“The Devil and the Rich Man” (aka “Vertwijfelde man en duivel bij kisten gevuld met munten” [Rijksmuseum title]; “Desperate man and devil near chests filled with coins”), 1531, woodcut printed and published in 1531 in Augsburg by Heinrich Steiner (fl. 1522–1548) as illustration to the verso of page 10 (X) of Johann Neuber and Johann von Schwarzenberg’s translation of Marcus Tullius Cicero’s (106–43 BC), “Officia M.T.C.: ein Bůch, so Marcus Tullius Cicero der Römer, zů seynem Sune Marco, von den tugentsamen Ämptern vnd Zůgehörungen, eynes wol vnd rechtlebenden Menschen” (Official M.T.C. [Marcus Tullius Cicero]: a book, according to Marcus Tullius Cicero the Romans, zů seynem [in addition to?] Sune Marco, of the virtuous offices and belongings, one who wants to live with the law; see https://archive.org/details/gri_33125012281362/page/n37/mode/2up).
The Royal Academy offers the following insights regarding the publication in which this print features: “Cicero's De Officiis is a treatise on duties, in three books in the form of a letter to the author's son, Marcus. It was written in 44 B.C. In the first book Cicero analyses the virtues of Wisdom, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance; in the second and third he discusses how they may harmonise with social and political expediency - taking examples from ancient Greek and Roman history” (https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/art-artists/book/officia-m-t-c-ejn-bu-sup-e-sup-ch-so-marcus-tullius-cicero-der-ro-sup-e-sup).
Woodcut on laid paper trimmed with a small margin around the image borderline, with letterpress text verso concealed under a backing sheet.
Size: (sheet) 10.5 x 16.5 cm; (image borderline) 10.1 x 15.8 cm.
Scheidig 200 (Walther Scheidig 1955, “Die Holzschnitte des Petrarca-Meisters zu Petrarcas Werk von der Arzney bayder Glück des guten und widerwärtigen: Augsburg 1532”, Berlin, p. 42, cat.no.200).
See also the description of this print offered by the Rijksmuseum: http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.725890.
Condition: a strong and well-printed impression showing minor signs of wear to the printing plate—note the gap in the printing of the rich man’s cloak—trimmed with a narrow margin around the image borderline and laid onto a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. The sheet is in a good condition with no tears, holes, folds, significant stains or foxing.
I am selling this curiously wonderful woodcut showing in graphic terms that rich are chained by their desperate desires—here a rich man looking at chests of coins is chained at his legs to the devil (his desire) who points to the treasures and offers the rich man a neck ring extension to his chains—for AU$248 (currently US$165.76/EUR149.98/GBP132.03 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 finely detailed woodcut from the German Renaissance, please contact me (email@example.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
This print has been sold