- Museum number
The coat-of-arms of Cardinal Matthäus Lang von Wellenburg; the shield with the arms of Salzburg and Lang, surmounted by a Latin cross above which a cardinal's hat is held by two putti; frontispiece to Ludwig Senfl, 'Liber selectarum cantionum quas vulgo mutetas appellant sex quinque et quatuor vocum', Augsburg: Grimm and Wirsung, 1520.
Colour woodcut printed from seven blocks, the tone blocks in red, blue, green, grey, pink and gold
- Production date
Height: 126 millimetres (Opening)
Height: 274 millimetres
Width: 206 millimetres
Width: 89 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text from Bartrum 1995:
'This has the largest number of blocks of any colour print of the German Renaissance and is therefore of great technical interest. Weiditz would have been aware of Burgkmair's colour prints of 1508-12 (Bartrum 1995, cat. nos 132 and 134; 1895,0122.377; 1854,1020.1330; 1895,0122.379 and 1895,0122.378) from his period of training in the Burgkmair workshop c.1515; but he did not specialise in the technique. Geisberg reproduced one other colour print which he attributed to Weiditz, a portrait of Queen Anne of Hungary of c.1515 printed with one tone block. This is very similar to the colour prints of Hans Wechtlin, whose book illustrations were an important influence on Weiditz's work; but it has nothing of the complexity and sophistication of 1895,0122.409 (Geisberg 1529; attributed by Zijlma to Jost de Negker, see Hollstein, II). The print is also unusual as, unlike other colour woodcuts which were printed as single-leaf cuts, this was designed as a frontispiece to Ludwig Senfl's 'Liber selectarum cantionum quas vulgo mvtetas appellant sex quinque et quatuor vocum', Grimm and Wirsung, Augsburg, 1520, which was the first anthology of motets to be printed in German. On the back of the woodcut is the printed dedication by the printers to Cardinal Lang for whom the book was produced.
Matthäus Lang (1468-1540) came from an Augsburg family. He took his name from the property at Wellenburg, in the vicinity of Augsburg, which he purchased in 1507. A leading diplomat and chief counsellor to the Emperor Maximilian, he became Bishop of Gurk in Kärnten in l504 and was appointed cardinal by Pope Julius II in 1511. He became Archbishop of Salzburg in 1519, the year before this woodcut was made, on which his arms are quartered with those of the see of Salzburg. Lang's interest in and patronage of the artists of Augsburg is seen in various woodcuts he commissioned from Hans Burgkmair; these include a group of prints of St Radian (as well as coins and medals of the same subject: see 1949,0411.4051) and two large heraldic woodcuts, one printed in two colours, of c.1510 and c.1515 (Hollstein, 815-6; see T. Falk, 'Holzschnitte Hans Burgkmairs für Matthäus Lang', in 'Festschrift Otto Schäfer', edited by M. von Arnim, Stuttgart, 1987, pp. 32ff). Lang also commissioned a design for a seal in about 1521 from Weiditz (British Museum; Rowlands 474). This is the only known loose impression of the print; it was found by Edwin Tross of Paris, bound in with a book of 1582 (see Zahn's 'Jahrbücher für Kunstwissenschaft', iv, p.382). In addition to the three impressions in copies of the book in Berlin, Stuttgart and Munich recorded by Dodgson and Falk (op. cit., p. 34, n. 34), there are also two outline impressions in copies of the book in the Music Room, British Library (K.9.a.24 and Hirsch 111.1099), and, according to correspondence of H. Koegler to Dodgson in 1913, a very fine copy with the colour print is in the library of the College at Porrentruy, Switzerland (Schrank der Frühdrucke, sign. 1520). Further impressions survive in the fifteen copies of the book in European collections quoted in 'Répertoire international des sources musicales: Einzeldrucke vor 1800', viii, edited by O.E. Albrecht and K. Schlager, Kassel, 1980, p. 51.'
Literature: G. Bartrum, 'German Renaissance Prints', exh. cat., BM, London 1995, no.164; E. Upper & E. Giselbrecht, 'Glittering Woodcuts and Moveable Music: Decoding the Elaborate Printing Techniques, Purpose and Patronage of the Liber selectarum cantionum (1520)', in Senfl-Studien I, ed. Birgit Lodes and Stefan Gasch, Wiener Forum für ältere Musikgeschichte 5 (Tutzing: Hans Schneider, 2012), pp. 17-67.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1995 Jun-Oct, BM, 'German Renaissance Prints, 1490-1550', no.164
2015-16 Nov-Jan, BM, "German Renaissance Colour Woodcuts"
- Associated titles
Associated Title: Liber selectarum cantionum (Augsburg 1520)
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number