The Antichrist

The Antichrist

Strasbourg (France) — ca. 1480

The Antichrist literally presented as a perversion of the Life of Christ: the last fifteen signs before the end of the world in one of only three surviving copies of the first typographic edition with woodcuts

  1. Late medieval Europeans were fixated on the Antichrist as a sign of the coming Apocalypse

  2. Written by an anonymous author ca. 1475, this blockbook was published ca. 1480, probably in Strasbourg

  3. The text is adorned by 62 woodcuts including 7 full-page illustrations and 3 large decorative initials

The Antichrist

Inc. fol. 116 Nr. 3 Stadt- und Universitätsbibliothek Frankfurt am Main (Frankfurt am Main, Germany)
  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
The Antichrist

The image of the Antichrist in human form, which is inspired and controlled by the devil, first became common during the 15th century at a time when the theme also began to emerge as an independent genre separate from the wider body of Apocalypse literature. This text written by an anonymous author ca. 1475 presents the legend of the life and works of the Antichrist as a parody of the life of Jesus and ends with the Fifteen Signs before Doomsday. It was bound together with the Meditationes by Juan de Torquemada and the Concordantia sive Ambidexterium by Giovanni Calderini and printed as a blockbook ca. 1480, probably in Strasbourg, but is presented here as a standalone work. Formerly owned by a Dominican monastery in Frankfurt am Main, it is the first typographical edition with woodcuts, of which only three specimens survive today. The text is adorned by 62 woodcuts including 7 full-page illustrations and 3 large decorative initials, two with vegetal motifs and one historiated initial depicting Christ resurrecting the dead.


Alternative Titles
Der Antichrist
ca. 1480
62 woodcuts
Previous Owners
Friar Conradus Ranstat
Johannes Schuler aus Mühlhausen

Available facsimile editions:
Facsimile Editions

#1 Der Antichrist und die 15 Zeichen vor dem Jüngsten Gericht

Limited Edition: 1000 copies
Binding: 2 volumes in slipcase
Commentary: 1 volume by Karin Boveland, Ruth Steffen, and Christoph Peter Burger
Language: German
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