Archive

Posts Tagged ‘HistoryOfWine16thCenturyGermany’

Frightening 16th c. Wine-related Images for Friday the 13th & a Full Moon!

September 13, 2019 Leave a comment

“Devil and Man” from Hans von Leonrod. Hymelwag. 1517. [1]

As it is Friday the 13th and a full-moon, I present two frightening wine-related images.  In keeping with yesterday’s post about the popularity of drinking in 15th century Germany, I present two images by Hans Schaufelein found in Hans von Leonrod Hymelwag (1517).  The popularity of intoxication in Germany continued into the 16th and 17th century. As a result, a temperance movement developed, as did books complete with devil-related drinking images.

In the title image of this post, a knight is presented a demijohn of wine by a diablocal creature.  This is the first known image of the “boozing devil” or Saufteufel.  In these books, the vice of drunkenness opened the gates to other vices.  In the second image, we see the same knight with his cup and demijohn of wine riding a cart into the mouth of hell.  He seems oblivious to his fate which is frightening indeed.

“Wagon to Hell” from Hans von Leonrod. Hymelwag. 1517. [1]


[1] von Leonrod, Hans. Hymelwag auff dem, wer wol lebt un wol stirbt fert in das reich der himel. 1517. URL: https://books.google.com/books?id=PNVdAAAAcAAJ&pg=PT6#v=onepage&q&f=false

Hans Folz, Prints In Praise of Distilled Wine from the 1490s

September 12, 2019 Leave a comment

Folz, Hans. Wem der geprennt wein schad oder nucz sei. ca. 1491. [1]

I have periodically looked at Hans Folz’s colorful image Wem der geprennt wein schad oder nucz sei (ca. 1491) for several years now.  I first came across it when I worked on my 16th Century German Wine Books posts.  In this post I present a bit of context.

Hans Folz (1435-1513) was a German barber surgeon, playwright, and printer amongst other occupations.  He is considered a major figure but the breadth of his work was largely ignored in English research until Caroline Huey’s Hans Folz and Print Culture in Late Medieval Germany: The Creation of Popular Discourse (2012).  Folz was based in Nuremberg where he self-published a large number of works including the poem Wem der geprennt wein schad oder nucz sei, vnd wie er gerecht oder felschlich gemacht sei (ca. 1491).  The drinking of wine and beer was very common in the 15th century Germany but towards the end, distilled wine or brandy increased in popularity.  Folz’s poem is focused on this widely popular drink which he praises as a remedy against sadness and hangovers but also warns against immoderate use. [4]  Folz was no doubt an observer of drinking behavior in his city.  In 1496, shortly after he published these works, the Nuremberg city council banned the drinking of distilled wine in the streets and the sale on Sundays and holidays.

Folz, Hans. Wem der geprennt wein schad oder nucz sei. ca. 1491. [2]

Folz’s wine incunabula exists in at least three different forms.  The first two, dated ca. 1491, are in the form of a book and a broadsheet.  The book features a hand colored woodblock print with hand-copied text.[1]  The broadsheet features the same print with printed text.[2]  A few details contain the single color red such as lips, a flask of distilled wine, and some letters.  The two prints are formed from the same wood block given the wear patterns.  For example, two dots appear in the title text between “schad oder” and in the top of the right vertical border are additional signs of wear.  A third form contains an entirely different wood block print.  Though the image is completely different, the key features are the same.

Folz, Hans. Wem der geprant wein nutz sey oder schad. 1493. [3]

In both image types, a merchant appears behind his table which is partially covered with a cloth.  On it are arrayed flasks of distilled wine, a knife, perhaps wooden rulers, maybe some corks or coins, and shallow cups for drinking.  It is certainly a mysterious assortment of items.  The first image type, which takes place outside on the grass, features a line of three men waiting for a drink.  The second image, presumably inside as there is a stone wall and tiled floor, features only one man actively taking a drink.  The different images in book form feature green glass flasks which do not reveal their contents.  The broadsheet, with it judicious use of color, implies the glass is clear as there is red fluid in one flask.

The culture of drinking continued to develop in Germany during the 16th century.  In tomorrow’s post I will present a couple of scary wine-related images.


[0] Huey, Caroline. “Hans Folz and Print Culture in Late Medieval Germany: The Creation of Popular Discourse”. Routledge. 2012.

[1] Folz, Hans. Wem der geprennt wein schad oder nucz sei, vnd wie er gerecht oder felschlich gemacht sei. c. 1491. München, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek — Cgm 407#S.298. URL: https://app.digitale-sammlungen.de/bookshelf/bsb00101646

[2] Folz, Hans: Wem der geprennt wein schad oder nucz sei, vnd wie er gerecht oder felschlich gemacht sei , [Nuremberg], [c. 1491] [BOD Ink F-174 – GW 10121]. Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. URL: http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/~db/0010/bsb00101645/images/

[3] Hans Folz: Wem der geprant wein nutz sey oder schad … Bamberg, Marx Ayrer und Hans Bernecker, 1493 | SBB, JH.Inc.typ.IV.322, Bl. 1r. Staatsbibliothek Bamberg.

[4] Spode, Hasso. “The First Step toward Sobriety: The ‘Boozing Devil’ in Sixteenth-Century Germany.” Contemporary Drug Problems 21, no. 3 (September 1994): 453–83. doi:10.1177/009145099402100307.

The title woodcut from Georg Horn’s “Hierampelos” (1585)

February 1, 2018 Leave a comment

Title illustration from Georg Horn’s Hierampelos. 1585. [1]

This image is from the title woodcut of Georg Horn’s Hierampelos.  In this book Horn (1542-1603), a pastor from Hammelburg, writes about viticulture, wine making, and references to the Bible.  Compared to the woodcuts I have posted from other 16th century German wine books this one illustrates the tending of vines, harvesting of fruit, and wine making.  As it is not a cellar-book barrels are not included.


[1] Horn, Georg. Hierampelos : Das ist: Bericht vom Wein-baw, das er mit all seinen angehörigen und verwandten stücken in heiliger Göttlicher Schrifft, wol bekandt. 1585.
Signatur: 1042089 4 Oecon. 191 m 1042089 4 Oecon. 191 m. Bayerische StaatsBibliothek digital.  URL: http://www.mdz-nbn-resolving.de/urn/resolver.pl?urn=urn:nbn:de:bvb:12-bsb10990117-2

More images from 16th century German wine books

February 8, 2016 Leave a comment

Image from Arnoldus de Villa Nova "Diser Tractat helt yn von bereytung der wein, zu gesundtheit und nützbarkeit der menschen". 1522. [1]

Image from Arnoldus de Villa Nova “Diser Tractat helt yn von bereytung der wein, zu gesundtheit und nützbarkeit der menschen”. 1522. [1]

I have been slowly looking through 16th century German wine books with an eye towards some 17th century research.  I last did so one year ago when I published Two title pages from German wine books of 1580.  Four of the images in today’s post come from three books originally written by Arnaldus de Villa Nova.  He was born in the mid 13th century and died in the very early 14th century.  This Catalan born physician studied medicine in Montpellier and published a number of books relating wine and medicine.  These books were later published in Germany during the 16th century.  These publications typically include one or two engravings which I have selected for this post.

Image from Arnoldus de Villa Nova "Diser Tractat helt yn von bereytung der wein, zu gesundtheit und nützbarkeit der menschen". 1522. [1]

Image from Arnoldus de Villa Nova “Diser Tractat helt yn von bereytung der wein, zu gesundtheit und nützbarkeit der menschen”. 1522. [1]

The first images come from Diser Tractat helt yn von bereytung der wein, zu gesundtheit und nützbarkeit der menschen (1522) or “This treatise contains the making of wine, for health and usefullness of mankind”.  This book includes two lovely images, one of a man and woman harvesting grapes from a trellised vines and another of a man in a wine cellar looking at a glass of wine fresh from barrel, perhaps checking for clarity.

Arnoldus de Villa Nova, "Tractat von bereyttung der Wein". 1529. [2]

Arnoldus de Villa Nova, “Tractat von bereyttung der Wein”. 1529. [2]

From the second book Tractat von bereyttung der Wein (1529) or “Treatise of making of wines” comes another image of a man in a wine cellar.  He is surrounded by the tools, perhaps, to top off wine.  The man is standing next to one cask holding a rod that goes into the bung hole.  Due to his two-handed grip and body position, it looks like he is stirring the lees in one cask.

Arnoldus de Villa Nova. "Ein Schöns buchlein von bereytung der wein und bier zu gesundheit und nutzbarkeit der menschen". 1532. [3]

Arnoldus de Villa Nova. “Ein Schöns buchlein von bereytung der wein und bier zu gesundheit und nutzbarkeit der menschen”. 1532. [3]

The third book Ein Schöns buchlein von bereytung der wein und bier zu gesundheit und nutzbarkeit der menschen (c. 1532) or “Of making and using of the wines for the Health and usefulness for mankind” illustrates yet another man in a wine cellar.  He is inspecting a glass of wine he poured from a faucet in a cask.  All three wine cellars have windows for light or ventilation.

"Kellermaysterey : Gründtlicher bericht, wie man alle wein Teutscher vnd Welscher landen, vor allen Zufällen bewaren, die besthafften widerbringen". 1559. [4]

“Kellermaysterey : Gründtlicher bericht, wie man alle wein Teutscher vnd Welscher landen, vor allen Zufällen bewaren, die besthafften widerbringen”. 1559. [4]

The final images comes from Kellermaysterey : Gründtlicher bericht, wie man alle wein Teutscher vnd Welscher landen, vor allen Zufällen bewaren, die besthafften widerbringen (1559) or “Winemaker: Thorough reporting on all wine Teutonic and Celtish, beware all coincidences that best resist”.  In this image the man is topping off a cask.  In the cask behind him a rod is sticking out of the bung hole.  It is possible that he is gauging the cask but given the previous image, it is also possible the rod is for stirring the lees. Thoughts?


[1] – Arnoldus <de Villa Nova> / Wilhelm <von Hirnkofen>: Diser Tractat helt yn von bereytung der wein, zu gesundtheit und nützbarkeit der menschen, Straßburg, 1522 [VD16 A 3665]. Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. URL: http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/~db/0002/bsb00025687/images/
[2] Arnoldus <de Villa Nova>: Tractat von bereyttung der Wein …, Augspurg, 1529 [VD16 A 3666]. Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. URL: http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/~db/bsb00007500/images/
[3] Arnoldus <de Villa Nova>: Ein Schöns buchlein von bereytung der wein und bier zu gesundheit und nutzbarkeit der menschen, Zwickau, [ca. 1532] [VD16 A 3673] Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. URL: http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/~db/0003/bsb00034053/images/
[4] Kellermaysterey : Gründtlicher bericht, wie man alle wein Teutscher vnd Welscher landen, vor allen Zufällen bewaren, die besthafften widerbringen …, Augspurg 1559. Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.  http://www.mdz-nbn-resolving.de/urn/resolver.pl?urn=urn:nbn:de:bvb:12-bsb11217801-0

Two title pages from the first German wine books of 1580.

March 23, 2015 1 comment

 Gruelich, Martin. Weinbüchlin. 1580. Munchener Digitalisierungs Zentrum. [1]

Gruelich, Martin. Weinbüchlin. 1580. Munchener Digitalisierungs Zentrum. [1]

The oldest wines books in German date to the late 16th century and incredibly, they are available for reading online.  These books cover a variety of subjects such as how to make and  raise wine, restore wine from off states, and how to simply enjoy it.  Johann Rasch (1540-1512) was an Austrian cleric, writer, and booksellers.  His book Das ist: Vom baw und pflege des Weins (1580) is considered the first thorough treatment of wine growing and tasting.  In doing so it covers such topics as the importance of wine in the Eucharist as well as how to detect if a wine was watered down.  Another practical matter is Johann Rasch’s recipe to prevent a hangover.  This involves eating “Wethamerwurtz oder Petulanakraut” or drinking milk.  Perhaps as a result of Johann Rasch’s appreciation of books, his first edition contains a particularly detailed engraving.  From what I can tell, little information exists in English about these important early books, which is incredible as well.

Rasch, Johann. Das ist: Vom baw und pflege des Weins.  1580. Munchener Digitalisierungs Zentrum. [2]

Rasch, Johann. Das ist: Vom baw und pflege des Weins. 1580. Munchener Digitalisierungs Zentrum. [2]


[1] Gruelich, Martin. Weinbüchlin , Ein Neüwe unnd hübsche bewerte kunst, wie man die Wein erhalten soll und dem bresthafftigen abgefalnen Wein wider helffen. 1580. [VD16 ZV 7030] Munchener Digitalisieruns Zentrum. URL:  https://opacplus.bsb-muenchen.de/metaopac/search?documentid=1705562
[2] Rasch, Johann. Das ist: Vom baw und pflege des Weins, Wie derselbig nützlich sol gebawet, Was ein jeder Weinziher oder Weinhawer zuthun schuldig, Auch was für nutz und schaden durch sie kan außgerichtwerden , Allen Weingart Herren sehr nothwendig zu wissen.  1580.  Munchener Digitalisieruns Zentrum. URL:  https://opacplus.bsb-muenchen.de/metaopac/search?documentid=920059