Gallery of prints for sale

Tuesday 12 July 2022

Woodcut by an unidentified artist from the circle of the printer, Jean de Laon, “Portrait of Johan Forsterus”, c1580

Unidentified artist from the circle of the printer, Jean de Laon (fl.1561–1581)

“Portrait of Johan Forsterus” (aka “Johan Forsterus, Professor at Wittenberg, 1556”), c1580, woodcut from the series of thirty-eight portraits, “Beza's Icones”, published in Geneva (Geneuae) in 1580 by Joannem Laonium as a  woodcut illustration to Théodore de Bèze’s (1519–1605) “Icones, id est, Verae imagines virorum doctrina simul et pietate illustrium, : quorum praecipuè ministerio partim bonarum literarum studia sunt restituta, partim vera religio in variis orbis Christiani regionibus, nostra patrúmque memoria fuit instaurata : additis eorundem vitae & operae descriptionibus, quibus adiectae sunt nonnullae picturae quas emblemata vocant.” ([Google transl. “Icons, that is, true images of illustrious men both in doctrine and in piety, by whose ministry some studies of the liberal arts have been restored, partly by true religion in various regions of the Christian world, and in the memory of our fathers and fathers; some pictures which they call ornamental), printed by Jean de Laon (see

Woodcut on laid paper with letterpress text in German above and below the image borderline, backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 14 x 8.5 cm; (image borderline) 10.3 x 8.2 cm.

Letterpress text above the image borderline: (centre) “Johan. Forsterus derh. Schrifft/ Professer zu Wittenberg.” (Johan Forsterus the Writing Professor to Wittenberg); (right) “13”.

Letterpress text below the image borderline—note that there is likely to be errors in my reading of the text: “Forster von Augspurg hoher Mann/ Mit […]ehr vnd schreiben hab vil gethan/[/] Zu Witteberg heilig Schrifft hab glehrt./ Hebraisch sprach auch fein erflert. Starb im Jar. 1556.” (Forester from Augsburg, high man / I did a lot with honour and writing / I taught Holy Scripture in Wittenberg. / Hebrew also spoke finely. Died in year. 1556.)

Condition: a well-printed impression with a small margin around the letterpress text and laid upon a sheet of millennium quality washi paper providing wide margins.

I am selling this early woodcut showing the Professor of Hebrew at Wittenberg, Johann Forsterus, (aka Förster or Forstheim) (1496–1558), who helped Martin Luther (1483–1546) with the translation of the bible into German, for the total price of AU$266 (currently US$178.78/EUR178.56/GBP150.87 at the time of posting 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 seemingly simple and even austere woodcut of one of the historically important theologians in Germany in the early 1500s—mindful that what may look like cross-hatched pen lines in the dark areas is created by skilfully cutting diamond-shaped lozenges into the wooden printing block so that the cut holes produce the illusion of crossed lines—please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

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