This first Catholic German version of the Bible by Johann Dietenberger (c. 1475-1537) was first published in 1534 in Mainz, and was the most successful Catholic translation of the Bible into German. Dietenberger, a strong anti-reformist, was aiming to correct the recently published German Bibles, and relied on Hieronymous Esmer's New Testament, the Apocrypha of Leo Juda, the Vulgate Latin, and the works of Martin Luther.
Twenty-two editions of Dietenberger’s Bible appeared through 1600, nineteen of which were published in Cologne by Quentel and his heirs alone. After some revisions, Dietenberger’s text remained the prevalent Bible in Catholic German regions until the late 1800s.
The decoration of this Bible had to compete with the 1560 emergence of the popular Feyerabend Bible, and so the present edition contains more fashionable woodcuts from Virgil Solis, whose monogram features in some of them. Elaborate illumination heightens the woodcuts in an especially luxurious example of 'princely colouring', or Fürstenkolorit.
The binding is also magnificent. The style points to the most important German Renaissance bookbinder, Jakob Krause (c. 1532-1585), binder at the Dresden court of Elector August of Saxony. The binding was formerly attributed to him, but is now ascribed to his highly talented follower, named ‘Münchner Krause-Schüler’.
See this item in our catalogue, Early Printed Bibles.