Original printed leaf with fine woodcut by the master Urs Graf. From Guillermus Parisiensis, “ Postillia super epistolas et evangelia. Printed by Michael Furter in Basel, 1513. (Leaf size: 200 x 150mm – 7.75 x 6 inches)
This leaf contains a commentary in Latin on the Epistles and Gospels of the New Testament. The central panel is composed of a 67 x 55mm - 2.75 x 2.25 inch woodcut and biblical text. It is surrounded by two columns of about 50 lines in two sizes of Gothic text with commentary & marginal cross references.
The central woodcut is a detailed scene of Christ & his Disciples in a landscape setting with Christ having his last discourse with his Disciples – from John 16: 5 – 8: “In illo tempore Dicit iesus…” (And at that time Jesus said to his disciples: Now I go to him that sent me, and none of you asketh me: Whither goest thou? But because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow hath filled your heart. But I tell you the truth: it is expedient to you that I go: for if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you…). Woodcut signed in the lower border with Graf’s initials.
Urs Graf (1485-1529?) was a Swiss Renaissance goldsmith, painter and printmaker, as well as a Swiss mercenary. He produced about 100 known woodcuts, a small number of engravings and two etchings, (one of which dates from 1513 – the earliest known etching for which a date has been established) . His woodcuts are considered of greater significance – strongly influenced by Albrecht Durer and Hans Balding. Graf is one of the earliest known artists to employ white-line woodcut technique, where white lines create the image on a black background.