With 178 Woodcuts by Virgil Solis

Ovidius Naso, Publius (43 BCE-17 CE); Solis, Virgil (1514-1562), artist.

Metamorphoseon libri XV. In singulas quasque fabulas argumenta. Ex postrema Iacobi Micylli recognitione.

Frankfurt: Joh. Feyerabend for S. Feyerabend, H. Takke and P. Fischer, 1587


Octavo: 15.8 x 9.6 cm. [16], 573, [18] pp. Collation: *8, a-z8, A-Z8, aa-oo8

Bound in contemporary alum-tawed pigskin, ruled and tooled in blind, with sheaves of wheat and medallion portrait heads (soiled, minor defect to pigskin of lower board, lacking clasps.) Internally a nice copy with the very light toning (a bit heavier to the title), some 17thc. line numbering, a very few, insignificant stains, and a single, pin-prick size wormhole in the last few signatures. Overall quite nice. Provenance: 17thc. ownership inscription on title.

This edition is illustrated with 178 woodcut illustrations by the great Nuremberg artist Virgil Solis (1514-1562), a member of the German mannerist school, who partly followed in the tradition of Dürer. 

Solis’ celebrated illustrations are based on the woodcuts produced by the Lyonese artist Bernard Salomon for an edition printed by Jean de Tournes in 1557. However, Solis’ cuts are significantly larger than Salomon’s.

The first edition with Solis’ woodcuts (which are larger than those of Salomon) appeared in 1563, printed by Georg Corvinus and Sigmund Feyerabend. This edition, printed by Sigmund’s cousin, Johann (with Sigmund as publisher), includes a life of Ovid by Aldus Manutius.

See Stahlberg, “Virgil Solis and die Holzschnitte zu den Metamorphosen des Ovids”, in: Marginalien, 95 (1984), p. 29-35.

VD16 O 1660; See Fairfax Murray (German) II, no. 345