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c1560 Woodcut by Hans Weiditz - Medieval Life: Adultery and Peeping Toms

By Petrarch / Hans Weiditz

Trimmed Leaf

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Trostspiegel: Germany, c1560.

Fine medieval woodcut by Hans Weiditz (1495-1537) from a very good impression of Petrarch's 'Trostspiegel' (this edition circa 1560). Later hand color.

Hans Weiditz's woodcuts were often confused with those of Durer and Burgkmair.

Weiditz trained in Strasbourg and in 1518 he was a journeyman with Hans Burgkmair in Augsburg. Few drawings by him have survived; Weiditz's work fell quickly into obscurity owing to the fact that only two of his woodcuts are signed. Identification by Rottinger of Weiditz as the 'Petrarch Master', so called after the illustrations to that book.

Weiditz was not only the most versatile but the busiest of the illustrators of his time... and one of the little group of outstanding woodcut designers of the German Renaissance with a highly individualized style and a most personal outlook on life.

More than any of his fellows he knew how to break up the surfaces of his blocks into rich tapestries... and to keep the notation of fact interesting and piquant. Passing by these more technical and aesthetic aspects of his work, we can find unfailing pleasure in the reports of life and manners. He might almost be claimed as the first of the social caricaturists, the first artist who with full command over his printing surface devoted himself to subject matter which in later years was to be so variously handled by such men as Hogarth, Moreau, Chodowiecki, Daumier, and Gavarni.

[HANS WEIDITZ: A STUDY IN PERSONALITY, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, W. M. I., JR. ]

Condition: As shown, on paper in good condition with margins trimmed to woodcut borders, uncolored woodcut to verso (trimmed to foot) and minor signs of aging. 16.2 x 10.2 cm.
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