Augsburg: Michael Manger, 1567.
1st Edition. Hardcover. Very Good. Item #003739
STOER, Lorenz. Geometria et Perspectiva. Hierjnn etliche zerbrochne Gebew, den Schreiner[n] jn eingelegter Arbait dienstlich. auch vil andern Leibhabern zu sonder[n] gefallen geordnet unnd gestelt. Augsburg: Michael Manger, 1567. 12 leaves (complete). Chiaroscuro woodcut title-page printed in black and light brown, 11 woodcut plates, colophon on final plate. The woodcut title-leaf slightly trimmed at fore-margin with loss of a few millimeters of ornamental border, minor occasional spotting and marginal browning; plate 1 with short tear at foot, plate 2 creased, plate 3 with small spot of abrasion. [Bound after: II.] LENCKER, Hans. Perspectiva in welcher ein leichter Weg allerley Ding es seyen Corpora Gebew. Ulm: Johann Meder for Stephan Michelspacher, 1617. , 43  pp., title-page with engraved border, engraved portrait of Lencker by Kilian, dated 1616, on leaf )(6v, woodcut illustrations and diagrams (one double-page) throughout text. Very little browning, generally quite bright and clean. [Bound before: III.] SCHILDKNECHT, Wendelin. Harmonia in Foratalitiis construendis, defendendis & appugnandis. Stettin: Johann Valentin Rheten, 1652. Fragment of 10 engraved plates only. [Bound first: IV.] FUGGER, Martin. Von der Gestüterey. Frankfurt am Main: Nicolaus Roth, 1611. , 129 leaves, including 39 woodcut illustrations by Jost Amman in text and large printer's device at the end, lacking the title-leaf. Text browned throughout.
Four works in one volume. Folio (295 x 189 mm). Bound in late 17th-century sheepskin, boards and spine blind-ruled, spine titled in blind, red-sprinkled edges, original endpapers (leather rubbed and scratched, spine ends damaged, a few wormholes, corners scuffed, inner hinges repaired). Provenance: illegible signature to front pastedown; from a Northern German private collection by descent. ----
I. FIRST EDITION, SECOND PRINTING. "In 1567, twelve years after the receipt of the royal privilege, a book did finally appear under Lorenz Stoer's name entitled Geometria et perspectiva - a kind of book. It amounts to a title page and eleven woodcuts. There is no text at all. In fact there is no typography. The title page says in xylographic roman capitals, 'Geometria et Perspectiva,' followed by, in xylographic black letter, 'Hierinn Etliche // Zerbrochne Gebew / den Schreinern // in eingelegter Arbeit dienstlich / auch // vil andern Liebhabern zusondern // gefallen geordnet unnd // gestelt / Durch // Lorenz Stöer // Maller Burger inn Augspurg' (containing various ruined buildings, useful to intarsia workers, as well as for the special pleasure of many other amateurs; ordered and arranged by Lorenz Stöer painter and citizen in Augsburg). The title page also announces the privilege granted by Ferdinand, who had died three years earlier. The title is ringed by an oval ornamental band printed in light brown. On the band appears the following ambiguous motto: "Wer woltt Da jederman Recht thon / Kainer Würt sichs auch underston" (Who would do right by everyone? No one would even try). Superimposed on the oval band and printed in two colors, light brown and black, are four of the five regular polyhedrons and four irregular solids. The octahedron, icosahedron, tetrahedron, and dodecahedron are labeled around the outside of the ornamental band in roman capitals. Two of the other solids are labeled 'octaedron elevatum solidum,' which amounts to a pair of intersecting tetrahedrons or pyramids, and 'hexaedron,' in fact a pair of intersecting hexahedrons, or cubes. Securing a copyright for printed pictorial material was no routine procedure. Legal protection of printed images does not predate Dürer's publication of the Small Passion, Large Passion, and Life of the Virgin woodcuts in 1511. In a chronological table of documented copyrights of artistic material, Hansjörg Pohlmann lists only one example in the 1520s and another in the 1530s. Stöer's copyright appears in Pohlmann's table as one of the earliest. Stoer's book makes no effort to teach perspective or to provide rules; it simply gives results, pictures in perspective. The eleven numbered woodcuts all use the same formula: a complex stereometric solid or combination of solids juxtaposed to a kind of dreamlike thicket of solid volutes, brackets, and frames, a scrollwork trellis. The polyhedrons and the scrollwork are mounted in the foregrounds on terraced platforms before landscape settings with masses of round-arched ruins and sometimes obelisks, columns, or staircases. [. . .] There is only one human figure in any of the scenes, a tiny man under an arch in the middle distance on page 4, almost lost between lurching scrollwork and a cube teetering on a dodecahedron. The landscapes with trees, mountain ranges, castles, and settlements are perfectly plausible; that is to say, they descend from the landscape backgrounds of Dürer prints. The architectural ruins are almost plausible. But the monstrous scrollwork trellises in the foreground are pure displays of perspectival virtuosity and create an effect of outrageous fictionality. Although these trellises seem to be drawn correctly, it is not at all obvious that they could ever be built. Each of the eleven woodcuts bears the monogram LS foreshortened and inscribed on a ground plane in the foreground. On the eleventh and last page of the first edition, below the woodcut, the word "FINIS" appears in typographic roman capitals; the next line, in xylographic black letter, reads: 'Getrückht zu Augspurg durch Hanns Rogel Formschneider.' The second edition, which is the one reproduced here, is otherwise identical and is also dated 1567; here the two final lines are replaced with 'Gedruckt zu Augspurg/ durch Michael Manger,' with 'FINIS' on the line below, both set in type. It is virtually certain that the Hans Rogel printing of Geometria et perspectiva preceded the Michael Manger printing. The xylographic script used in the Rogel colophon is the same as the script used on the title page. There is also a later edition that omits the royal privilege on the title page and gives in its place the name Stefan Michelspacher and the date 1617; on page 11 of this printing there is no colophon. It seems that Stoer was alive and living in Augsburg in 1620 and 1621" (Wood, p.240-42).
II. SECOND EDITION of a well-illustrated treatise, following the exceedingly rare first edition of 1571. This edition has a new dedication and preface by the publisher Stephan Michelspacher, and a portrait of the author by the Augsburg engraver Lucas Kilian. Lencker was, together with Stoer, Jamnitzer and Hirschvogel, one of a group of Nuremberg perspectivists who specialised in portraying geometrical bodies, inspired both by Dürer and Pacioli. "The 1571 Perspectiva of the Nuremberg goldsmith Hans Lencker teaches the method of perspective through illustrations of precisely constructed geometric solids and other objects in eleven full-page woodcuts, such as one demonstrating a skeletal, semiregular polyhedron and a spiral staircase (here improving smartly on the staircase attempted a generation earlier by Rodler). In his preface Lencker promises to give the reader not the useless 'hull' of the doctrine of perspective but the 'kernel.' He notes that perspective is a noble art known to physicians and other authorities on nature and the heavens. Lencker explains his methods and instruments in a German-language text but insists on the primacy of the visual evidence, his 'examples'" (Wood, p. 236).
IV: THIRD EDITION. The first work published in Germany and written in German about stud farms (cf. ADB VIII, 183). The beautiful woodcuts by Jost Amman, which are also interesting in terms of costume history, show ladies and gentlemen on horseback and stud farm scenes and also appear in other works he illustrated.
References and Literature: I. VD 16, S-9208; Kat. Berlin, 1165; Vitry, 782; MAKO, Vladimir. Lorenz Stoer and the Metaphor of Creative Power in Architecture. Athens Journal of Architecture January, 2018, 84 pp; Lorenz Stöer: Geometria et perspectiva. In: Autonome Welt der Kunst. Biermann und Boukes, Frankfurt am Main, 1972; D. Pfaff, Lorenz Stoer: Geometria et Perspectiva (München: Magisterarbait. Fakultät für Geschichts-und Kunstwissenschaften, Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, 1996); C. Wood, The Perspective Treatise in Ruins: Lorenz Stoer, Geometria et Perspectiva, 1567. In: The Treatise on Perspective: Published and Unpublished (Newhaven and London: National Gallery of Art, Washington, Yale University Press, 2003), 235-257; Pfaff, Lorenz Stoer: Geometria et Perspectiva, 13; A. Lichtwark, Der Ornamentstich der Deutschen Frührenessance (Berlin: Weidmannsche Buchhandlung, 1888), 15; Wood, Christopher S. The Perspective Treatise in Ruins: Lorenz Stoer, Geometria et Perspectiva, 1567. In: The Treatise on Perspective: Published and Unpublished. (Lyle Massey, editor). Newhaven and London: National Gallery of Art, Washington, Yale University Press, 2003, pp. 235-256; Luigi Vagnetti, Il Processo di maturazione di una scienza dell' arte: la teoria prospettica nel Cinquecento. In: Marisa Dalai Emiliani (Hg.): La Prospettiva Rinascimentale. Codificazioni e Trasgressioni, Florenz 1980, p. 453; Norbert Lieb: Lorenz Stör. In: Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart. Hans Vollmer (editor), (= Thieme-Becker Künstlerlexikon Bd. 32), Leipzig 1938, pp. 91-92. II. VD 16 L 1147; Berlin Catalogue 4698; cf. M. Kemp, The Science of Art (London, 1990), pp. 62-63; Sotheby's, Geometry and Space. Auction catalogue, London, 10 & 11 April 2002, Lot 782 (illustrated on front cover).
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