THE POPE AS ANTICHRIST

Antithesis Christi et Antichristi, videlicet Papae.

[Geneva], Eustace Vignon, 1578.

8vo, pp. 147, woodcut printer’s device on title; with 36 half-page woodcuts in the text; some faint spotting, mostly marginal, but a very good copy in eighteenth-century polished calf, flat spine richly gilt, brown morocco lettering-piece, gilt edges; extremities slightly rubbed.

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Rare edition of this satirical attack on the Catholic Church and the Pope by the Protestant minister Simon Du Rosier (or Rosarius), first published in Wittemberg in 1521. An excellent example of the ‘antithesis genre’, of which Luther’s Passional Christi und Antichristi is the most famous expression, Du Rosier’s work is illustrated by a series of woodcuts, attributed to Bernard Salomon after Lucas Cranach, which cleverly juxtapose the life of Christ with the luxury and dissolution of the Pope in order to back the Lutheran tenet that the Pope is the Antichrist.

Provenance: Richard Heber, with his stamp on front free endpaper; Samuel Ashton Thompson Yates (1842–1903), with his bookplate.

Adams R777; Manning, The emblem p. 206.

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