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Grant number like: FB-50363-04

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John R. Paas
Carleton College (Northfield, MN 55057-4001)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2004 – 9/30/2004

Collaboration between German Poets and Printmakers in the Production of Illustrated Works in the Baroque Period

I am applying to NEH for support which will allow me to complete a monograph detailing the interaction between German poets and printmakers in the seventeenth century. For the past three decades my research interests have necessitated my working extensively with prints and other illustrated works of the early modern period, and in the process I have uncovered significant material previously overlooked by literary historians. My goal is to use this material to demonstrate how closely poets and printmakers (and publishers) cooperated in the production of illustrated works in the early modern period. This study will lead to a deepening of our understanding of the culture of printmaking and publishing from the viewpoint of literary history. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries new developments in the graphic arts as well as changes in the taste and expectations of readers led to an increased emphasis on the connection between printed words and images. In the production of these illustrated works, authors were active collaborators with enterprising publishers. It was common at the time for authors to determine the content of prints by making preliminary sketches as guidance for the professional engraver. To recognize this fact is to appreciate the important role that illustrations play in specific works; they are integral to our appreciation and understanding of a literary work. We find a close working relationship between poets and printmakers throughout the German empire and in neighboring cities, but I shall focus on the work of these people in four major cities: Strasbourg, Frankfurt am Main, Nuremberg, and Amsterdam. What will become clear to readers is that when we talk about illustrations in the Baroque period-be they book illustrations, title plates, frontispieces, portraits, or emblems-we must remember that authors and artists worked together with one another and not in parallel, as has been assumed.