Lucas Cranach's incendiary illustrations for Luther's 1534 Bible: the book that changed Christianity forever.
Martin Luther's Bible, published in 1534, was the first complete German Bible and a pivotal event in the history of Christianity. Luther's revolutionary translation, modern in vernacular and interpretation, made the Bible accessible to laypeople, fueled anger and revulsion toward Rome and the Papacy, and begat a new religion: Protestantism. The most desirable copies came with shockingly graphic and politically-charged illustrations, such as those depicting the Whore of Babylon riding a seven-headed beast while wearing the Papal crown, or the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse led by a Turkish soldier.
About the author:
Stephan Fussel is director of the Institute of the History of the Book at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, and holder of the Gutenberg Chair at the same university. He has published prolifically on the early days of printing, the sale and publication of books between the 18th and 20th centuries, and the future of communications.