Three German Soldiers


Daniel Hopfer (1470-1536), Three German Soldiers, circa 1505, etching. Reference: Hollstein 73; second state of three; a 17th Century impression, with the artist’s initials in the plate, Funck number lower left. In very good condition, with (small) margins, 8 x 11 1/4 inches, 20 x 28.5 cm.

A very good, strong impression of this rarity, with some iron spots near the borders left and right.

Provenance: ex. Collection: Quiring (Lugt 1041b); WE Drugulin (L 2612); AT Gerstaechker (L1077), and Dr. Karl Herweg (not in Lugt).

Daniel Hopfer became a citizen of Augsberg in 1493, which was fitting since he was an etcher of armor, and Augsberg, the main residence of the Emperor Maximilian, was a center of armor manufacturing.  But Hopfer is known to the print world as the first, or certainly one of the first, to practice etching as we know it. He seems to have focussed on heavily ornamented Northern Renaissance forms and figures, such as the soldiers in this etching.  Lifetime impressions of Hopfer prints are of course extremely rare, nearly unavailable, and this excellent impression – also quite rare – was taken by the publisher Funck in the 17th Century.   Hopfer made his prints on iron, and the corrosion of the plate is evident in a few spotted/grayish areas, where ink remained on the plate even after wiping during the printing process.