After Jörg Breu the Elder (Augsburg, c. 1475-1537)
The composition of this canon-leaf stands out among the many similar images of the Crucifixion; it is apparently unique insofar as the figure of St. John is turned towards the cross, showing the Christ’s favorite apostle in profile. Jörg Breu’s print (New Hollstein: Jörg Breu the Elder – Jörg Breu the Younger, pp. 58ff., no. 38) was first used in a Constance Missal from 1504, to be then re-used in an Augsburg Missal of 1505. The present print follows all the main features of Breu’s invention and copies them in a slightly simplified form. It was already used in the same year as Breu’s original, interestingly south of the Alps in the Missale Speciale printed by Luca Antonia Giunta in Venice in 1504. The poor impression in the Stadtbibliothek Augsburg published in the Heitz series, however, indicates that the block must have remained in use for a considerable time period.
The present sheet is a very fine impression, impeccably printed on vellum and clearly deriving from the 1504 printing.
Victor Masséna, Prince d’Essling, Les Missels imprimés à Venise de 1481 à 1600, Paris 1896, pp. 271f., 217;
Richard Schmidbauer, Staats-, Kreis- und Stadtbibliothek Augsburg, Strassburg 1909 (Paul Heitz, Einblattdrucke des fünfzehnten Jahrhunderts, vol. 18), pp. 8f., plate no.6 (illustrating a very late impression from the worn and damaged block).