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2002 articles 1976 articles

Illustrated German broadsides of the seventeenth century

D. L. Paisey


THE seventeenth century was the great age of the illustrated broadside in Germany, where its suitability as an instrument of propaganda was exploited to the full. Engravings, varying in quality from crude to excellent, with images sometimes simple and direct, sometimes of the complex symbolism which is a Baroque commonplace, were usually allied with letterpress which might consist of straightforward prose accounts of historical events or of verse, mostly anonymous, and often bitingly satirical. It must be said that the general tendency of this particular ephemeral genre is conservative, perhaps an inevitable concomitant of the relative elaborateness of its make-up.

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