Very Scarce Account of The Crucifixion

Stengel, Karl. Theatrum D.N. Iesu Christi Atrociorum cruciatuum C. Lectori Spectatori propositum opera R. P. D. Caroli Stengely Abbatis Anhusani.

❧ [Augsburg?]: [Andreas Aperger?], MDCLVIII [1658]. In Latin. 198 × 152 mm (7.975 × 6 in.). 4to. [8], 153, [11] pp. Engraved title page. Woodcut tail-pieces. Woodcut illustration accompanies the Bomplani Elogium de morte on page [154]. Title page engraving signed: MK. invent. [and] R.C.F.” Final engraving signed: G.A. Wolffgang” [i.e. George Andreas Wolfgang (1631–1716)]. Signatures: )(4 AZ4, including 12 leaves of engraved plates. Imprint from VD17. Former owner’s inscription on title leaf: Inservitus Biblioteca Fratum MM. Recoll: Ref:D: Salmunster: 1673.” Rectangular blue ink stamp on title page verso: Biblioth. FF. Min. Conv. Salmunster.” Circular purple ink stamp on title page verso: Bibliothek Kloster Frauenberg Fulda.” Ink cross-hatching, perhaps an attempt at censorship, on the final engraving by Wolfgang. Very Good. Bound in vellum over stiff boards. Covers soiled, with traces of former ties. Faded manuscript spine title; trace of a removed shelf mark at head of spine; shelf mark on green tape at foot of spine. All edges stained blue. Old shelf marks on front pastedown. Title page has some spotting and stains.

A detailed account of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, beginning in the Garden of Gethsemane and ending with his entombment. The author offers many specifics, including documenting the footprints left in the Kidron Valley, several parts on the arrest and trial, describing the cross used for the crucifixion, an account of the earthquake that is supposed to have happened at the moment of Jesus’s death, and a description of the tomb where the body was laid. Numerous citations and annotations are printed in the margins. Interspersed are prayers in verse by the Jesuit Hebraist and philologist Ignazio Bompiani. The final Bompiani verse, a death elegy also by Bompiani, is illustrated with a half-page woodcut.

With a magnificent, engraved title leaf. An engraving accompanies the dedication and depicts the dedicatee, Joachim von Gravenegg, the abbot of Fulda. Ten engravings illustrate the Way of the Cross of Christ. The scenes include flagellation, carrying the cross, the nailing of Jesus to the cross, and Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus placing the body in the tomb. The title engraving is attributed to Matthäus or Melchior Küsel; two other plates are signed by Georg Andreas Wolfgang.

In the final engraving, the clothes of one of the men carrying Jesus into the tomb are falling off, leaving his glutes fully exposed. A previous reader or owner has taken ink and added embellishments, perhaps to partially censor this somewhat vulgar illustration.

Karl Stengel (1581–1663) joined the Benedictine Order and took his vows in 1596 at St. Ulrich and Afra in Augsburg. He was at the Abbey of Anhausen der Brenz by 1626, and in 1629 he was appointed Abbot of the monastery. The abbey was located in Wurttemberg, a historical German province that was devastated by the fighting and famine that occurred during the Thirty Years War. As a result of this upheaval, Stengel served only intermittently, and was expelled (for the first time) in 1632. He returned to attempt to rebuild the monastery, but with the war still raging, was forced to flee a second and third time in 1638 and 1641, respectively. Stengel’s troubled time at Anhausen may have inspired him to dedicate the present work to Joachim von Gravenegg, the abbot of Fulda, who was celebrated for successfully rebuilding the monastery there during the final years and aftermath of the war.

Though lacking an imprint, the dedicatory epistle is typesigned September 1658, in Augsburg, where Stengel had permanently resided since 1647. The same year, Stengel’s Emblemata Iosephina was published under the Augsburg imprint of Veronica Aperger, the widow of Andreas Aperger. A comparison of the typography strongly suggests both works were produced at the same shop. Andreas Aperger died late in October 1658, thus Theatrum could have been one of his final works, or one of the first works of his successor, Veronica.

No copies in US or UK libraries reported by Oclc.

Scarce in the trade. None for sale at the time of cataloguing. The last appearance at auction was 1968 for a copy lacking two plates.

Vd17 39:127992u


In stock

Stock Code: 1459A17 Collection: Catalogue:


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