Balthasar  Jenichen

Balthasar Jenichen, Mathias Flacius, engraving, 1571

Portrait of Mathias Flacius

Bartsch 23 [as an unknown printmaker, "Graveur Inconnu," under Monogramme B.  B.I.  B-I (Nr 37, Monogrammes), in Le Peintre Graveur, 9eme Volume 1808, page 538]; Hollstein 202 (as "Balthasar Jenichen" in German Engravings, Etchings and Woodcuts 1400-1700, Volume XVB, page 16)

burin engraving, 1571, a very fine impression of this rare print, printed cleanly and fully, before numerous scratches and blemishes on the plate*, on medium-weight laid paper, slightly trimmed (laterally, just along or outside the platemark, above and below, several mm outside the platemark), some localized soiling and foxing,  mounted on a backing sheet with numerous old annotatitions, otherwise in remarkably good condition

Provenance: a private collection (New York, New York)

S. 96 x 76 mm., P. 88 x 75 mm.

One of Balthasar Jenichen's remarkable lifetime portraits of the major Reformation personalities in Germany, conceived at the height of his career, this rare early engraving represents Mathias FlaciusAlthough originally Croatian, Matthias Flacius Illyricus was a notable theologian and scholar at the forefront of the period.  He studied with Martin Luther, and notably published Ecclesiastica historia (also known as the Magdeburg Centuries), which would serve as the basis for all modern church history.

The printings of this remarkable engraving are not known, although the impressions that we have located all show the same numerous alterations.*

*  We have only located three impressions of this rare print: The Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge); Germanisches Nationalmuseum (Nürnberg); Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg (Coburg).