Skip to Main Content


at top, in block: Primum querite regnum dei et iusticiam eius et omnia hec adicientur vobis. Mathei sexto. (Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God and his justice: and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6[:33]) / Quid enim proficit homini si lucretur vniuersum mundum se autem ipsum prodat et detrimentum sui faciat Luce ix (For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world and lose himself and cast away himself? Luke 9[:25]) / Ite et vos in vineam meam et quod iustum fuerit dabo vobis Matth. xx. (Go you also into my vineyard and I will give you what shall be just. Matthew 20[:4]) Ego sum vitis vera Johannis xiiij. (I am the true vine. John [verse 15:1].)

at upper left, in banderole, in block: Maria Madalena; at right center, in banderole, in block: Maria Martha

in banderoles above fingers, in block, from left to right (thumb to little figure): pollex voluntas dei sanctificatio / Index cognitio / medius contritio / medicus confessio / Auricularis satisfact[tio]; on thumb, in block: declinatio mali (avoid evil) / prosecutio boni (pursue the good); on index finger, in block: Cogitatio mali (know evil) / detestatio co[gnice?] / fuga detestatis (flee the accursed); on middle finger, in block: Offensa dei (offenses against god) / mesticia angelorum (sadness of the angels) / Acquisitio dampni (the acquisition of harm); on ring finger, in block: humilis (humility) / simplex (sincerity) / cum spe venie (with the hope of grace); on little finger, in block: oratio (prayer) / Jeiunium (fasting) / Elemosia (alms)

in banderole at lower left, in block: Si voluntatem dei scis / Agnosce malum vt euites. / Si malum egisti doleas. / Si vere doles confitearis. / Si confessus es satisfac. (If you know the will of God, recognize evil, so that you may avoid it. If you have done evil, regret it. If you regret it, confess it. When you have confessed it, do penance.); in banderole at lower right, in block: Polex significat voluntatem dei. / Index significat cognitionem. / Medius digitus significat contritionem. / Medicus significat confessionem. / Auricularis satisfactionem. (The thumb signifies God's will, the index finger understanding, the middle finger contrition, the ring finger confession, the little finger repentance.)

at lower center, on sleeve, in block: Lucerne ardentes in manibus (the lamps in your hands should be burning in order to recognize the advent of the Lord); at lower center, on cuff, in block: Petra autem erat Christus (yet Christ was a rock)

at bottom, in block: Hec manus continent specululm humane saluationis. Et habet polex duos articulos tantum ceteri vero digiti habent iij. / Dicitur nam polex quasi potens lex vel pollex qui in uirtute pollens. Index dicitur quasi indicans siue monstrans et proprie / nil monstratur nisi congnitum. Medius qui et maior digitorum est contritionem signat que debet esse magna. Jpsa enim est / medium quo peruenitur ad gloriam. Medicus dicitur ab opere in quo et vena cordis sita est qui dignitus confessionem signat / que si a corde procedat Vulnerato fece peccati largam dabit sospitatem quam medicus noster. Ihesus Christus venit vocare peccatores mar vj9. / Auricularis vero autem linit et purgat et ipse est paruus digitus. Et me[rite] satisfactionem representat quia omnis nostra / satisfactio est minima respectu delicti et premij. Sic labora et manducabis. Factum anno 1466.

[translations (with some abbreviations resolved for legibility) from Parshall, Peter, and Rainer Schoch. _Origins of European Printmaking: Fifteenth-Century Woodcuts and Their Public._ Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 2005, p. 294-295.]

Exhibition History

Prints from the Collection of Lessing J. Rosenwald, Philadelphia, Lakeside Press Galleries, Chicago, IL, 1932, no. 1.
The First Century of Printmaking 1400-1500, The Art Institute of Chicago, 1941, no. 19.
Prints from the Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, John Herron Art Institute, Indianapolis, IN, 1945, no. 1.
Selected Prints from the Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection, City Art Museum, St. Louis, MO, 1956.
Graphic Masterpieces of 500 Years from the National Gallery of Art Rosenwald Collection, Louisiana State University Library, Baton Rouge, 1960, no. 1.
Fifteenth-Century Woodcuts and Metalcuts from the Collection of the National Gallery of Art, NGA, 1965-1966, no. 269, repro.
Selected 15th Century Prints from the Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection, National Gallery of Art, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA, 1965, no. 7.
"Writing on Hands: Memory and Knowledge in Early Modern Europe, 1470-1700", The Trout Gallery, Dickinson College, Carlisle; The Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, 2000-2001, no. 1.
Origins of European Printmaking: Fifteenth-Century Woodcuts and Their Public, NGA and Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, 2005-2006, no. 92, repro.


Schreiber, Wilhelm Ludwig. Handbuch de Holz- und Metailschnitte des XV Jahrhunderts. 8 vols. Leipzig: Verlag Karl W. Hierseman, 1926-1930.
Field, Richard S. Fifteenth Century Woodcuts and Metalcuts from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.. Exh. cat. Washington: National Gallery of Art, 1965: no. 269.
Hults, Linda C. The Print in the Western World. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1996, 31; fig.1.12.
Sherman, Claire Richter. Writing on Hands: Memory and Knowledge in Early Modern Europe. Exh. cat. The Trout Gallery, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA, 2000, no. 1.
Meerback, Mitchell B. "'Return to Your True Self!' Practicing Spiritual Therapy with the Spiegel der Vernunft in Munich." In The Primacy of the Image in Northern European Art, 1400-1700: Essays in Honor of Larry Silver edited by Debra Taylor Cashion, Henry Luttikhuizen and Ashley D. West. Leiden, 2017: 364-367, 374, color fig. 27.2.

Related Content

  • Sort by:
  • Results layout:
Show  results per page
The image compare list is empty.