Early German prints are on exhibition in the Print Room of the Fogg Museum. Among the engravings shown are examples of the work of Master E. S. and Martin Schongauer, and a large number of splendid impressions from Albrecht Durer's most important plates, including the St. Jerome in his Cell, the Knight, Death and the Devil, and Melancholia. Durer's followers,--the Little Masters, the Behams, Altdorfer, Aldegrever, and Pencz, are represented by typical engravings.
The woodcuts shown include three cuts from one of the most popular and most important of the block-books,--the Apocalypse. They are colored by hand in the characteristic manner in this early time. A number of printed books with woodcut illustrations, lent by the Widener Library, show one of the most important uses of the woodcut and represent the art of book-illustration as it was practiced in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries in Germany.
The advance made in woodcutting when the designs of great artists were cut on the block by woodcutters who had gained skill by years of experience, is shown in examples from the work of Durer and Holbein. There are prints from the great series of woodcuts designed by Durer,--the Apocalypse, Passion, Small Passion, and Life of the Virgin,--and from Holbein's Dance of Death and Old Testament.