THIRD EYE CANDY – Woodcut illustrations by Jost Ammann, publication date 1574.


Woodcut illustrations by Jost Ammann

Quinta essentia, that is, The highest subtilitet, Krafft, and Wiring, both the most excellent, and the most humane of the most useful arts, the Medicine and Alchemy: but also how close these two are and are related to Sip-Baedt, and the one not without the other or, as in the case of all subtilitites, the element separated, all the corpora muttered: now, from a new beginning, the opening of the oppressed Sententz, the word and the word Names, augmented, and improved

by Thurneisser on Thurn, Leonhard, 1530? -1596 ;

Steinmann, Hans, fl. 1571-1588 ;

Amman, Jost, 1539-1591

Jost Amman (June 13, 1539 – March 17, 1591) was a Swiss-German artist, celebrated chiefly for his woodcuts, done mainly for book illustrations.

Amman was born in Zürich, the son of a professor of Classics and Logic. He was himself well-educated. Little of his personal history is known beyond the fact that he moved to Nuremberg in 1560, where he took on citizenship and continued to reside until his death in March 1591. He worked initially with Virgil Solis, then a leading producer of book illustrations. His productivity was very remarkable, as may be gathered from the statement of one of his pupils, who said that the drawings he made during a period of four years would have filled a hay wagon. A large number of his original drawings are in the Berlin print room. About 1,500 prints are attributed to him. He was one of the last major producers of woodcuts for books, as during his career engravings were gradually taking over that role. Although like most woodcut artists, he normally let a specialist formschneider cut the block to his drawing, he occasionally included both a cutter’s knife and a quill pen in his signature on prints, suggesting he sometimes cut his own blocks.

A series of engravings by Amman of the kings of France, with short biographies, appeared in Frankfurt in 1576. He also executed many of the woodcut illustrations for the Bible published at Frankfurt by Sigismund Feierabend, and for a topographical survey of Bavaria by Philipp Apian.  Another serial work, the Panoplia Omnium Liberalium Mechanicarum et Seden-tariarum Artium Genera Continens, containing 115 plates, is of great value. Amman’s drawing is correct and spirited, and his delineation of the details of costume is minute and accurate. Paintings in oil and on glass are attributed to him, but none have been identified.

Amman died in Nuremberg, Bavaria, aged 51.

Title and leaf B6 printed in red and black; armorial title vignette; decorative initials

Woodcut illustrations by Jost Ammann 

Bound in marbled paper-covered boards; quarter vellum; label with title on spine;

bookplate of J. Campbell Brown centered on front pastedown;

Walter Pagel’s signature and BEJ Pagel’s label on front pastedownBirdsin, Ernst, 1529-1589

Publication date 1574













quintaessentiada00thur_0122 quintaessentiada00thur_0124 quintaessentiada00thur_0132 quintaessentiada00thur_0141 quintaessentiada00thur_0217 quintaessentiada00thur_0192 quintaessentiada00thur_0186 quintaessentiada00thur_0180 quintaessentiada00thur_0172 quintaessentiada00thur_0166 quintaessentiada00thur_0156 quintaessentiada00thur_0154

Originally posted on LEXICONMAG.