Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Triumph Of Maximilian I

Anyone familiar with my recent work knows that I'm very keen on scrolls and banners! In Sheffield last month, I went to an exhibition of woodcuts by Hans Burgkmair (and others) dating from around 1512 and which were commissioned by the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I as a means of commemorating himself after he died. It seems that Maximilian I was obsessed with his own death and immortality. One of the most amazing features of these prints - for me - was the scrolls and banners portrayed in them:

As part of the exhibition, there was a book of the prints available to view, one published by Dover Paperbacks in 1964 and harder to find than hen's teeth. (I did manage to find a copy on ABE books but it has subsequently gone "missing" in the post, which, as we all know, means that it has been stolen.)

Having searched extensively online for the book in PDF or similar format, I stumbled across the whole 60 or so pages on the website of the University of Graz with the added bonus of them having been coloured at some point, the woodcuts in the exhibition and the book being black and white.

The prints are amazing and well worth looking at, especially if you have an interest in European history during this time. There is much here that will be appearing in my future works.