Reusner, Nicolaus. Icones imagines virorum literis illustrium.

Strasbourg, Bernard Jobin, 1587.

Small 8vo (107 x 161 mm). (212) ff. Title-page and text within woodcut borders. With 99 woodcut portraits after Tobias Stimmer in the text. Modern red morocco with giltstamped floral borders and spine, leading edges gilt. Marbled endpapers. All edges gilt.


First Latin edition. An important source for the iconography of 16th-century scholarship, recording theologians, reformers, historians, geographers, physicians, scientists, and printers in this biographical dictionary of German and Swiss humanism. Among the mostly authentic portraits are such famous scholars as Amerbach, Apian, Brant, Bucer, Budé, Bugenhagen, Bullinger, Calvin, Copernicus, Cruciger, Erasmus. Gesner, Eobanus Hessus, Hus, Hutten, Justus Jonas, Lazius, Luther, Oecolampadius, Oporinus, Melanchthon, Sebastian Münster, Paracelsus, Pirckheimer, Beatus Rhenanus, Savonarola, Schwenckfeld, Vadian, Vesalius, Zasius, and Zwingli.

Reusner, a German poet, historian and jurist, assembled his original epigraphic portraits and augmented them with remarks collected from others such as Luther, Melanchthon, and Fabricus. Reusner's fame, and thus his access to the luminaries of his day, resulted from his series of verses for the members of the Diet of Augsburg. The very fine woodcuts are the work of Tobias Stimmer and were probably cut into wood by Jobin. Many of the portraits were adapted from pictures collected by Giovio.

Occasional stains and browning, more pronounced in last gathering, and a few minor edge flaws. A wormhole near the bottom edge of most of the first half of the volume (not affecting portraits). A few contemporary annotations in the text. A prettily bound, good copy of a book rarely found complete, from the library of Pierre Bergé (1930-2017).


VD 16, R 1427. BM-STC 734. Adams R 408. Muller III, 592, 175. Ritter 2005. Ritter, Catalogue, 1807. Schottenloher 35735. Andresen III, 76, 141. Cf. Fairfax Murray 362.

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