Virgil Solis (1514–1562)
“The Suicide of Saul” (TIB title) (aka “Death of Saul”), c1560, from the series of 220 woodcuts published by Sigmund Feierabend (aka Sigmund Feyerabend; Sigismund Feyrabend) (1528–1590), printed by David Zöpfel (aka David Zephelius) (fl.c1555–1563) and Johann Rasch (fl.1556–1562) in Frankfurt am Main in “Biblische Figuren des Alten vnd Newen Testaments: gantz künstlich gerissen / durch den weitberhümpten Vergilium Solis zu Nürnberg.”
This woodcut illustrates versus 4–5 in “The Book of Samuel I” [Shmuel 1], chapter 31: “Then Saul said to his armour-bearer, ‘Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and mistreat me.’ But his armor-bearer would not, for he feared greatly. Therefore Saul took his own sword and fell upon it. And when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword and died with him.” (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Samuel%2031%3A4-5&version=ESV)
Woodcut with a separately printed woodcut border on laid paper trimmed with a small margin with Fraktur letterpress text verso.
Size: (sheet) 11.8 x 15.8 cm
Monogrammed in plate within the image borderline: (on shield at lower left) “VS”.
TIB 19.1.54 (316) (Jane S Peters [ed.] 1987, “The Illustrated Bartsch: German Masters of the Sixteenth Century: Virgil Solis: Intaglio Prints and Woodcuts”, vol. 19 [Part 1], p. 310, cat. no. 1.54 ).
Pitts Theological Library (Emery) offers a description of this print: http://www.pitts.emory.edu/dia/image_details.cfm?ID=7478.
Condition: a richly inked impression printed with slightly uneven pressure with a narrow margin around the strapwork border in excellent condition with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, stains, foxing or signs of handling.
I am selling this bold composition showing both Saul and armour-bearer both falling onto their swords—note how the Saul’s sword aligns with the angle of a distant tree to create a diagonal line through the composition and how the angle of this continued line of sword and tree is parallel to the angle of a lance in the right corner of the design—for the total cost of AU$232 (currently US$180.27/EUR147.91/GBP127.23 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world, but not (of course) any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries.
If you are interested in purchasing this marvellous woodcut from the mid-1500s with an equally interesting strapwork border—printed from a separate plate—designed to give importance and gravitas to the portrayed scene from the Bible—and no doubt to separate the illustration from the surrounding text—please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.