- Museum number
- Object: Göttlicher Schrifftmessiger, woldenckwürdiger Traum, welchen der Hochlöbliche...Churfürst zu Sachsen...dreymal nach einander gehabt hat...
A broadside on the centenary of the German Reformation and a prophetic dream of Friedrich III of Saxony on Luther's posting of the 95 Theses in Wittenberg; with a woodcut showing on the left Martin Luther writing with a large pen on a church door, the end of his pen poking through the ears of a lion, knocking off the tiara of Pope Leo X; with letterpress title, but wanting letterpress text in German and Latin.
- Production date
Height: 284 millimetres (printed area)
Height: 242 millimetres (woodcut)
Width: 347 millimetres (printed area)
Width: 347 millimetres (woodcut)
- Curator's comments
- The print was produced in 1617 in Leipzig, Saxony, one of the major centres of seventeenth-century printing in Europe. It shows a dream of Luther's protector, Frederick the Wise, The Elector of Saxony, in which he foresees Luther’s central role in the re-shaping of Christendom. It is an early example of the centenary celebration for it commemorates the moment in 1517 when Martin Luther publicly challenged the practices of the Catholic Church by publishing his 95 theses, supposedly by nailing them to the door of the Castle Church at Wittenberg in Saxony. By 1617, these theses, or arguments, were interpreted as the basis of the Reformation, the huge movement of protest that divided western Christianity. At that date, European Protestants faced an uncertain and dangerous future, because by then the political tide had turned against them. The religious war, now known as the Thirty Years War, broke out the following year. The Pope in Rome had marked the New Year with a public prayer for the reunion of Christendom and the eradication of heresy. In seeking to remind themselves of their past successes, Protestants looked back at their history and at the key role played in it by Martin Luther and decided to mark the centenary anniversary of the first great public episode in Luther’s epic challenge to the authority of Rome. Broadside prints such as this were made to appeal to a popular market; there were also commemorative ceremonies and processions, and permanent souvenirs such as medals, commemorative coins, paintings and printed sermons.
The chronogram (=1568) is wrong. For an engraved version of the composition in the British Museum, see 1914,0209.20. A painting of 1643 based on the woodcut by Jan Barentsz. Muyckens, who was active in Amsterdam, c.1637-1648, is in the Museum Catharijneconvent, Utrecht ( inv.no RMCCs57); see, http://www.refo500.nl/ar/exhibitions/item/96
Aditional lit: Harms (ed), Coburg exh.cat, 1983, no.44a.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2010 Sept - December, BM, History of the World
2014 23 Apr-01 Aug, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi, History of the World 2014-15 13 Dec-15 Mar, Nat. Palace Museum, Taipei, History of the World
2015 18 Apr–28 Jun, Tokyo Met. Art Mus. History of the World
2015 14 Jul–6 Sep, Kyushu National Museum, Dazaifu, Hist. of World
2015-16 20 Sep-11 Jan, Kobe City Mus. History of the World in 100 Objects'
2016 13 Feb-18 Jun, Perth Nat.Mus. of WA History of the World
2016-17 08 Sep-29 Jan, Canberra Nat. Mus. of Aus. History of the World
2017 Sept- Nov: London BM, G90a, Luther
- Associated events
- Associated Event: Posting of the 95 Theses 1517
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number