8vo (155 x 113 mm). 59 leaves, engraved throughout, the portrait with contemporary coloring, fols. [1-3] and  printed on versos only, the rest printed on rectos and versos, irregularly foliated and paginated as follows:  leaves, 38 leaves numbered to 40 (versos and rectos mostly with same foliation, but some paginated); 20 pp.,  leaves. Illustrated throughout, text integrated with the illustrations. Contents: frontispiece, title, portrait of the dedicatee Maximilian Gandolph, Archbishop of Salzburg, by Amling after B. Block, dedication (2 ff.), preface by the author, full-page illustration, poems, blank page, full-page illustration (Last Supper), text (see below). Very occasional light fingersoiling. Contemporary or slightly later presentation binding of gold-tooled red goatskin, sides with wide dentelle border composed of foliate and floral roll-tools and tools of a classical urn and Greek phiale or patera (shallow dish), garlands, and shells, the initials M. A. W. stamped in gold on upper cover and X. A. E. on lower cover, gilt edges, lime green endpapers (upper inner hinge cracked), spine with overall interlace tooling; matching two-part pull-off case in brown calf with simple gold tooling including the phiale tool, the top piece lined in decorative floral paper, the lower piece lined in the same green paper used for the binding endpapers slightly rubbed). Provenance: contemporary presentation inscription on blank recto of portrait leaf, “In Freundschaft und bedacht zu/einer Hochgnädigste Frau [?] Mariana [?] von Xavier Aloys [?]”. ***
Only edition, finely bound copy with colored portrait, of a copiously illustrated engraved German devotional work, published by the engraver, and with text by the Augustine preacher Fortunatus Faber: an early imitation (heretofore unrecognized) of the popular French Tableau de la Croix by François Mazot (1651), which itself was at least in part based on Dutch sources.
Designed to be viewed as double-page openings and thus numbered as single units, the first 40 leaves show on the versos the various stages of Mass, each engraving including at top, perched on clouds, a pair of typological vignettes showing the Old Testament prefiguration and its fulfillment in the life of Christ. The facing pages contain various prayers, flanked by standing figures. While the main illustration sequence of both versos and rectos follows Mazot’s (with an occasionally variant order of the figures on the rectos), the addition of O.T. prefigurations in the cloud vignettes, labeled Vorbedeutung and Erfüllung (prefiguration and realization) depart from the French original, which shows cloud scenes from the N.T. only; and German verse distichs explain each scene, undescribed in Mazot’s version. Prayers and text, in Latin and French in the Mazot prayer book, are entirely in German here.
A central section with four leaves of prayers and Litany, illustrated with Saints and two full-page portraits of Jesus and Mary, is also modeled on the Tableau, as is the final section with the Penitential Psalms and border illustrations of numerous small scenes showing the life of David and various scenes from the Old and New Testaments. The illustrations appear here, however, in a different order. Some but not all of Wening’s illustrations are copies in reverse of the French model.
Like the preliminary leaves, the last 3 leaves are new to this German version, for they allude to contemporary events: the Ottoman siege of Vienna in 1683. The first page shows the victorious Christians routing the Turks in battle, with an angel bearing a banner lettered “Gebett wider den Türcken” (Prayer Against the Turks), and his horn blasting the word Victoria; on the verso the text of a prayer (of St. Augustine) is flanked by two chained Turks, their scimitars broken at their feet.
Michael Wening, a native of Nürnberg, worked in Munich from 1668 as court engraver to Prince-Elector Ferdinand Maria von Bayern.The connection to the French Tableau de la Croix seems to have been unrecognized by scholars and bibliographers, including Praz and Wening’s biographer Gertrud Stetter.
An uncommon witness to the dissemination of religious imagery in early modern European book illustration. OCLC records 6 copies in the US (Yale, Emory, Newberry, U. Chicago, Boston College, Southern Methodist University), at the British Library, and a few in Germany. VD17 23:238964Z; Praz, p. 338 (33 ff.); Graesse VI, 435; cf. G. Stetter, Leben und Werk des bayerischen Kupferstechers (1964); pp. 42 ff. Item #2796
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