Superb luxury copy

Krauss, Johann Ulrich. Heilige Augen- und Gemüths-Lust: vorstellend alle Sonn- Fest- und feyertägliche nicht nur Evangelien, sondern auch Epistelen und Lectionen, jene historisch, diese auch emblemmatisch, und mit curieusen Einfassungen, in vielen Kupffer-Stücken von frembder und gantz neuer Inventionem: so wohl zur Kunst-Ubung [sic] als Unterhaltung Gottseeliger Betrachtungen, wie auch Vermehrung der Kupffer-Bibelen und Ausszierung aller christlichen Postillen dienlich.

Augsburg, Johann Ulrich Krauss, [1706].

Folio (336 x 205 mm). Contemporary speckled calf over paste-boards, sides panelled with single gilt fillet, spine richly gilt with red morocco gilt lettering-piece, gilt edges. 2 parts in one volume. I: Xylographic half title, letterpress title with vignette, four-page preface with head-piece and initial, one page index of holy days, full-page allegorical engraving of the Church and 70 plates (numbered). II: Letterpress title with vignette, full-page engraving of the apostles and their symbols, and 50 plates (numbered 71-120); all the engravings finely coloured throughout with some gold heightening, all by a contemporary hand; the 120 plates show over 240 small emblems with mottoes. The plates printed on thick card paper, interleaved.


First edition and a superb luxury copy of Krauss's emblematic interpretation of Biblical scenes entitled "Holy Delight of the Eye and Heart", which represents one of the high points of the Baroque period in Southern Germany. All the engravings are specially printed on thick card paper and beautifully coloured in gouache and watercolour, heightened in gold.

Johann Ulrich Krauss (1655-1719) was one of the most successful engravers and publishers at Augsburg in the latter part of the 17th century. This monumental emblem book was conceived as a suite to his famous Picture Bible or Bilderbibel (1698-1700) and follows the same illustrative formula, in which the upper portion of each plate contains an illustration of a Bible scene and the lower portion an engraved circular emblem. Each plate is devoted to a different Saint's day, and each emblem is printed within an elaborate cartouche or frame (the frames serve to emphasise the painterly aspect of these coloured scenes), itself often incorporating small medallion vignettes or emblems. In his artistic style Krauss's ornamental engravings - represented here by the varied and imaginative emblem cartouches - were widely influential in Germany, through their use as models for cabinetmakers, woodworkers and other craftsmen. In this coloured copy, those engravings with frames particularly serve to emphasise the painterly aspect of the scenes.

The artistic colouring of this copy adds expressive details and nuances of light, hue and shadow not supplied by the engravings themselves. It was likely executed, possibly under the artist's direction, either for presentation to a high-ranking patron or on commission for a wealthy customer. To avoid bleed-through of the colour the plates were specially printed on heavy, card-like paper, making this copy nearly twice as thick as ordinary copies. With its characteristic German Baroque palette of delicate pinks and blues and rich greens, enhanced by sparingly but gorgeously applied touches of gold, the colouring transforms many of the pictorial illustrations into veritable miniature paintings.

A coloured copy of Krauss's Bilderbibel, also on thick paper, is recorded (cf. Tenschert catalogue XLVIII, 98), but we can trace no other coloured copies of the present edition. In his 1933 study of the illustration of the Bilderbibel and its suites, Otto Reichl made no mention of any coloured copies.

Occasional minor marginal soiling or paper discoloration, small marginal repairs to 2 text leaves, plate 32 with small light stain, small tear to head of spine; else fine.

Praz, p. 389. Landwehr, German 390. Faber du Faur, 1849. Thieme/Becker XXI, 440. Otto Reichl, Die Illustrationen in vier geistlichen Büchern des Augsburger Kupferstechers, Johann Ulrich Krauss. Studien zur deutschen Kunstgeschichte 294 (Strasbourg 1933).

Art.-Nr.: BN#56962 Schlagwörter: , ,