A tiny treasure of early printing with razor-sharp woodcuts following each prayer

Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro

Alcalá de Henares (Madrid) (Spain) — November 8th, 1529

Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro

Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro

Alcalá de Henares (Madrid) (Spain) — November 8th, 1529

  1. This religious codex on the life of Christ, both small and precious, is a true treasure of early printing

  2. It was written by the devout monk Juan Padilla and printed on November 8th, 1529 by Miguel de Eguía

  3. Each prayer is followed by a small, razor-sharp woodcut appropriate to the theme that are a joy to behold

Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro

Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro – R/12651 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro – R/12651 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro – R/12651 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro – R/12651 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro – R/12651 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro – R/12651 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro – R/12651 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro – R/12651 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro – R/12651 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro – R/12651 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro – R/12651 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro – R/12651 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

The work Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro was written by the devout monk Juan Padilla and printed on November 8th, 1529 in the small workshop of Miguel de Eguía. This religious book, both small and precious, is a true treasure of early printing. Numerous printed graphics illustrate the biblical events from the life of Jesus Christ. The author chose a varied meter for his story, which he chose for an interesting reason.

Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro

The Story of the Life of Jesus Christ, or so the work is called in English, was written by its author on the title page in the following way: “The Life of Christ, written down by a religious monk of La Cartuja Monastery in Castilian or heroic meter, whatever is best for reading and remembering, because as Aristotle said, people enjoy music and verse by nature”. The originally anonymous author, who is now known to us today as Juan Padilla of Seville managed to explain the form in only a few sentences and the justification for choosing this form. The work was duplicated after its completion in the Spanish print shop of Miguel de Eguía and illustrated with numerous printed graphics. Alongside the enchanting title page with architectonic frames the work contains many xylographic holy figures throughout the text. Numerous razor sharp woodcuts show scenes from the life of Christ.

Maximum Impact with a Small Budget

The book on the life of Christ, as already mentioned, is recorded in verse. Numerous seals and stamps on the page margins authenticate the honest statements of the author and thus clarify it as a work for the use of priests. Each song in the book ends with a prayer. Generally, each prayer is followed by a small image appropriate to the theme, which supports and demonstrates what has been extoled. Since the printing house of Miguel de Eguía was a small workshop with a limited budget, a few of these images are repeated. They did not have the means financially to design as many xylographic woodcuts as were required, so pictures could not be printed to match every scene depicted. Having said that, the pictures available were chosen with such great care, that each illustration fits the events depicted and illustrates them perfectly.

Religious Book Art

The printed result represents a true joy for the eyes of every beholder. The script is organized into two neat columns. The seals on the page margins were placed randomly, as well as the various large text headings and font sizes in the flowing text. It is precisely these anomalies that account for the special charm of this early printed work. Four exciting biblical scenes are illustrated on the high-quality title page of the book. Scenes of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ are to be found on the upper side of the page. A scene of the birth of Jesus is found directly underneath, the newborn child in the arms of his mother Mary. Next to the picture, one sees a depiction of the family, riding on a donkey during their flight to Egypt. This fantastically designed title page is furnished with the subheading Initium Sapientiae timor Domini, which can be translated as: The Beginning of Wisdom is the Fear of the Lord.

Codicology

Size / Format
160 pages / 29.5 x 20.5 cm
Date
November 8th, 1529
Language
Illustrations
Many xylographical figures of saints throughout the text. Beautiful title page with an architectural frame. Woodcuts show scenes of the life of Christ
Artist / School

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro“

Retablo dela Vida de Christo Fecho en Metro por un Devoto Frayle dela Cartuxa
Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro – R/12651 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro – R/12651 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro – R/12651 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro – R/12651 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro – R/12651 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro – R/12651 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro – R/12651 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro – R/12651 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro – R/12651 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro – R/12651 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro – R/12651 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Retablo dela vida de Christo fecho en metro – R/12651 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
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Retablo dela Vida de Christo Fecho en Metro por un Devoto Frayle dela Cartuxa

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Vicent Garcia Editores – Valencia, 2005
Limited Edition
3000
Binding
Parchment on wooden board. Presentation dust jacket cloth lined with gold engraved leather spine containing facsimile.
Commentary
1 volume
Language: Spanish
More Information
Numbered by notary and signed by the printer-publisher. Specially made laid paper. Printed in Alcalá de Henares, by Miguel de Eguia, whose name was not declared, in 1529. 76 numbered sheets from the fourth sheet: iiij - lxxvj. Completed with sheet number
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