• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7375

    The Genius of the German Renaissance: Prints by Albrecht Dürer

    4 December 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 44

    Albrecht Dürer

    Hroswitha offers her Book to Emperor Otto I, plate 2 from Opera Hroswitha Illustris (M., Holl. 243, ill. works XIV, no. 2; S.M.S. 268.2)

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Albrecht Dürer
    Hroswitha offers her Book to Emperor Otto I, plate 2 from Opera Hroswitha Illustris (M., Holl. 243, ill. works XIV, no. 2; S.M.S. 268.2)
    woodcut, 1501, a fine impression of this rare print, from the first book edition, with text verso, before the word Vernerus in the first line was changed to Vernerius in the second edition, published by Sodalitas Celtica (Conrad Celtis), Nuremberg, 1501, watermark Gothic P with a Flower (M. 321), the full sheet, with wide margins, some light soiling and a few small pale foxmarks in the margins, otherwise in excellent original condition
    B. 218 x 147 mm., S. 294 x 200 mm.


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    This is the second of eight woodcut illustrations for a book of collected writings by Roswitha von Gandersheim, published by Conrad Celtis in Nuremberg in 1501. The text consists of eight Lives of Saints, written in verse, as well as a poem glorifying the Emperor Otto. Celtis claimed to have found this medieval manuscript, supposedly written by Roswitha circa 962 AD, in the library of the monastery of Sankt Emmeram in Regensburg. Most of the Nuremberg humanists, whose aim was not only to spread the knowledge of the classical texts but also to re-discover a uniquely German literary tradition, were involved in the publication, including Willibald Pirckheimer and possibly his sister Caritas.

    The book contained illustrations by various hands, and Dürer provided the two introductory plates. The first shows Conrad Celtis, Dürer's humanist friend and the publisher of the book, as he presents it to Frederick III of Saxony. The present subject is the second woodcut, and depicts Roswitha presenting her poem celebrating Otto I to the Emperor himself.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Saleroom Notice

    The provenance for this lot should read:

    Adam Gottlieb Thiermann (L. 2434)
    Kupferstichkabinett der Staatlichen Museen, Berlin (L. 1606)