I wish I had known about this site earlier. The “Rare Book Room”.


Many of my posts share findings about two particular prints published in Albrecht Dürer’s 2nd edition of the Painters Manual 1538 (Unterweysung der Messung). In order to see these woodcuts in relation to their descriptive texts and their ‘context’ within the book, I had to travel to Melbourne, Nürnberg, Munich and Vienna.

I could have had a very good ‘preview’ of this book on the “Rare Book Room” site where a good quality, page by page, reproduction of the Manual is available.

On the intro page of this fantastic site it says: ‘The Rare Book Room site has been constructed as an educational site intended to allow the visitor to examine and read some of the great books of the world.’ And it is a pleasure to turn the pages of these special books.

You can see the two prints by Dürer I referred in some of my posts in the rare bookroom here:

The Draughtsman of the Lute and A draughtsman drawing a reclining woman.

My blogs about the ‘Lute’ print are:
‘Did Albrecht Dürer get it wrong, a surprise discovery in one of his prints’
‘Ist Albrecht Dürer ein Fehler unterlaufen eine überraschende Entdeckung in seinem Holzschnittes der Zeichner der Laute’
‘Further to Albrecht Dürer woodcut The draughtsman of the Lute’

My blogs about the ‘Reclining woman’ are:
‘A page out of Dürer’s own copy of the Painters Manual’
‘Male or Female? One of Dürer’s prints in the context of gender, feminism and other theories.’
‘Dürer lost in translation? German Klartext and English translation of one page of Dürer’s handwritten manuscript of his 2nd edition of the painters manual’

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2 Responses to “I wish I had known about this site earlier. The “Rare Book Room”.”


  1. 1 Rob 27/03/2013 at 6:08 AM

    Hello- I recently picked up a period copy of the “Lute Drawing” bearing the 1530 date- is this for sure a pirated copy? It printed on wire laid paper-
    Thanks!

    • 2 virtualterritory 31/03/2013 at 9:56 AM

      Dear Rob,
      Thank you for your comment.

      I am certain as I can be, that the print of the ‘Draughtsman drawing a lute’ showing the date of 1530 is not by Albrecht Dürer.
      Dürer’s original appears in both the 1527 and 1538 editions of his Painters Manual showing in both cases with the date of 1525. Significant will be that he passed on in 1528 and any work showing a later date is casting doubt on its credentials.

      While appearing in these books, I have also seen a beautiful individual copy of the 1525 lute print in the print room of the Germanisches National Museum in Nürnberg, Germany.

      A reference to this 1530 print showing to be a ‘Kopie’, is found in Albrecht Dürer, Das druckgraphische Werk, bei Reiner Schoch. In volume three about Dürer’s Buchillustrationen on page 266, you will find further details about this ‘copy’. This ‘Kopy’ appears in the version of Dürer’s manual that was translated into Latin and printed in three editions between 1532 and 1535 in Paris. It is likely, that again individual prints from this ‘new’ woodblock will have found their way into the market.

      Finally, on closer inspection the 1530 print appears – especially the point pattern of the lute itself – much more ‘cleaned – up’, when compared with Dürer’s original.

      I hope this helps?


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