Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Collection Feature: The 1502 Strassburg Vergil’s Opera

April 17th, 2017

Of the sixteenth century Vergils in the Robert Aitchison Collection of Vergil’s Works in Special Collections at the Spencer Research Library, the 1502 Opera, printed at Strassburg by Johannes Gruninger (also known as Reinhart), is the most impressive and the oldest. It is illustrated with 214 charming woodcuts which reveal many aspects of Renaissance life from field and farm to city and tower. These illustrations, certainly the first to create so illustrious a progeny, form the basis for practically all the Vergilian illustrations of the sixteenth century as they may be seen in the 1517 and 1529 Opera of Lyon, the Giuntine Opera of 1537, and the 1546 Opera of Venice.

Aitchison D2. Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries

Publii Virgilii Maro[n]is opera. Strassburg, J. Gruninger, 1502.
Call number: Aitchison D2. Click image to enlarge.

Aitchison D2. Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries  Aitchison D2. Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries

Woodcuts and text from the 1502 Opera. Click images to enlarge.

Written by L.R. Lind
Adapted¬†from The R. T. Aitchison Collection of Vergil’s Works at the University of Kansas Library, Lawrence