Sunday, 15 May 2016


Wendel Dietterlin (the Elder) (c. 1550–99)
“Plate 102”, 1598, from Dietterlin’s treatise on architectural ornament, “Architectura”, published in Nurnberg, 1598. This impression is most likely from the 1674 edition.
Etching (from an iron plate) on fine laid paper
Size: (sheet) 32.9 x 24 cm, (plate) 25 x 18.3 cm.
Condition: well-printed but slightly grey impression (i.e. there is light wear to the plate) with full margins (as published) and in excellent condition apart from faint age toning. Verso has beautifully inscribed initials in ink drawn by the early hand of a former collector.

I am selling this extremely rare etching, executed by one of the early architectural visionaries of the 16th century, for AU$126 in total (currently US$91.75/EUR81.09/GBP63.86 at the time of posting this print) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this visual feast of architectural ornamentation, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


Ditterlin is famous for being one of the true eccentric architectural designers of the 16th century. To some extent his fame rests on the originality of his designs—see, for example, the marvellous sculptural design for a dog sitting somewhat threateningly on the lower right of this elaborate structure. Beyond the originality of his designs, however, his fame rest more securely on his reputation as an artistic maverick—the perfect steppenwolf that history cannot forget.

The maverick ingredient of Ditterlin’s designs that intrigues academics is the conceptual gap between his illustrations—such as this one—for his treatise, “Architectura” (1858), and the principles of ornament underpinning the five classical orders of architecture that the illustrations were intended to demonstrate. Adolf K Placzek in his introductory remarks about Dietterlin in the Dover (1968) publication of Dietterlin’s “Architectura” offers the following insight that helps to explain the disjunction between Ditterlin’s purported aim and what his illustrations really show: “For Dietterlin the five orders [of architecture] are mainly a take-off point, or a framework, for his ungovernable imaginative flights.”





(verso) inscribed initials in ink drawn by the early hand of a former collector.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please let me know your thoughts, advice about inaccuracies (including typos) and additional information that you would like to add to any post.