DÜRER, Albrecht
(b. 1471, Nürnberg, d. 1528, Nürnberg)

The Revelation of St John: Title page to the edition of 1498

Woodcut, 39 x 28 cm
Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe

German title: Die heimlich offenbarung iohnis (The Relevation of St John). Latin title: Apocalipsis cum Figuris.

The first and only German edition in book form appeared in 1498; but in the same year came out an edition with Latin text. The text on the back is taken from Koberger's German Bible (Nuremberg 1493) and printed in two columns. At the end of the series Dürer mentions himself as the printer. In the Nuremberg illustrated Bible, Koberger took over the woodcuts of the Cologne Bible of 1480. Dürer adopted the scheme and iconographic details of these illustrations of the Apocalypse for his own work. But Dürer was the first to become permeated with the overwhelming inner meaning and the superhuman power of expression of the poet evangelist, and the first to epitomise the drama of the world's destiny in the revelation of a personal spiritual creed, thereby giving this book the first place in German illustrative art.