Battle of the Naked Men and Peasants

Lützelburger had been a blockcutter in Augsburg on several print projects for Emperor Maximilian I. After the Holy Roman emperor’s death in 1519, the imperial workshop closed, and Lützelburger moved to Basel in search of work. Prior to his collaboration with Holbein on the Death Alphabet, Lützelburger produced this sheet (in either Augsburg or Basel) as an advertisement of his abilities engraving the human form, landscape, and text. Lützelburger prominently displayed his name and role (formschneider, meaning “blockcutter”) on the print, while the artist responsible for the design, Hogenberg, is represented with his initials, HN, at the bottom-left corner of the figural composition.

Hans Lützelburger (1495?–1526), after a design by Nikolaus Hogenberg (1500–1539)
Battle of the Naked Men and Peasants, 1522
Inscribed at bottom left, in German: Hans Lützelburger, blockcutter, 1522
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, Ruth and Jacob Kainen Memorial Acquisition Fund; 2017.21.1

Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington