Feyerabend Bible, 1564

Object: Feyerabend Bible
Feyerabend Bible from 1564
Deutsches Buch- und Schriftmuseum der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek Leipzig

Feyerabend Bible, 1564

Martin Luther’s translation for the first time with uniform illustration

So that the Christian reader recognises the same hard work that went into this current Frankfurt Bible, first of all, as far as the figures are concerned, (…) we have had completely new, beautiful, artistic ones (…) prepared, through which we want to present the story in particular to the common man and kindly youths in a more real and understandable manner.

Foreword of the Feyerabend Bible, 1564

This lavishly illustrated Bible was considered one of the most beautiful biblical creations of its era thanks to its 140 woodcuts with a uniform colour scheme, as created by Virgil Solis. After the appearance of Luther’s first full German biblical translation in 1534, so-called Luther Bibles began to be printed in different versions and in large numbers.

The Frankfurt publisher Sigmund Feyerabend, who produced this edition in collaboration with David Zöpfel and Johann Rasch, was the first person to commission a Bible edition illustrated in a uniform fashion by one artist. The image sets were also sold as a separate publication along with a number of expanded editions of the work. Two added portraits serve to honour the electors Otto Henry and Frederick III for their efforts in spreading Protestantism in the Palatinate region.