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Print by Tobias Stimmer: The Death of Lucretia [from Livy's "History of Rome" I.58], represented by Childs Gallery

Tobias Stimmer

Swiss (1539-1584)

The Death of Lucretia [from Livy’s “History of Rome” I.58], c. 1574
Wood cut

Bartsch 64; TIB 64.14. Monogram in plate lower left: ‘TS’; monogrammed in plate lower right: ‘BV’. A fine impression in fine condition aside from a small spot of discoloration on right edge and small tear in upper left corner, trimmed edges with 1/16 inch beyond image borderline. Verso bears printed German text.

Tobias Stimmer created 131 woodcuts for the book ‘Von Ankunfft unnd Ursprung of Römischen Reichs’ [‘Of Ankunfft and origin of the Roman realm’], featuring the German translation of Titus Livius and Lucius Florus’ Latin text ‘Ab Urbe Condita’ (‘From the Founding of the City’). Folio published by Theodosius Rihel in Strasbourg, 1574. Illustrated with 131 woodcuts by Tobias Stimmer framed in various Renaissance cartouches. In the text some woodcut illustrations are used repeatedly to represent different scenes which the printer notes by changing the decorative cartouche that frames the illustration.

The engraver of this woodcut is Hans Bocksberger (1540-1589) – German School – whose monogram is an interlaced BV. Bocksberger was a painter and engraver born in Salzbourg, who lived in Ratisbonne where he died in 1589. He was a pupil of his father Melchior who was also a woodcut artist.

Titus Livius or Livy’s work ‘Ab Urbe Condita’ provides the subjects for the Stimmer woodcuts included in the German translation. Written between 64 BC and AD 12, Livius writes about the History of Rome, from its founding (traditionally dated to 753 BC) through the reign of Augustus, which occurred in Livy’s own time.

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