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Title page, Sayings of Alved more
title pages, woodcuts, page images, typography, borders, animals, people, drunkenness, printing presses, printing, birds, martin luther
This image is the title page of a book by John Lonicerus listing things that Augustin Alveld said or wrote about Martin Luther. Got that? Good!
The woodcut border round the title was made by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472 – 1553) and includes, clockwise from top left, a bird seemingly about to be pecked by smaller birds; a frightened duck; a bear attacking a cow; a stag standing upright on his rear legs facing a dog doing the same; a wolf and a lamb about to hug, or fight, again on their rear legs; a man walking barefoot with a long staff over one shoulder and carrying a small leather bag; a bold monogram IG, or JG, for Johan Grünberg; a stork; two men operating a printing press; a man holding a wine-glass, a tankard, and a small barrel (perhaps), wit bees attacking his head symbolic, one imagines, of a hangover. In a large rectangle in the centre is the title of the book, Biblia nova Alveldensis (a scribal abbreviation is used for the n), the city Wittenbergae or Witternberg, and the date, 1520.
The caption in the 1878 German portfolio book featuring this title page says of it:
Title framed with a woodcut from Johan Grünberg’s office in Wittenberg, 1520, by Lucas Cranach. The beautiful border, usually called the one with the printing press, belongs to the early works of Cranach for book ornamentation, in which his pictures appear as very fine pen drawings with shading in the leaves. These early works all have white backgrounds and are excellent woodcuts.
Titelumrahmung in Holzxchnitt aus Johan Grünbergs Offizin in Wittenberg 1520, von Lucas Cranach.
Diese schöne Einfassung, gewöhnlich die mit der Buchdruckerpresse genant, gehört ze jenen Erstlingswerken Cranachs für Bücherornamentik, in welchen er das Bild nur als ganz feine Federzeichnung mit Schattirung erscheinen lsäst. Diese Erstlingswerke haben auch ausnahmslos weissen Hintergrund und sind vortrefflich in Schnitte. In Originalgrösse.
I found a reference to the actual book here in a note in an introduction to a book of Martin Luther’s works:
Augustin Alveld, so named from the town of is birth, Alveld in Saxony, [was] a Franciscan monk, Lector of his order at Leipzig. It is said of him that what he lacked in learning he made up for in scurrility, so that he himself complaines that his own brother-monks wanted to forbid his writing. John Lonicerus, a friend of [Martin] Luther, published a small book, Biblia nova Alveldensis, Wittenberg, 1520, in which he gathered a long list of Alveld’s terms of reproach used against Luther. To him has been attributed the origin of the undignified style adopted by so many since 1520 on both sides of the controversy about Luther’s teachings. [Works of Martin Luther: With Introductions and Notes, Library of Alexandria, footnote note 1]
Two of the scenes are available as separate images:
THe sixteenth-century printing press