Virgil Solis

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Woodcut from Ovid's Metamorphoses (XIV, 698-764), Frankfurt 1581

Virgil Solis or Virgilius Solis (1514 – 1 August 1562), a member of a prolific family of artists, was a German draughtsman and printmaker in engraving, etching and woodcut who worked in his native city of Nuremberg. His prints were sold separately or formed the illustrations of books; many prints signed by him are probably by assistants. After his death his widow married his assistant and continued the workshop into the early seventeenth century.

His woodcuts illustrating Ovid were especially influential, though partly borrowing from earlier illustrations by the French artist Bernard Salomon. They were reprinted and copied in many different editions, in Latin and translations into various languages; the Ovid from which the illustration at right has been taken was printed at Frankfurt in 1581. He published in armorial of the Holy Roman Empire in 1555.

Jost Amman was an assistant of Solis' before starting his own workshop.

Eduard von Ubisch wrote a comprehensive description of Solis' life and work in relation to the Bible images in 1889, in German, which is available on the net - see external links.

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