The present Hollstein German volume includes book illustrations in chronological order by Wolf Traut. He clearly worked closely with several Nuremberg publishers and the names of Johann Weissenburger and Hieronymus Höltzel recur. The earliest woodcuts to be attributed to him are for a volume published in 1503. Among the latest are the extensive set of woodcuts for the Hallesche Heiligtumsbuch published in 1520 and commissioned by Cardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg. With this arrangement it is clear to see the “progress” of Traut's work and the influence of Dürer. An early singly issued print, such as St Onuphrius, could even be mistaken for one of the previous century. Evidently the skills of the Formschneider is of considerable significance for the overall appearance and quality of a print. The professional blockcutter and printer Hieronymus Andreae was clearly an outstanding craftsman and worked with Dürer and Johann Neudörfer and was employed by Emperor Maximilian I.
In addition, in this volume, there are small prints dated 1540-1543 by the Monogrammist MT, apparently identified as Martin Treu. His work has been studied by Bartsch (Le Peintre graveur, IX, Vienna 1808, pp. 68-78), Passavant and Wessely. These prints fit the scale of "the Little Masters" whose prints are "usually somewhere between the size of a postage stamp and a playing card" (quoted from The World in Miniature: Engravings by German Little Masters, 1500-1550, edited by Stephen H. Goddard, University of Kansas, Spencer Museum of Art, 1988). The first printmakers to create such prints came from Nuremberg and the best known are the Beham brothers and Georg Pencz. The artist catalogued here is evidently of a later generation and his work is comparable particularly with Heinrich Aldegrever (active in Paderborn and Soest).
Compiler: Dieter Beaujean
Editor: Simon Turner