
are festoons, and on ribbons at the head and feet of the figure the
name of the printer and of his sign. Though the cut is uninteresting
it is a beautiful piece of work.

Another result of the new movement was the banishment of woodcuts from
the title-page. Those to Pynson's books have already been noticed, but
lesser printers like Scot, Godfrey, Rastell, and Treveris also made
use of borders of classical design, and gave up the use of woodcuts.
It is extremely curious to notice what excellent effects on a
title-page the printers at this time produced from the poorest
materials. They seem to have understood much better than those of a
later date how to use different sized type with effect, and to make
the whole page pleasing, without attracting too much attention to one
particular part.

[Illustration: Device of Richard Faques.]

Before leaving this early period it will be as well to return a
little, and briefly notice some of the more marked illustrated books
produced by printers other than Pynson and De Worde. The two printers
of the name of Faques, Guillam and Richard, produced a few most
interesting books, and the device of the last named, founded on that
of the Paris printer, Thielman Kerver, is a fine piece of engraving.
The name was originally cut upon the block as Faques, and was so used
in his two first books; but in order to make the name appear more
English in form, the 'ques' was cut out and 'kes' inserted in type.
The last dated book which he printed, the _Mirrour of Our Lady_ of
1530, contains several fine illustrations; that on the reverse of the
title-page depicting a woman of some religious order writing a book,
has at the bottom the letters E. G. joined by a knot, which may be the
initials of the engraver.

The Cambridge press of 1521-1522, from the scholastic nature of its
books, required no illustrations, but it used for the title-page of
the _Galen_ a woodcut border, rather in the manner of Holbein, but
evidently of native production. In 1536 this border reappears in a
Dutch Prognostication printed at Antwerp. The Oxford press of the
early sixteenth century borrowed some of its cuts from De Worde, but a
few, such as the ambitious frontispiece and the four diagrams in the
_Compotus_ of 1519, were original.

John Rastell in his _Pastyme of People_ used a number of full-page
illustrations of the kings of England, coarse in design and execution,
and very remarkable in appearance. Peter Treveris issued a number of
books with illustrations, some of which are well worthy of notice. The
_Grete Herbal_, first published in 1516, contained a large number of
cuts. Jerome of Bruynswyke's _Worke of Surgeri_ has some curious
plates of surgical operations, and though the subjects are rather
repulsive, they are excellent specimens of the wood-cutting of the
period. Treveris' best known book is the _Policronicon_ of 1527,
printed for John Reynes, whose mark in red generally occurs on the
title-page. This title-page is a fine piece of work, and has been
facsimiled by Dibdin in his _Typographical Antiquities_. Some of the
cuts and ornaments used by Treveris passed after his death into the
hands of the Edinburgh printer, Thomas Davidson.

Lawrence Andrewe of Calais, who printed shortly before 1530, also
issued some curious illustrated books. Before coming to England he had
translated the extraordinary book, _The wonderful shape and nature of
man, beasts, serpentes, &c._, printed by John of Doesborch, whom we
have spoken of above. On his own account he issued the _Boke of
distyllacyon of waters_ by Jerome of Brunswick, illustrated with
pictures of apparatus, and _The Mirror of the World_. This is founded
on Caxton's edition, but is much more fully illustrated, the cuts to
the Natural History portion being particularly curious. It is worth
noticing that Andrewe, like some other printers at this time,
introduced his device into many of the initial letters and borders
which were cut for him, so that they can be readily identified when
they occur, after his death, in books by other printers.

After the death of Wynkyn de Worde in 1535, ideas as regards
book-illustration underwent a great change. Theology had become
popular, and theological books were not adapted for illustration. The
ordinary book, with pictures put in haphazard, absolutely died out;
and cuts were only used in chap books, or in large illustrated
volumes,--descriptions of horrible creatures, and the likenesses of
comets or portents on the one hand, chronicles, books of travel, and
scientific works on the other. The difference which we noticed between
W. de Worde and Pynson, the one being a popular printer and the other
a printer of standard works, is distinctly marked in the succeeding
generation. While Wyer, Byddell, and Copland published the popular
books, Grafton and Whytchurch, Wolfe and Day, issued more solid
literature. The old woodcuts passed into the hands of the poorer
printers, and were used till they were worn out, and it is curious to
notice how long in many cases this took. On the other hand, the
illustrations made for new books are, as a rule, of excellent design
and execution, owing a good deal, in all probability, to the influence
of Holbein, who, for the latter portion of his life, was living in
England. As examples of his work, we may take two books published in
1548, Cranmer's _Catechism_, published by Walter Lynne, and Halle's
_Chronicles_, published by Grafton. The first contains a number of
small cuts, one of which is signed in full Hans Holbein, and two
others are signed with his initials H. H. Some writers insist that
these three cuts alone are to be ascribed to him, and that the rest
are from an unknown hand. Besides these small cuts, there is one
full-page cut on the back of the title of very fine work. It
represents Edward VI. seated on his throne with the bishops kneeling
on his right, the peers on his left. From the hands of the king the
bishops are receiving a Bible. The cut at the end of Halle's
_Chronicles_, very similarly executed and also ascribed to Holbein,
represents Henry VIII. sitting in Parliament. Almost all the volumes
of chronicles, of which a number were issued in the sixteenth century,
contain woodcuts, and two are especially well illustrated,--Grafton's
_Chronicles_, published in 1569, and Holinshed's _Chronicles_ in 1577.
The illustrations in the latter book, which Mr. Linton considers to
have been cut on metal, do not appear in the later edition of 1586.
Among the illustrations in the first edition, so Dibdin says, is to be
found a picture of a guillotine.

[Illustration: From Cranmer's _Catechism_, London, 1548.]

Of all the English printers of the latter half of the sixteenth
century, none produced finer books than John Day, who, it has been
suggested, engraved some of the woodcuts which he used. The best
known, perhaps, of his books is the _Book of Christian Prayers_,
commonly called Queen Elizabeth's Prayer Book, which he published in
1569. In a way, this book is undoubtedly a fine specimen of
book-ornamentation, but as it was executed in a style then out of
date, having borders like the earlier service books, it suffers by
comparison with the 'Books of Hours' of fifty years earlier. Another
book of Day's which obtained great popularity was the _History of
Martyrs_, compiled by John Fox. We read on Day's epitaph in the church
of Bradley-Parva--

    "He set a Fox to wright how martyrs runne,
    By death to lyfe. Fox ventured paynes and health,
    To give them light; Day spent in print his wealth."

Considering the popularity of the book, and the number of editions
that were issued, we can hardly imagine that Day lost money upon it.
The illustrations are of varied excellence, but the book contains also
some very fine initial letters. One, the C at the commencement of the
dedication, contains a portrait of Queen Elizabeth on her throne, with
three men standing beside her, two of whom are supposed to be Day and
Fox. Below the throne, forming part of the letter, is the Pope holding
two broken keys.

Initial letters about this time arrived at their best. They were often
very large, and contained scenes, mythological subjects, or
coats-of-arms. A fine specimen of this last class is to be found in
the _Cosmographical Glasse_, by William Cuningham, 1559. It is a large
D containing the arms of Robert, Lord Dudley, to whom the book is
dedicated. Very soon after this some ingenious printer invented the
system of printing an ornamental border for the letter with a blank
space for the insertion of an ordinary capital letter,--a system which
soon succeeded in destroying any beauty or originality which letters
had up to this time possessed.

In conclusion, it will be well to notice the growth of engraving on
metal in England. The earliest specimen that I know of is the device
first used by Pynson about 1496. It is certainly metal, and has every
appearance of having been cut in this country. Some writers have put
forward the theory that the majority of early illustrations, though to
all appearance woodcuts, were really cut on metal. But wherever it is
possible to trace an individual cut for any length of time, we can see
from the breakages, and in some cases from small holes bored by
insects, that the material used was certainly wood. Julian Notary had
some curious metal cuts, but they were certainly of foreign design and
workmanship, and the same may be said of the metal cuts found amongst
the early English service books. The border on the title-page of the
Cambridge _Galen_, usually described as engraved on metal, is really
an ordinary woodcut. It is not till 1540 that we find a book
illustrated with engravings produced in this country. This was Thomas
Raynald's _Byrth of Mankynde_, which contains four plates of surgical
diagrams. In some of the later editions these plates have been
re-engraved on wood. In 1545 another medical book appeared,
_Compendiosa totius delineatio aere exarata per Thomam Geminum_. It
has a frontispiece with the arms of Henry VIII., and forty plates of
anatomical subjects. Other editions appeared in 1553 and 1559, and the
title-page of the last is altered by the insertion of a portrait of
Elizabeth in place of the royal arms. The _Stirpium Adversaria nova
authoribus Petro Pena et Mathia de Lobel_ of 1570 has a beautifully
engraved title-page, and the 1572 edition of Parker's _Bible_ contains
a map of the Holy Land with the following inscription in an ornamental
tablet: 'Graven bi Humfray Cole, goldsmith, an English man born in y^e
north, and pertayning to y^e mint in the Tower, 1572.' Humfray Cole is
supposed by some authorities to have engraved the beautiful portraits
of Elizabeth, the Earl of Leicester, and Lord Burleigh, which appear
in the earlier edition of 1568. Saxton's maps, which appeared in 1579,
are partly the work of native engravers, for at least eight were
engraved by Augustine Ryther and Nicholas Reynolds. In 1591 there are
two books,--Broughton's _Concent of Scripture_, and Sir John
Harington's _Ariosto_. The latter contains almost fifty plates,
closely copied from a Venetian edition, and was the most ambitious
book illustrated with metal plates published in the century. There are
a few other books published before 1600 which contain specimens of
engraving, but none worthy of particular mention.

       *       *       *       *       *

[22] This particular cut, which represents the Fool looking out of a
window while his house is on fire, meant to illustrate the chapter 'Of
bostynge or hauynge confydence in fortune,' is not used in the edition
of 1517. It may, perhaps, occur in the edition of 1509, of which the
unique copy is at Paris.

[23] Sir Thomas More, the friend and employer both of Pynson and
Froben, had probably a good deal to do with this purchase of material.



INDEX


  Abbeville, 147.

  Æsop, Dutch, _Leeu's_, 202;
    English, _Caxton's_, 221;
    German, _Steinhöwel's_, 46;
    Italian, _Brescia_, 131;
    _Florence_, 122; _Milan_, 133;
    _Naples_, 83; _Venice_, 90;
    _Verona_, 85.

  Albi, 144.

  Aldus, 99-104.

  Antwerp, 197, 201 _sq._

  Arndes, S., 67.

  _Art de bien vivre et de bien mourir_, 156-58.

  Augsburg, 37-45, 71-74.

  _Aymon, Les Quatre Fils_, 143.


  _b_ (engraver's signature), 95.

  Back, G., 203, 207.

  Bacon, Sir N., book-plate, 21.

  Baldassaris, H., 140.

  Baleni, G., 126.

  Bämler, J., 41-43.

  Barberiis, P. de, 80.

  Basel, 76-78.

  Bazaleriis, B. de, 135.

  Belcari, M., 125.

  _Belial_, by Jacobus de Theramo, 37, 44;
    Dutch version called _Der Sonderen troest_, 198-200.

  Bellaert, J., 198-201, 205 _sq._

  Benaliis, B. de, 90, 96.

  Benivieni, Domenico, 116.

  Benvenuto, F., 126.

  Bergomensis, Philippus, _De claris mulieribus_, 132.

  Berthelet, T., 236-39.

  Bettini, A., _Monte Santo di Dio_, 86, 109.

  Bevilaqua, S., device, 137.

  _Bible des poetes_, 150.

  Bibles: _English_, 13;
    _German_, 1472, 52;
    1473 and 1477, 38;
    _c._ 1480, 52, 94;
    1483, 53;
    Lübeck, 1494, 67;
    _Italian_, 94;
    _Latin_, 42-line, 3, 5;
    36-line, 7;
    1462, 4, 9, 23, 25.

  _Biblia Pauperum_, Pfister's, 26 _sq._

  Blastos, N., 137.

  Boccaccio, G., _De Claris Mulieribus_, 47, 49;
    _Decamerone_, 96.

  Bodner, _Edelstein_, 2.

  Bonaventura, St., _Deuote Meditatione_, 91 _sq._

  Bonhomme, Jacques, 146.

  Bonhomme, Macé, 170.

  Brandis, L., 50-52.

  Brant, Sebastian, 64-67.

  Breda, J. de, 203.

  Brescia, 131.

  Breydenbach, B. von, 57-60, 162.

  Brocar, A. G., 217.

  Brocar, J., 217.

  Bruges, 196 _sq._

  _Buch der Natur_, 41.

  _Buch der vier Historien_, 26 _sq._

  _Buch der Weisheit_, 49.

  _Buch von den Sieben Todsünden_, 41.

  Buonaccorsi, F., 108, 122.

  Burgkmair, H., 72, 74.


  Caillaut, A., 164.

  Calandro, P., _Arithmetic_, 109.

  _Calendario_, 1476, 32.

  Caliergi, Z. _See_ Kaliergos.

  Cambridge, 241.

  Capcasa. _See_ Codecha.

  Capranica, D., _Arte di ben morire_, 121.

  Caxton, W., 12, 218-25.

  Celtes, C., 68.

  Centenera, A., 212 sq.

  Cessolis, J. de, Chess-book, _Dutch_, 202;
    _English_, 220;
    _German_, 38;
    _Italian_, 117 _sq._

  Chambéry, 144.

  _Champfleury_, 167.

  Chaucer, G., _Canterbury Tales_, Caxton's, 221;
    Pynson's, 227.

  _Chroniques de France_, 161.

  Codecha (or Capcasa) M. di, 92, 94, 98 note.

  Cole, H., 248.

  Cologne, 52.

  Colonna, F., 99.

  Colophons, 22-25.

  Columna, Ægidius, _De regimine principum_, 35.

  _Contrasti_, 128.

  Conway, Sir W. M., quoted, 195 _sqq._

  _Copilacion de leyes_, 1483, 212 _sq._

  Cousteau, G., 156.

  Cranach, L., 76.

  Cremer, H., 5.

  Cremonese, P., 96.


  Dance of Death (Danse Macabre), 160, 169.

  Dante, _Divina Commedia_, Brescia, 1487, 95, 131;
    Florence, 1481, 86;
    1506, 131;
    Venice, 1491, 96.

  Day, J., 245 _sq._

  Delfft, 202, 206.

  Deventer, 203.

  _Dialogus Creaturarum_, 197.

  Dienecker, Jost, 71.

  Dinckmut, C., 49.

  Dino, Fran. di, 83.

  Directors, 25.

  Doesborch, Jan van, 231, 242.

  Dolea, C., 9.

  Dorothea, S., _Rappresentatione_, 128.

  Dupré, Galliot, 166.

  Du Pré, Jean, 141, 145-48, 177, 179-83.

  Durandus, _Rationale_ (1459), 3, 4.

  Dürer, A., 69 _sq._


  Egmont, F., 137, 225.

  _Epistole ed Evangelii_, 116.

  Eustace, G., 192.


  Faques, G. and R., 240.

  Farfengo, B. da, 131.

  _Fasciculus Temporum_, Cologneedd., 52;
    Ratdolt's, 88;
    Louvain and Utrecht, 196.

  Ferdinand II., King of Naples, 17.

  Ferrara, 131.

  Fichet, G., 14.

  _Fifteen O'es_, 223, 226.

  _Fior di Virtú_, Brescia, 131;
    Florence, 120;
    Venice, 93 _sq._

  Florence, 86, 108-31.

  Fogel, J., 5.

  Foresti, G. P., of Bergamo, _Supplementum Chronicarum_, 64 note, 90.

  Fox, John, _Acts and Monuments_ (Book of Martyrs), 246.

  _Freydal_, 70, 72.

  Frezzi, F., _Quatriregio_, 122.

  Furter, Michael, 64, 67.


  Gafori, F., 132.

  _Game of Chess._ _See_ Cessolis, J. de.

  _Gart der Gesundheit_, 56.

  Gérard, P., 147.

  Gerlier, D., 163.

  Giunta, L. A., 94, 98, 104.

  Godard, G., 192.

  _Golden Legend._ _See_ Voragine, J. de.

  Gorgonzola, N., device, 136.

  Gorricio, G., _Contemplaciones sobre el rosario_, 214.

  Gouda, 196-98, 203.

  Graf, Urs, 76 _sq._

  Granjon, R., 170.

  Gregoriis, G. de, 96.

  Grün, Hans Baldung, 76.

  Grüninger, J., 67, 76.

  Gryphius, F., 170.

  Guillireti, S., 136.


  Haarlem, 198-201.

  Han, U., 79 _sq._

  Hardouyn, G., 191.

  Harrington, Sir J., _Orlando Furioso_ (1591), 248.

  Headlines, 35.

  Headpieces, 34.

  _Historiarum veteris Testamenti Icones_, 169 _sqq._

  Holbein, A., 77.

  Holbein, H., 77, 169, 243 _sqq._

  Holl, L., 49.

  Hours, Books of, 17, 174-94.

  Hroswitha, 68.

  Husz, M., 143.

  Hyginus, _Poetica Astronomica_, 88 _sq._

  _Hypnerotomachia_, 99-103, 168.


  Ingold, _Das guldin Spiel_, 38.


  Jenson, N., 9, 11, 17.

  Johann Petri, 116.

  Jornandes, _De Rebus Gothorum_, 72 note.

  Josephus, _De la bataille judaique_, 149 _sq._


  Kaliergos, Z., 104, 137.

  Kerver, J., 103.

  Kerver, T., 163, 191.

  Ketham, J., _Fascicolo de Medicina_, 97.

  Knoblochtzer, H., 53.

  Knoblouch, J., 76.

  Koberger, A., 53, 60.

  Koelhoff, J., 35.


  L., French initial, 153-55.

  Landino, C., 17, 86, 118.

  Lavagna, P., 86.

  Leeu, G., 197 _sqq._

  Le Rouge, P., 148, 153, 158.

  Le Signerre, G., 132.

  Lettou, J., 223.

  Lieseveldt, A. van, 202.

  Lignamine, J. P. de, 80, 82.

  Lorenz, Nicolaus, 86.

  Louis II., Marquis of Saluzzo, 134.

  Louis, St., 134.

  Louvain, 196.

  Lübeck, 50, 67.

  _Lucidario_ (1494), 119.

  Lützelburger, Hans, 169.

  Lydgate, J., _Falle of Princes_, 146.

  Lyndewode, W., _Constitutiones_, 223.

  Lyons, 142 _sqq._, 153, 160, 162, 168-72.


  Machlinia, W. de, 33, 223.

  Maillet, J., 153.

  Mansion, C., 197.

  Marchant, G., 146.

  Martorel, T., _Tirant lo Blanch_, 213 _sq._

  Maximilian, Emperor, 70-72.

  Mazalis, F. de, 136.

  Medici, L. de, 128.

  Meer, Jacob van der, 202.

  Meidenbach, J., 56.

  Menard, J., 156.

  _Mer des Hystoires_, 158.

  Milan, 86, 132.

  _Mirror of Our Lady_ (1530), 241.

  _Mirror of the World_ (1480), 220.

  Mischomini, A., 92, 112, 113, 118, 119, 121.

  More, Sir T., 236 note.

  Morgiani, Lorenzo di, 107.

  Morin, Martin, 162.

  _Morton Missal_, 20, 225, 228.


  Naples, 83.

  Neumeister, J., 54, 144.

  Neyret, A., 144.

  Nider, J., _Expositio decalogi_, 35.

  Novara, B. di, 90.

  _Novelle_, 128.

  Nuremberg, 52 _sq._, 76.

  _Nuremberg Chronicle._ _See_ Schedel.


  Olpe, Bergmann de, 64-67.

  Os, G. van, 203, 206.

  Os, P. van, 206.

  Ovid, _Metamorphoses_, Bruges (1484), 197;
    Lyons (1556), 170;
    Paris, Vérard (1493), 15, 150;
    Venice (1497), 98.

  Oxford, 223 _sq._, 241.


  Pachel, L., 87.

  Pacini, Bernardo di, 121.

  Pacini, Piero di, 116, 122.

  Pagination, 35.

  Paris, 145-161.

  _Paris et Vienne_, 161.

  _Passion of our Lord Jesu_, 230.

  Pasti, Matteo dei, 84.

  Paulus Florentinus, 87.

  Petrarca, F., _De Remediis utriusque fortunae_, 73;
    _Trionfi_, 91 _sq._

  Petri, Johann, 121.

  Pfister, A., 26 _sqq._

  Pigouchet, A., 186 _sqq._

  Plantin, C., 172.

  Politiano, Angelo, 128.

  Polono, Stanislao, 214.

  Presentation copies, 14 _sq._

  Printers' workshop, cuts of, 159 _sq._

  Prüss, Johann, 53.

  Ptolemy, _Cosmographia_, 49.

  Pulci, L., _Morgante Maggiore_, 122.

  Pynson, Richard, 227 _sqq._


  Quentel, H., 52.


  _Rappresentazioni_, 124 _sqq._

  Rastell, J., 239, 241.

  Ratdolt, Erhard, 32, 44, 87-90.

  _Rechtstreit des Menschen mit dem Tode_, 26.

  Regnault, F., 192.

  Reichenthal, Ulrich von, _Conciliumbuch_, 43.

  Rennes, 143.

  Riessinger, S., 82 _sq._

  _Robert the Devil_, 235.

  Rome, 79-83.

  Rouen, 147, 162.

  _Rudimentum Noviciorum_, 50, 158.

  Rupertus de Sancto Remigio, _Türken-Kreuzzüge_, 42.


  Saint Albans, Book of, 223.

  Saluzzo, 134.

  San Pedro, Diego di, _Carcel d'Amor_, 214 _sq._

  Santis, Hier. de, 92.

  Savonarola tracts, 110-16.

  Schäufelein, H., 71, 74.

  Schedel, H., _Liber chronicarum_, 60-64.

  Schenck, P., 143.

  Schobsser, J., 43.

  Schoeffer, P., 3-7, 25, 54, 57 _sq._

  Schönsperger, H., 44, 71.

  Schott, M., 53.

  Scinzenzeler, U., 87.

  Scotus, Oct., 90.

  Sensenschmidt, J., 52.

  _Seven Wise Masters of Rome_, 201.

  Seville, 216.

  Sforza family, 18.

  Simoneta, G., 17.

  Snellaert, C., 203.

  Sorg, A., 42.

  _Speculum vitae Christi_, Caxton's, 222;
    De Worde's, 225;
    Pynson's, 228.

  Stephan, P., _Schatzbehalter_, 60.

  Strassburg, 53, 76.

  Strozzi family, 17.

  _Supplementum Chronicarum._ _See_ Foresti.


  Tailpieces, 35.

  _Terence_, Trechsel's, 162;
    _Eunuchus_, 49, 51.

  Theramo, Jac. de. See _Belial_.

  _Theuerdank_, 71-73.

  _Tirant lo Blanch_, 213 _sq._

  Title-pages, first use of, 30-34.

  Tory, G., 166 _sq._

  Tournes, J., de. 16, 168, 172.

  _Trabajos de Hercules_, 211, 216.

  Trechsel, J., 162.

  Trechsel, M., 169.

  Trepperel, J., 161.

  Turrecremata, Cardinal, _Meditationes_, 79 _sqq._


  Ulm, 45-50.

  Ungut, M., 210, 217.

  Utrecht, 196.


  Valencia, 214, 216.

  Valturius, _De Re Militari_, 84.

  Veldener, J., 196, 204.

  Vellum, use of, 8 _sq._, 16.

  Venice, 87-106.

  Vérard, Antoine, 14-16, 146-158, 183-186.

  Verona, 84 _sq._

  _Vespasian_, Spanish romance of, 216.

  Vienne, 144.

  Villena, E. de. See _Trabajos de Hercules_.

  Vivaldus, J. L., 134.

  Voragine, Jac. de, _Legenda Aurea_, English, 20, 221, 223, 225, 230;
    French, 150;
    German, 37.

  Vostre, Simon, 186.


  _Weisskunig_, 70, 72.

  Westphalia, Johann de, 196, 203.

  Wittenberg, 76.

  Wohlgemuth, Michael, 60, 68.

  Worde, Wynkyn de, 222, 225 _sqq._


  Zainer, Günther, 35, 37 _sqq._

  Zainer, Johann, 45 _sqq._

  Zamora, 211.

  Zarotus, Ant., 132.

  Zinna, 74.

  Zwolle, 202.

_Printed by_ MORRISON & GIBB LIMITED, _Edinburgh_

       *       *       *       *       *


Transcriber's Note

Page 146: changed comma to period ( ... rather than a printer.)





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