1518 St. Jerome Letters. Superb Woodcuts By Hans Springinklee. Very Rare For Sale
MAGNIFICENT WOODCUT TITLES BY HANS SPRINGINKLEE
ST. JEROME. [Hieronymus, Santo] Epistole sancti Hieronymi
Lyon, per magistrum Iacobu Saccon, 1518.
Folio. 3 parts in one vol. ff. , CXVII, ; CXLII; CLIX, . A-B8, C10, a-o8, p6; 2a-2r8, 2s6; 3a-3v8. (lacking last blank). Roman letter. Titles printed in red and blank within four superb full page woodcut borders of St. Jerome in his study within ornate architectural frame, with the monogram HSK (Hans Springinklee), small column width woodcut of St. Jerome in his study with a beautiful large white on black ‘white vine’ initial at the beginning of the life of St. Jerome, white on black initials in various sizes, early library stamp in lower blank margin of first title, the occasional contemporary marginal annotation and pointing hand. Light age toning, the odd leaf very lightly browned, first title with small tears in lower blank margin, two tiny holes in blank outer margin, two small ink splashes, small worm trail in lower blank margin of first three gatherings, well away from text, minor marginal water-staining to last few leaves, the odd marginal thumb mark or spot. A very good, well margined copy, crisp and clean on thick high quality paper, in slightly later heavily speckled calf, spine very sympathetically and expertly rebacked to match.
EXCEPTIONALLY RARE ON THE MARKET. ABPC RECORD NO COPY OF THIS WORK AT sale.
WORLDCAT LOCATES ONLY ONE COPY IN US LIBRARIES, AT THE RYAN MEMORIAL LIBRARY.
A monumental post incunable edition of the complete letters of St. Jerome, beautifully printed in Lyon by Jacques Sacon on behalf of Aton Koberger, with four stunning full page woodcut title portraits of St. Jerome in his study by the renowned Renaissance artist Hans Springinklee, who was Durer’s student.
Jacques Sacon, the printer of this work, was the agent in Lyon of the extraordinary printing house of Koberger. Anton Koberger (c. 1445-1513) began his career as a goldsmith. He achieved a position of great importance in Nuremberg, and became the most successful printer and publisher of his day printing more than 220 books, most of which were large folios. More than any of his contemporaries, he developed an extensive international business in book-selling, operating branches in Paris, Lyon, Milan, Venice, Passau, Vienna, and Cracow. Anton Koberger was also Albrecht Dürer’s godfather, and was particularly renowned for his use of woodcut illustration in his works and for developing illustrators to illuminate his works, (the most famous being the Nuremberg Chronicle the greatest illustrated incunable, and the printing of Durer’s Apocalypse).
STUNNING WOODCUTS BY HANS SPRINGINKLEE, DURER’S PUPIL.
Hans Springinklee was one of those illustrators trained by Durer who later went on to produce woodcuts for Koberger. The influence of Durer in the fine work of this large St. Jerome is clear, and it is a classic example of the Northern Renaissance style inspired and created by Durer. In terms of composition it differs quite distinctly from Durer’s famous representation of the same scene, though Springinklee has used some of the same paraphernalia including the same sand timer and rosary on the wall, that Durer also used. However the complex folds of St. Jerome’s cloak, the delicate use of perspective and the detailed realism of the image are all reminiscent of Durer.
AN IMPORTANT EDITION OF ST. JEROME’S LETTERS
Perhaps the greatest Christian scholar of his age, St. Jerome (ca. 340-420) was a translator, scriptural commentator, biographer, and historian who is chiefly remembered for his creation of the Latin Vulgate version of the scriptures, a translation that represents an enduring contribution to Western culture. He frequently participated as one of the most heated of partisans in various theological controversies, and his disputations and protestations in connection with such debates comprise a good deal of the text of the letters. His work was of fundamental importance to the humanists of the Renaissance.
“Erasmus had published his edition of Jerome’s letters in 1516,.... It was a work he had been planning for years and he takes great pains to point out to you what a great task it has been to complete. ‘I had worked myself to death that Jerome might live. It cost Jerome less to write his works than for me to restore and explain them’. Erasmus lectured on Jerome at Cambridge during his formative stay there. Jerome is a constant reference point for Erasmus over nearly 40 years of study. He leads every list of heroes of the Church for Erasmus and is brought forward as an authority to win argument after argument. He was the one figure writing in Latin who could match or even better his beloved Greeks. As he [Erasmus]wrote to Pope Leo X ‘I saw that Jerome was so completely the first among Latin theologians that we might call him the one person worthy of that name. What a fund in him of Roman eloquence, what skill in languages, what a knowledge of Antiquity and of all history, what a retentive memory, what a perfect familiarity with mystic literature, above all, what zeal, what a wonderful inspiration of divine breath. He is the one person who at the same time delights by his eloquence, teaches by his erudition and ravishes by his holiness.” Simon Goldhill, Who needs Greek?.
Baudrier XII: 348-350 (reproducing the magnificent woodcut title). Gultlingen p. 251:189. Not in BM STC Fr. C16th.
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